Your insurance might cover the cost of repairs, call now to see if you qualify
Your insurance might cover the cost of repairs, call now to see if you qualify

How Long Does it Take to Dry Out a House After a Flood

How Long Does it Take to Dry Out a House After a Flood


No one ever expects their home to be overtaken by water when a pipe bursts, a hot water heater fails, or an environmental disaster occurs. Once unwanted water makes it way into a home it will typically remain there for hours if not days. As soon as that water is under control every minute counts. It is now time to dry out the house and begin assessing the harm caused.

Drying out a house after a flood typically takes 24 to 72 hours. You can speed up the process of drying your home by:

  • Pumping the water out.
  • Start moving air naturally by opening windows and doors.
  • Move air mechanically using fans.
  • Remove any wet objects that are not attached to the home.
  • Dehumidify.

If you prefer to do this job yourself, Home Depot has a restoration and remediation department that offers equipment rentals. You can get everything you need – wet vacs, pumps, blowers, heaters, and dehumidifiers.

If the damage is not dealt with quickly then your walls, as well as your carpets, flooring, roofing, and personal property will easily become damaged beyond repair or restoration. Flooded areas will quickly become dangerous for humans due to foundation issues, rot, and the growth of harmful molds.

How To Dry Out House After A Flood

Pumping Water Out

Water damage restoration starts by removing the water. You will want to get a sump-pump or use a wet/dry vacuum to remove as much of the standing water as possible. Use a mop to get anything the pump or vac can’t. If you are dealing with a full flood with several inches of standing water, a gas-powered pump will be your best option.

Champion Water Transfer Pump

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Moving Air Naturally and Mechanically

Next, you will need to start moving air. This can be achieved by opening windows to move air naturally. Additionally, you will need a carpet fan or mechanical air mover. These can be rented for as little as $20/day. You can use smaller fans, such as a ½ HP fans, but we would recommend getting more than one. This will significantly speed up the process.

Max Storm Industrial Fan

Professional-grade carpet dryer made for drying large areas at one time.

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Remove Wet Objects

Couches, curtains, sheets, and anything similar should be taken out of the affected area and dried out. You can leave them outside or ideally put them in a dryer if they are machine dry-able.

Speed Queen Dryer

Highly rated fast drying clothes dryer

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Dehumidify

Once the majority of the standing water has been removed from the ground, it is time to remove it from the air. Renting or purchasing a large dehumidifier will help make up the process of drying out a house after a flood much quicker and is relatively affordable if you rent. You’ll want to use a commercial dehumidifier capable of drying 18 gallons per day.

BlueDri Commercial Dehumidifier

150-pint dehumidifier ideal for water damage restoration projects!

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Identifying The Source Of Leak

Sometimes it can be difficult to determine the exact source of a leak. Water damage restoration companies can use thermal cameras to detect leaks or cracks in walls and roofs. These work by identifying an area where outside air is getting in – which is where water is also getting. Thermal cameras can also be rented from Home Depot or other equipment stores.

Handheld IR Thermal Imager

High-resolution 3.2

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Most Common Types of Water Damage in Homes or Businesses

Knowing what type of issue you are facing will help you figure out the best approach to fix the problem. Whether you are hiring water damage restoration experts or are planning to get the right tools together to do the job yourself, it is always best to understand the situation at hand. There are three main classes of water damage in homes, they are:

Class One

This class covers water damage caused by overflowing water from things such as broken taps, leaky sinks, or bathtubs. This class is easier to fix because it presents no serious health hazards immediately, though it can cause mold to grow and form as time passes. A wrench to shut off the water, some plumber’s tape, a mop, and some fans should be enough to remove excess water and fix a minor issue like this.

Class Two

This damage presents health hazards to people in the home or business. It can be caused by a crack in the sewer line, damaged water supply pipes, or even leaking roof. The damage will come to the foundation and structural stability of the home should be treated immediately. Even a great handyman may still require expert assistance to remediate the problem.

Class Three

In this case, excess rain or blockage can lead to polluted water piling up into the house from drains and toilets. This can easily infect drinking water and pose a health risk to the people there. Action must be taken immediately to drain this dirty water using special equipment and repairs can then be made to furniture and other household items to restore normalcy. Class three damage is most common when an environmental disaster occurs and causes mass flooding.

Will Insurance Cover Flood Damage?

First of all, you need to have flood coverage on your insurance policy for it to cover anything. It doesn’t matter if it’s your home or business that has been damaged; if you don’t have flood coverage, you’re not getting any help. Your regular homeowner’s policy does not have flood coverage; you have to add it in. Be sure to understand the possibility of flooding in your area and if adding it on is worth it.

If you live in a designated flood zone you’ll need flood insurance, this is a no brainer. Yet inland areas that are away from major rivers and lakes are still at risk. Consider purchasing a flood insurance policy if the melting snow, an overflowing stream or pond, or water running down a steep hill could flood your home.

Flood insurance is available to homeowners, business owners, and renters. The federal government and a few commercial insurers pay for flood insurance. If you think that you need flood insurance it’s best to add it in. You don’t want to wait for a flood season when water is running under your door to buy a policy, there is typically a 30 day waiting period prior to the policy covering any damage from the time it is purchased.