Will a dehumidifier remove standing water?
Flood, this is a huge cause of worry no matter where it is or how far the water damage is. A flooded basement or flooded home is every homeowners’ nightmare. When there is a flood in your home, it is going to cause a whole deal of damage to property and money. The drying process is strenuous, it is expensive, and it is slow.
Thankfully, our hope lies in the latest technological advancements that help to handle floods and their resulting damage better. Removing standing water or flood can be done with the help of professional equipment and dehumidifiers. Remember, if you notice signs of wet basements or crawl spaces; act upon them at the earliest. You have to remove water as soon as possible to save your personal items from water damage (and mold!)
Water problem in the basement, crawl space or place in a home or room has a long list of problems that it brings with it. Damp floors or ground that are prone to rotting, wet walls, furniture, and other personal items, etc; removing water from these properties and keeping them dry is essential. If not, you will have to deal with mold growth and other issues that arise with moisture coming into the play. Mold and mildew remediation is also going to cost money and time.
Hence, it is important to deal with water damage without delay and find the best ways and methods to pull moisture or water away from the wall, floor, ground, and property. When you fail to fix moist air, you will have to deal with a home in need of constant cleaning and battling with increased relative humidity.
Let us look into the water damage that comes with water standing or flood in space and how a dehumidifier running in a room helps to get rid of standing water and works to remove moisture.
Will a dehumidifier get rid of standing water?
Getting rid of water damage is going to take time and effort, there is no doubt about that. If you were to ask if dehumidifiers can remove water from a space; well the answer is relative.
Can a dehumidifier remove or pull moisture from damp walls and floors?
Yes! Can it remove water that is standing for several inches deep in a flooded basement? No, it cannot completely remove that. You have to hire professional service and equipment to drain the water, fix the leak, and the dehumidifier can then help you out.
As the water drains out, you can have a dehumidifier running to deal with excess moisture and water vapour removal and to control the high humidity level.
The dehumidifier can give you dry air, dry floor, and drywall. Although it can pull out the dampness extensively and ensure your home is no longer wet; a dehumidifier cannot drain water that is standing for inches deep. It does help to accelerate the drying process but has little role to play to drain the water from the space.
If you are going to solely rely on dehumidifiers to drain the water accumulation, you must be well aware that it is not going to be able to fix the problem entirely and it is going to take a lot of time. The speed at which dehumidifiers pump out water could extend to several weeks.
Common reasons for standing water
The source of water stagnation in your house could be anything- surface water, groundwater, indoor humidity from fluctuating temperature, outdoor humidity seeping in through windows, rain or storm that caused a leak, etc. Let us look into these reasons in detail and how to cover the problems they bring.
a) Surface water intrusion:
When water runs towards the foundation and finds an entry it is called surface water intrusion. When the surrounding soil is saturated or the water table is high, groundwater will enter via the walls or floor through hydro static pressure.
Moist and warm summer air entering a house through the windows or doors could condense on the basement floor and walls.
Increased humidity can be created and settle in the basement, making the floor and walls damp through indoor activities. For example, poor ventilation for the laundry room.
Damp or wet furniture that one is yet to get rid of.
Issues with roof drain system. When there is a clogged gutter or downspout, (via which the rainwater has to flow through during a storm), there will be overflows into the gutter. Make sure to spend time cleaning the gutter when needed; and also install a cover or seal that will prevent debris accumulation in the gutter. This cover can be an easy fix to the problem.
Wet basements could also be from window wells and stairwells that collect water that could leak into the room or basement. You could fix a clear plastic cover on the window well, and a roof to cover or seal the area over the stairwell.
Ground surrounding the basement becomes saturated with rainwater or underground spring. If your foundation has tiny cracks in them, the water pressure from the saturated soil will push water through them. Water will begin to leak in if the groundwater level is higher than the basement floor.
When you fix an interior crack, it does not mean that you can shut off the water from entering the exterior portion of the wall. Contact a basement specialist to check into your house thoroughly to fix the problem.
b) Humidity from inside the house:
Basement walls and floors can show condensation of moist air. As a fix, you can install energy-efficient windows, use dehumidifiers, air conditioners, and promote air movement or air circulation within the house to prevent moisture buildup and high relative humidity.
Working sump pump can lead to high humidity indoors. To fix this, use a tight seal cover on the sump pump, install a floor drain; this will help water to get to the sump.
Crawl space or dirt floor is the reason for moisture coming in. To handle this, use a sealed polythene moisture barrier on the floor and pour concrete over it. Ground cover will inhibit moisture seeping through the earth for crawl spaces.
If you have heat ducts or water pipes in the perimeter walls around your house, you could insulate them. Try to vent basement showers outside directly. This will also help to lower the humidity level and keep your basement safe from mold and mildew.
Drying standing water with a dehumidifier?
Dehumidifiers can certainly be used to assist the drying process in water damage or water restoration. Dehumidifiers are equipped with the power to remove moisture from the air, surrounding, damp walls, floors, ceiling, etc. Their fans will blow air across the condensing coils, which will pull out moisture from the air and space.
Will a dehumidifier help with water damage?
Yes! When dehumidifiers remove excess moisture from the space, you can save as much of the property as possible. You can also have a space that is dry and free from water damage.
How to dry water damage using a dehumidifier
After the stagnated water has been removed, shift the dehumidifier to the centre of the space. A central position will enable the dehumidifier to function effectively.
Household Vs Water Restoration Dehumidifiers for water damage
Whole-House dehumidifiers are slightly different from Water Restoration dehumidifiers. The latter has special features and designed to have more power-filled action when it comes to the restoration process. It certainly can cover a large space with ease and can finish the work quicker; which can take a regular household dehumidifier weeks together.
How to avoid water damage?
1. Have leaks fixed as and when you find them; do not postpone.
2. Set aside time for cleaning the gutters and downspouts.
3. Look into sewer backup.
4. Install water detection services and know your piping.
What type of dehumidifier is best for water damage?
There are plentiful water damage restoration dehumidifiers in the market. You can select one based on the need you have.
To mention two among the best dehumidifiers: Dri-EAZ F413 Revolution LGR Compact Dehumidifier and Perfect Aire Damp2Dry 65 Liter/150 Pint Dehumidifier.
How to fix a damp basement?
As aforementioned, the only solution to put a full stop to dampness in the basement or crawl space or any space for that matter is to find a permanent solution.
Isolate the source of dampness and resolve it. Always dehumidify internal causes of humidity like cooking, clothes dryers, and bathrooms. Have portable or small dehumidifiers wherever required in the basement (even if not a whole-house dehumidifier).
Remember not to ventilate the basement with humid warm air. You can have ventilation via an air conditioning system or with a desiccant-type heat exchanger.
Will a dehumidifier help damp walls?
Yes. Dehumidifiers will help to extract dampness from the walls in any space. Crawl space, bathroom, basement, kitchen; no matter where you place your dehumidifier, it will help you to remove dampness from the walls there.
Dehumidifiers vs Fans: which is better for water damage?
Although both fans and dehumidifiers can help to dry the space quicker, having a dehumidifier running is always more efficient. Fans will have an influence on the temperature, air movement, or air circulation, but unlike dehumidifiers, they cannot extract moisture from the environment.
How long does it take for a dehumidifier to dry out a room?
It depends on the amount of water stagnated in the area. If it just a few ml it will take hardly 20 minutes to dry out the area. If it is many liters of water that have to be dealt with, it could take weeks together. It is recommended that you have the water pumped out first.
Hope you found the article helpful in understanding the role of dehumidifiers in standing water removal. Share with us your experience with water removal using dehumidifiers and how much property you managed to save.
About The Author
Olivia — a self-confessed air quality addict — is a home climate enthusiast, fresh air advocate, and someone with deep personal experience and knowledge about mold extermination. Her work was mentioned in countless notable humidity publications. Previously she was an editor at Mold Remediation.