How long does it take to dry out a house after a flood?

After the heavy rains and massive flooding, many homeowners may find themselves dealing with damp, soggy floors and furnishings.

It is so much frustrating to deal with the aftermath of a building that has flooded. Once you identify the root cause of the problem, next is to remove the water and debris. And final is to dry out the entire space.

But is it so easy to do as we are talking about? Not really!

Drying out a flooded building is crucial, but doing the entire process properly is more important. The reason is that materials are still in damp, which can lead to breeding grounds for mold and other fungi.

Methods for Drying Out

It is best to involve any professional when you are going through the drying out process.

Air Drying

Air drying method is significant in small affected area’s flooding. But remember when the water did not soak into the material for long, which means high humidity; air drying is not the best option to have. It mostly takes the longest time to fully dry.

Pro Tips

  • Don’t wait for too long after the flooding. If your home is completely submerged, then the destruction would be massive. It’s better to start ASAP.
  • Don’t forget to check all the primary systems including gas lines, wiring, plumbing, HVAC system, etc.
  • Walls, Ceilings sagginess, and structural damage may have occurred. Consult with post-flood repair professionals on how to deal with it.
  • Don’t reuse the existing carpet or other types of flooring. It could have been completely damaged.

Forced Air/Fans Drying

Now, you must remember, indoor areas are best for this drying system. Fans are also preferred where you need to circulate the air.

Pro Tips

  • Make sure that you don’t fail to understand the extent of water penetration, and the category of water loss is done.
  • You must know the afterward microbial impact and deteriorating condition of carpet’s underlay and subflooring.
  • All of these mentioned points are essential to understand so that you can get maximum benefits from fan drying.

Heating System

Another way for drying out is by using the combination of the heating system along with the central air-conditioning system. In this method, the warm air will hold more moisture than the cooler air. So, when you will close all doors and windows and run the air-conditioning. Once the house has been cooled and the air is dry, the air-conditioning should be turned off and the heat turned on.

When the temperature reaches 80 degrees, etc. the heat should be turned off and the air-conditioning process should be reversed until the warm air is removed completely. The same process should be repeated multiple times.

Pro Tips

  • Make sure you have closed all windows and doors.
  • Turn on the central air conditioning before the process.
  • Turn the air conditioning off when you feel the air is dry.
  • Turn it on again when the warm air is eliminated completely.


It is one of the fastest and most effective ways to dry out any flooded area. It ensures safe and effective drying to remove moisture from the air and surrounding materials.

According to a study done by Jeffrey Gross, a regional manager for Maxons Restorations in Manhattan,

“If you have wood flooring or the wall framings are saturated; the preferred method is the usage of the dehumidifier. It helps in pulling out the moisture out of the wood.”

When you are using it for the indoors, best is to leave windows and doors open. Plus, if the humidity is due to outdoor air, the dehumidifier will be fighting against the relative humidity outside. It may decrease the overall humidity by 20%.

Pro Tips

  • Empty the collected water regularly.
  • Keep your dehumidifier away from walls, curtains, and furniture.
  • Choose the best possible humidity range settings.
  • It’s best to vacuum your floors before you switch on your dehumidifier.


According to Ed Weingartner, the chief executive of Dynamic Restoration,

“The most important thing to consider before going into a house after a flood is safety.”

Moreover, he added that if you had a significant amount of water in the basement, it is best to call the power company and tell them to disconnect the service or ask an electrician to check the safety measures. It’s not safe or preferred to work in the mentioned scenario.

The homeowners should be aware that if flood water comes from a river, it could contain sewage. It may cause infections and other diseases. To address this problem, surfaces can be disinfected with a solution of one part bleach to nine parts water.

It is also being said that mold starts to grow within the next 48 to 72 hours. So, carpets, pads, and furniture that were submerged must be removed as soon as possible. The soaked drywall should be cut out and discarded.

How much time it takes to dry out?

The complete process of drying out a flood can take approx. from twelve hours to a few weeks, depending on the size of the area and how much it has been affected.

Moreover, if a house is not dried out quickly within the time, mold begins to grow. It becomes crucial then that you should take major steps to eliminate it. It may include physically remove the mold by scrubbing it off by your hand.

You can also use a strong detergent and a little bleach for this purpose. Trust me, the entire process would become so easier. Remember to wear gloves and an N95 respirator during the process.

Final Words

If you aren’t sure whether you can do this or not, the best is to go with the help of professionals. Go and contact professionals to get rid of this hassle ASAP.