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Joe_Navy 04-08-2009 10:34 AM

Wetted Drywall question
So I just moved into based housing and the drain line on the A/C unit had a crack in it. The floor of the closest was flooded and some water wicked up the drywall and made it into the next room. The house is brand new.

My question is: Will the dry wall be OK if it is allowed to dry out? I do not want mold to start growing inside my wall. One section was a little soft on the bottom and the other section was not but you could see the water line.


Grampa Bud 04-08-2009 11:04 AM

If the drain is fixed and this the first time the problem has occured you probably will be all right If you just dry the wall with a fan blowing on it for about a week. It should feel dry long before that, but water has a habit of wicking towards DRY areas so forcing it to air dry for a week should be satisfactory. You won't really start growing mold unless you prolong the dampness in a 50-70 deg. F setting. Don't touch the wall at all for 2-3 days and the air drying will cause the gypsum to refirm up.

bjbatlanta 04-08-2009 11:05 AM

A lot depends on how long it was wet. Mold will likely grow if it was wet for several days, and you won't see it if it's on the back side of the wall. Best to cut out and replace it to be on the safe side....
Grampa Bud beat me to the punch, and what he says is true. If you've got little ones, you might not want to take the chance, though.

Joe_Navy 04-08-2009 12:30 PM

I talked to the maintenance people and they said they would put some sort of moisture meter through the wall and check for dampness. Does this make sense or just BS?

Bob Mariani 04-08-2009 01:36 PM

makes sense

wildcat 04-08-2009 10:19 PM


Originally Posted by Joe_Navy (Post 256922)
I talked to the maintenance people and they said they would put some sort of moisture meter through the wall and check for dampness. Does this make sense or just BS?

Those little meters are pretty hand. It just has a couple of pointy electrodes on top that you can stab into the wall. Based on how much electricity is conducted the meter tells you how wet the wall is (electricity won't conduct through the wall it it is dry).

If they are concerned about how long it's taking to dry they can always pop of the base boards, drill small holes and use a fan and small tubes to force air in to help it dry faster. That's probably pretty drastic for your situation though. Even a small dehumidifier would do wonders for your wall.

Maintenance 6 04-09-2009 09:09 AM

Drywall ideally needs to be dried within 72 hours to prevent mold. Common molds will go from spores to colonies after 72 hours in temperatures from 40 to 110 degrees. That thing about the first time being wet is OK is a myth. What generally happens is that the molds set up shop the first time and then go dormant when the materials dry. When it gets wet for a second time, the molds are well established and re-activate much sooner and in much larger colonies. Use a dehimidifier in close proximity to the wet drywall. Remove the baseboard to facilitate drying behind it. You don't need a destructive meter with probes to test moisture in drywall. A surface reading meter is fine. Small holes that can be hidden behind the base will allow it to dry much faster.

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