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How to dry wet wood in a house

Updated February 21, 2017

Damp wood in a house occurs on floors, windows, door trim, staircases and even floor joists and wall studs. This dampness develops when water pipes break or flooding occurs. Damp wood is salvageable if you remove the water as quickly as possible. The longer the wood is damp, the more likely it is to rot or develop mould or mildew. Drying out the wood requires increasing the air circulation in the area.

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  1. Open all doors and windows in the room that has damp wood or in the whole building if the dampness is pervasive.

  2. Remove all other damp objects from the house since they increase the interior humidity and prevent the wood from drying.

  3. Mop up or pump out any standing water using towels or a mop.

  4. Insert a box-style fan into the windowsill of one of the windows with the air flow facing in towards the room. Plug the cable into a nearby electrical socket and turn the fan on. Let the fan run constantly to draw exterior air into the building and dry up the moisture.

  5. Place breeze blocks at equally spaced intervals on any wood floor that is damp. The weight of the blocks prevents buckling and warping as the moisture evaporates from the wood. Also, open all wooden drawers and cabinets to prevent buckling.

  6. Place a dehumidifier in the room where the wood is damp or, if needed, place one in each room. Plug in the dehumidifier and run it constantly. Check the water reservoir once per hour and empty it as water collects..

  7. Tip

    If you smell a musty odour, mildew and mould are present and additional cleaning procedures are required for disinfection.

    During the winter, alternate turning on the heating system and opening the windows to speed up moisture removal.

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Things You'll Need

  • Towels or a mop
  • Fan
  • Breeze blocks
  • Dehumidifier

About the Author

Kimberly Johnson is a freelance writer whose articles have appeared in various online publications including eHow, Suite101 and Examiner. She has a degree in journalism from the University of Georgia and began writing professionally in 2001.

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