Wood is a porous material that can absorb and retain moisture from the air. This moisture has the potential to rot, swell, and deform the wood over time. Whenever you’re trying to fix or replace water-damaged wood, it’s important to first understand how to draw moisture out of wood. If not, you will only be working with wet wood, which is more prone to decay and mold.
However, if something made of solid wood, such as hardwood floors or solid wood furniture, becomes wet, it may not always result in lasting damage. Most often, there won’t be any water damage if the water is quickly removed and dried off.
But water can be disastrous for man-made wood products like plywood, MDF, and particle board. In the worst circumstances, furniture made of these materials will just start coming apart if it is allowed to soak in water and become damp. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to draw moisture out of wood.
How to draw moisture out of wood
Depending on the sort of wood you have, there are many ways to remove moisture. The methods differ on whether the moisture is coming from a wood deck, table, subfloor, or floor.
- Wood floors
Cleaning as much standing water as you can is the first thing you should do when attempting to remove water from a wooden floor.
- Start by removing all of the standing water from your floors using a wet vacuum or a mop and bucket.
- After that, completely dry the wood floor with towels or rags.
- Increase the temperature in your room once you’ve done that to speed up water evaporation.
- Make use of fans to help move the air throughout the space.
- Last but not least, add a dehumidifier to remove all the moisture from the space.
Consider opening your windows and turning on the fans if the outside temperature is particularly warm.
- Wood Table
- Grab a small towel, washcloth, or a few paper towels to mop up as much standing water as you can if you have a water spill on a wooden table in your kitchen, dining room, or anywhere else in the house.
- If the table has soaked up water, you should move it to a place that is well-ventilated, ideally outside if the weather is fine. However, directing one or two fans at the table will significantly hasten the evaporation of moisture.
- Apply a layer of baking soda over it as well to help draw away and absorb any moisture that may still be there.
- If your table is made of solid wood, you might want to consider coating it with a solution of vinegar and olive oil after drying it. To remove any remaining stains, dab a cloth in the vinegar mixture and wipe the spilt area.
- Wood Decks
You can use a wet vacuum to remove any standing water from a hardwood deck, but you can also try using a leaf blower, which can be more convenient for outside use.
- Tarp your deck a few days beforehand to stop any fresh water from penetrating it if you want to refinish it and want it to be as dry as possible for the procedure.
- Apply baking powder to the particularly wet areas of your deck so that it will help pull the moisture out if you’re truly pressed for time.
However, since a wooden deck is outside, the wind should be able to completely dry it without any more help from you.
- Wood Subfloor
You must work diligently and rapidly to dry the top floor in order to get a wooden subfloor dry. This entails:
- Cleaning up any standing water and every other area of the wood.
- After that, set up a dehumidifier and several fans in the space to completely dry it out.
It can be very difficult to successfully remove moisture from a subfloor on your own; in most circumstances, you will need to remove the floor above it.
- Wooden Door
The time allowed for the moisture to accumulate will determine how easily you can remove it from your wooden door.
- If it’s a fresh spill, remove the moisture from your door by blotting the water away and directing a fan at it. However, more difficult repairs will be required for older spill or water damage.
- You must first address the problems that caused the water to soak up your door, such as if it has been raining continuously and the door is now drenched.
- To hasten the drying process, fans should then be pointed at the door from both sides. You might also think of removing the door from the frame and placing it in an area with a lot of heat.
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General tips for drawing moisture from fully soaked wood
Following a few simple guidelines will help your wood dry out as quickly as possible once it has been totally submerged.
- Fans are positioned in the damp region and directed directly at the target.
- Use a dehumidifier in the damp area to remove the wood’s moisture
- Increase the temperature in your home
- Bring out all the wet wooden objects outside to dry them in the sun
- Depending on the weather, open the windows to allow air to flow through the space
- To remove the moisture, place moisture-absorbing pads on top of the item.
- Finally, draw out and remove as much moisture as you can with a wet-vacuum before
Other items that can be used to dry wood’s moisture
Before attempting to completely dry wood, it’s important to remember to suck up and remove any standing water using a wet vacuum or moisture-absorbing towels or pads. This is essential if you’re sucking up water from a spilled floor!
- Cat litter
Your wood can lose moisture if you use cat litter that contains silica or even cement. Give it some time after you’ve applied a layer to the damaged area. Silica-based cat litters won’t discolor the wood and are simple to clean.
- Baking soda
When it comes to eliminating moisture from wood, baking soda is fantastic. It absorbs moisture because of the way that its chemical composition draws and absorbs water.
To use baking soda, the first vacuum up any standing water, then sprinkle a layer of baking soda over the area. Do not expect the findings for another 12 hours.
Although it might seem strange, diapers are another readily available and affordable source of silica. They already come in packages, unlike cat litter. It can either be poured or broken up and distributed over the wood object.
- Silica-based moisture-absorbing pads
The moisture-damaged wood can be covered with silica pads that are packaged in a packet to help draw the moisture out. One of the finest options for getting water out of wood is that.
Frequently Asked Questions on How To Draw Moisture Out Of Wood
Can salt remove moisture from wood?
Sadly, salt is not a suitable choice for drying wood, even if it does help to eliminate moisture from the air.
This is due to the fact that salt will dissolve in and blend with the wood, making it less effective in removing moisture from wood than baking soda.
Salt tends to dissolve in sludge because it absorbs a lot of moisture; so if this sludge seeps into the wood you are trying to dry, it will damage and discolor it. That wood cannot, under any circumstances, be sealed. It is also flammable and may rot.
Instead, you should only seal dry wood in woodworking. For the sealant to adhere to and cover the wood with a coating there must be dry fibers. The first fibers that adhere to the finish are then removed if you are familiar with wet sanding, and another coat of sealer or finish is then applied.
Even if the sealant did adhere to the wood the first time, since you would need to apply repeated coatings, you would essentially create a cocoon for moist wood to continue to decay in.
How much time does it take to remove moisture from wood?
Your wood’s drying time will partly rely on the amount of moisture present, the type of wood, and whether it is inside or outside. The time it will typically take for the region to be totally dry is between 12 and 36 hours.
It may take up to a week for wood that has been wet from rain on a deck or in another outside area to dry. However, you shouldn’t have to worry too much about it causing wood rot if the wood is often sealed from water damage.
Can moist wood be sealed?
No, moist wood cannot be sealed. Every sealant has an adhesive quality, and moisture will destroy that quality. The moisture level must be reduced to 9 percent or less.
Freshly cut wood is regarded as having 100% moisture content, and it takes seasons (and perhaps an entire year) to dry it out correctly.
The percentage of wood that is completely sealed is roughly 14 percent, and that is typically the case in construction. However, equilibration occurs when wood is dried too quickly, typically using a kiln process.
Conclusion: How To Draw Moisture Out Of Wood
There are several ways in which water can enter into your home’s framing, flooring and other woodwork. It might result from a flood or leak in the plumbing or roof.
When working, ensure you remove as much water from your wood floor as you can after a flood or spill. Even floors that have been waxed or sealed cannot resist standing water, and if the wax or sealer is deteriorating, the water may still seep into the wood. As it is absorbed by the grain, leaving the water might harm the wood irreparably.
If you have wet wood, don’t wait to take action. Use the methods mentioned above to dry out the wood and prevent any further damage.