Every year we face the same problems and uncertainties. Will the roof leak this spring? How can I prevent heat from draining out of the windows in winter? What should I do about that pool of water that forms at the entrance of the house? Will moisture appear on the walls again? How to remove moisture from walls? Etc.
When buying a house, it is important to check carefully for areas that may be unprepared to deal with rain and low temperatures. You won’t want any moisture seeping into the structure of the house. This can lead to excess water buildup and severely damaged walls. A general rule of thumb: the older the house, the greater the likelihood of seepage. And a water damaged house poses great risks for your health and destroys your property’s structure. It can be hard to know where to start when you want to remove moisture from walls; so we have put this small DIY guide together to help you fix this common problem.
However, before beginning with our tips, let’s guide you through some preventive measures during your home design phase so that you can ensure dry, moisture-free walls. After all, prevention is better than cure!
Preventive measures for maintaining dry, moisture-free walls
1. It’s advisable to go for concrete instead of plaster-based interiors in terms of building materials. The latter leads to moisture seepage. Go for eaves on your exterior walls. Also, check that your kitchen is equipped with conduits and enough air vents. Also, both bathrooms and kitchens should have good extractors. Don’t place any heavy furniture in front of the vents. Opt for non-impregnated wooden furniture.
2. Choose wise window treatments. Keep your interiors well-ventilated by opening your windows and doors to let in enough light and air.
3. Install a bathroom exhaust fan and remember to start it whenever you take a steam shower. This shall ensure dry air and prevent excessive moisture from accumulating on the walls. Also, if your bathroom has a tiled floor, consider keeping an eye open for grout always.
4. Minimize the number of indoor plants in your house. They release water vapor, leading to moist air and also capture moisture from the air. Stick to watering and spraying them only when necessary. Also, it is recommended to always dry your clothes outside.
5. During the rainy season, it is very common for water to accumulate around the boundary of your home. Hence, invest in good downspout and gutter systems. Whenever there’s mold growth on your walls, apply bleach and remove them.
6. Protect foundations with impermeable films or geotextiles.
7. Build waterproof concrete foundations up to 40 inches in height.
8. Place the rain drainage far from the foundations. Do not build gardens near the foundations.
9. Waterproof the exterior of the walls up to a height of at least 20 inches. For perimeter walls that receive constant water or humidity from a garden or irrigation system, it is recommended that you add a barrier against humidity, which usually consists of a layer of polystyrene adhered to plasterboard.
1o. Do not build your home on low and permanently humid terrain.
Now that we are done with these simple preventive measures, let’s guide you through some easy DIY tips on how to remove moisture from walls. Some of the cheapest products to absorb water are salt, chlorine, and silica granules. Below is the step-by-step on how to use this method.
How to remove moisture from walls? A step-by-step guide
Tools and materials you’ll need
Here is a list of the materials that you will need when you start with your moisture removal process. Most of these tools are cheap and can be found in any hardware store.
- Orbital sander
- Paint tray
- Steel brush
- Moisture blocker
- Anti-moisture coating
Moisture in the walls usually occurs when they absorb moisture from the floor. It is most often found on the first floor of a house and occurs because of errors in the waterproofing of the foundation.
Repairs for moisture on exterior walls
➞ Before applying a product to remove moisture from walls, it is essential to take off any paint or loose materials. For this step, you can use your spatula and an orbital sander.
➞ Once removed, it is necessary to use a steel brush to remove any salt that may have appeared with the humidity. Then rinse the wall with water.
➞ To prevent moisture from penetrating the wall again, a moisture blocker must be applied as a wall covering. This product is applied with a brush, and it is usually recommended that you apply two coats.
Repairs for moisture on interior walls
➞ To eliminate moisture on indoor walls, use the same cleaning procedure described for exterior walls above; except the fact that here, you will beading some chlorine to the water.
➞ Leave the water-chlorine mixture on the wall for a few minutes to totally eliminate any mold. Then, rinse the entire surface with water.
➞ There are preventative fungicide/mold coatings that react on contact with moisture, leaving an impermeable layer that allows the walls to breathe and moisture to come out. You should apply yours carefully, and then you’re finished!
As we already mentioned, you can follow our simple ‘How to remove moisture from walls?’ guide, whenever you face this problem. But if the issue has progressed to a greater extent, we recommend seeking professional help and purchasing a dehumidifier to tackle this scenario.