Help! My House Has Wet Walls – What Should I Do?

By: Diana Rodriguez-Zaba
Updated on: March 21, 2024

Wet walls inside the house are always a bad sign. You notice flaky paint or peeling wallpaper. Dark spots on walls are damp to the touch. A musty, moldy odor spreads through your home.

Why are the walls wet? How do you fix them?

This guide covers everything you need to know about moisture in the walls. It also outlines different ways to prevent and fix wet walls inside the house.

Why are the Walls on the Inside of My House Wet? 4 Reasons

Damp walls can be blamed on one of two things:

Outside moisture finds a way inside, or inside moisture accumulates behind the walls. It doesn’t take long for dampness to stain drywall, rot framing and breed unhealthy mold growth.

In most cases, one of these four problems cause moisture in walls.

1. Leaks Inside the Walls

Your home’s plumbing system supplies water to several rooms, but pipes run through the entire house. A hidden leak can develop behind a wall in the bedroom, den or dining room.

leak behind cabinet and appliances
Hidden leaks behind cabinets and appliances an cause mold to develop

Leaking appliances are another source of leaks behind walls. Slow drips from disposals, dishwashers and washing machines create damp zones in drywall.

How to Fix Interior Leaks

• Let a restoration contractor handle hidden leaks, plumbing repairs and water damage mitigation.

• Check an appliance manufacturer’s website for DIY options, or call an appliance repair service.

2. Leaks From Outside

Wet patches on inside walls after it rains usually mean trouble on the outside of the house. Inspect your home’s exterior for these common problems.

  • Cracked masonry and seams on exterior walls
  • Worn door seals and window flashing
  • Loose shingles, vents and flashing on the roof
  • Chimney leaks around mortar joints and the cap

How to Fix Outside Leaks

• Patch cracked masonry, repair door seals, and replace window flashing.

• Let professional roofers and chimney sweeps take care of leak repairs up on the roof.

3. Dampness Caused by Condensation

You often see water droplets accumulate on surfaces in the bathroom after a hot shower. This happens when warm, moist air collides with cool, dry air. Condensation can also occur in a hot kitchen. Interior walls that sweat absorb the moisture and remain damp.

Cold weather can cause condensation on walls. When temperatures outside are very cold and inside temperatures are very warm, the degree differential generates moisture on interior walls. That dampness eventually spreads causing stains and mold growth.

How to Control Condensation

• Make sure kitchen and bath exhaust systems are working properly. Run dehumidifiers in rooms that aren’t ventilated.

• Reduce condensation during the winter by improving attic ventilation and upgrading your home’s insulation.

4. Rising Moisture From the Basement

Moisture in the soil around a foundation seeps into basement walls and migrates up through a home’s structure. It eventually affects drywall on the floors above. Mineral deposits and mold on basement walls are sure signs of ground moisture seeping into your house.

Heavy rainstorms and snow melts contribute to dampness in a basement through foundation cracks. Basement flooding caused by plumbing leaks, appliance breakdowns and sump pump failures make dampness problems worse.

How to Mitigate Basement Moisture

• Improve foundation drainage by reworking the yard’s grading, redirecting drain spouts and installing French drains.

• Regularly inspect basement and foundation walls, and quickly repair cracks inside and out.

How to Remove Moisture From Walls

It’s important to dry out wet walls as soon as possible. Start by locating the source of moisture and making repairs.

If possible, seal off affected areas from the rest of the house, and set up a dehumidifier. Run heavy-duty fans to create currents of fresh air across wet wall surfaces. You can rent the equipment at most home improvement centers.

How to Dry Wet Walls Quickly

Be prepared to run fans and dehumidifiers 24/7. You need to remove all traces of moisture from the walls to prevent wood rot and mold growth. These tips speed up the process.

professional drying equipment
Professional drying equipment from ServiceMaster by Zaba

• Use the heaviest equipment available.

• Reduce humidity by running the air conditioner.

• Move furnishings away from wet walls.

• Strip and dispose of wall coverings.

• Open wall cabinet doors.

Are You Dealing With Wet Walls in Your Chicago Home? We Can Help

Before you take on drying out damp walls in your home, size up the damage. Hidden moisture in wet walls spreads into adjacent drywall, baseboards and wall studs. Dealing with wet walls can easily become a huge project.

We have the equipment and industry know-how to dry out walls quickly and efficiently. Our water damage restoration services for Chicago include certified mold removal and remediation. You don’t have to tackle wet walls by yourself.

Call us here at ServiceMaster Restoration by Zaba today for 24 hour emergency help: 773-647-1985