How Do You Remove Moisture From Wood?

Whether you’re dealing with planks, walls, floors, or anything in between, wet wood can cause irreversible damage. If you have carpet, tile, rugs, and other materials covering the wood, it’ll rot much quicker. Getting rid of water and other liquids will preserve your wooden furniture, floors, and other belongings for a long time.

To remove moisture from wood, move everything away from the surface, dry it with a wet vac, and ventilate the area to improve airflow. Heat the wood and use a dehumidifier to remove moisture deep inside the porous surface. When you’re done, fix the moisture’s source and waterproof the wood.

Throughout this article, you’ll also learn the following details about how to remove moisture from wood:

  • Step-by-step instructions to remove moisture from any wooden surface
  • Tips to waterproof wood without buying expensive chemical products
  • Why you need to handle wet wooden materials as soon as possible

Clear the Area

The first step is to remove everything from the area. If you have carpets, rugs, furniture, or anything else on the floor (or wherever the affected wood is), clear them off. It’s essential to have a clean space so water, mildew, and mold don’t spread. If the moisture is found on blankets and slats, place them in an empty area.

EEG Restore suggests putting salvageable materials, such as rugs and blankets, outside to dry. You can face fans toward them to dry them quicker. There’s no point in cleaning wet wood if you’re putting soaked materials on it after you’re done fixing the problem. Instead, you’ll cause more wood rot in two to three weeks.

Remove Moisture With a Wet Vac

Wet vacuums can remove surface moisture. They’re not the best for deep-set spills and mildew, but you can get rid of water puddles on top to follow the next steps in the process. The Stanley SL18116P Wet/Dry Vacuum is an excellent choice for all wet spills. It has a 6-gallon (22.7-liter) tank, but you can choose from four to five models with varying sizes.

Stanley - SL18116P Wet/Dry Vacuum, 6 Gallon, 4 Horsepower Black
  • ❤【LARGER CAPACITY】Stanley SL18116P Wet / Dry Vacuum has a larger capacity over 22 L, makes small clean-up jobs a breeze for you as you don’t have to empty the bucket frequently any more.Runtime: 300.0 hours
  • ❤【VERSATILE & POWERFUL】Thanks to the 4 peak HP motor, this vac offers powerful enough suction needed to almost any cleanup jobs in vehicle, jobsite, workshop, garage, basement, van, house, etc
  • ❤【3 in 1 FUNCTION】With this versatile vac you can vacuum both wet liquid spills and dry debris, dust, saw, dirt or blow leaves away(use blower port), just organize the hose and power cord on top handle and side wraps after using, conveniently

Last update on 2023-06-16 at 00:19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Work from end to end, ensuring you don’t step in the water. Failure to take the necessary precautions will push water deeper into the porous wooden surface, furthering the damage and cleaning process. Also, make sure you work slowly to absorb as much moisture as possible. You can do two rounds to get every last drop.

Note: If you don’t have a wet vacuum, toss a few towels on the water and let them absorb it for at least 10 to 15 minutes. Make sure you don’t leave the towels for too many hours, or they’ll push moisture into the wood.

Use Floor and Ceiling Fans

Once you’ve removed the puddled water on the surface, bring a couple of floor fans and ventilate the space. Turn on ceiling fans and use everything you can to promote optimal airflow throughout the room. Opening windows will also help quite a bit. This step aims to get rid of everything on the wood so you can dig deeper into the problem.

How Do You Remove Moisture From Wood?

If you know there’s not any wood rot or water below the surface, you don’t need to go much further than this step. However, it would be best if you were sure that there’s no water underneath, or you’ll risk long-term decomposition.

Heat the Wood

According to Hunker, adding a bit of heat to the surface can dry everything much quicker. Not only that, but it also dries moisture below the surface. It won’t go too deep, but it’s worth trying, so you can get rid of mold and mildew.

So, what can you use to heat wet wooden surfaces?

  • Space heaters: They are a fantastic solution because they warm the whole room, including the floors, ceiling, walls, and furniture.
  • Blowdryer: Use a blowdryer on small surfaces. It might not be the best choice for big rooms, but you can quickly heat and dry planks, slats, and patches with hair drying equipment.
  • House heater: If all else fails, turn on the house heater. Elevating the ambient temperature will work well with airflow solutions from the previous section.

Place a Dehumidifier Nearby

Much like heaters, dehumidifiers get rid of moisture deep within wood. Many people run dehumidifiers in closets, garages, bedrooms, and other spaces with lots of humidity. They prevent mold and mildew as long as you change the water tank often.

How Do You Remove Moisture From Wood?

Whether you’re using a dehumidifier to prevent the wood from getting wet or trying to clean soaked wooden materials, they should always be a part of your cleaning collection. Place it in the center of the room for the best results. If it’s a small area, keep the dehumidifier as close to the wet space as possible.

Remove Rotten Wood

There’s no point in removing moisture if you’ll leave the damage behind. Remove wooden boards and drywall if you have to. Consider hiring a professional team to inspect and remove wood rot if you don’t know how to spot it. Mold and mildew are dangerous, so it’s best to pay a bit extra to know it’s all gone.

Wood rot is soaked, packed with moldy odors, and brittle. You can break it apart with your bare hands. If you find wood that looks anything other than new and undamaged, you should remove it from the area. Walls, ceilings, and floors have been known to cave due to wood rot. The last thing you’d want is for the floors to break and someone to fall through.

Locate the Problem’s Source

If you’ve done all of the previous steps, it’s time to determine what caused the damage. Don’t repair and cover the area until you know how to stop it from happening again. Leaking copper pipes, dripping ceilings, rain, and forgotten spills can cause long-term damage that gets worse over time. Since mold can spread, it only needs a small amount of water to make a significant impact.

Another common cause is humidity. Those living in a humid environment should consider using dehumidifiers throughout the year, even if the surface looks fine. Water droplets puddle and grow mold beneath the surface. Locating the problem will let you tackle it before it causes more damage that needs additional repairs down the road.

Add New Wood if Necessary

Fix the source and add wooden boards to cover the damage. Make sure the building is 100% up to local codes. If you’re not sure where to start, call companies or the city to figure out how to create a secure structure. These issues apply if you’re repairing a house or other building, but they’re unnecessary if you’re repairing furniture. However, they’re more than welcome.

Waterproof the Wood

How can you waterproof wood once you’ve removed the moisture? Follow these steps:

  1. Dry the surface using the previously mentioned steps.
  2. Bob Vila recommends using a soft bristle brush to apply boiled linseed oil.
  3. Consider waterproof paint on colored wooden surfaces.
  4. For extra precautions, apply wood wax to seal planks.


Now that you know how to get rid of moisture on wood, you can keep your belongings safe from long-lasting damage. Wood rot breaks down the material, inviting mold and bacteria. You’d be surprised how quickly high-quality wooden floors and furniture break down from rot and moisture.

Here’s a quick recap of the post:

  • Use a wet vac to get rid of puddled water to prevent further damage.
  • Dehumidifiers and floor fans can work wonders against wood rot.
  • Never leave rotten wood since it can break floors, furniture, and ceilings.
  • Boiled linseed lin protects wooden materials.


Recent Posts