We had a pipe that burst in our upstairs shower that leaked into the downstairs bathroom. We need to know what would be reasonable equipment for a 5'x7.5' bathroom and the amount of time the equipment should be in place? I do live in SoCal, so it's not a humid climate.

Thank you

  • 4
    Every situation of water remediation is different, depending on scope of water intrusion, wall materials, floor coverings, etc. So you can't base it just it on size of room.
    – Milwrdfan
    Jun 6 at 17:32
  • 5
    It would depend on what the surfaces and sub surfaces that got wet, were made out of.
    – crip659
    Jun 6 at 17:32
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    ... and also depends on the flood conditions. Water from a burst pipe flowing along materials like wood or concrete is different to those same materials being submerged in water say from a storm, and either of those conditions being present for a few hours vs a few days will make a difference to the drying out process.
    – jay613
    Jun 6 at 17:35
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    And assuming the issues are more than just "flood service fans/dehumidifier" but also (as is often, but not always the case, repainting/wallpaper or even replacing drywall and cabinets, it may be worth consulting a lawyer who specializes in homeowners insurance. The insurance company is likely excluding everything based on the magic word "flood". That is automatically excluded in many policies as the federal government offers special, additional cost, flood insurance. But that "flood insurance" is for storms/river overflow/etc. and not for burst pipes, Jun 6 at 17:44
  • which arguably should (but depends on the fine print) be covered by regular homeowners insurance. Jun 6 at 17:44

3 Answers 3


Days. Or weeks. Or longer.

Relevant factors:

  • Outdoor climate
  • Indoor climate
  • Severity of the flood
  • Airflow in flooded areas
  • Affected material type
  • Affected material volume
  • Production capacity of the dehumidifier
  • Water disposal mechanism
  • Ongoing usage of the space

Run it until the relative humidity in the room isn't substantially higher than that elsewhere in the home. Keep airflow happening for some time after to distribute any residual moisture.

However, I'd argue that if your outdoor RH is fairly low, a dehumidifier doesn't do much for you. If you can circulate air well and exhaust it to the outdoors you'll dry things out about as quickly as can be done. Dehumidifiers are much slower by comparison.


There is no "standard"

It depends on many factors like how long was it soaking, what materials have been exposed to water.

It depends what dehumidifying equipment and methods used. Since you are removing humidity which is water vapor, heat up that room to aide water vapor.

I would start with a week while constantly checking the humidity levels, compared to the rest of home.

Worst case you will have to completely remodel the bathroom.

As for insurance, they should pay for accidents (like yours), not for slow leaks.


As long as it takes for the moisture content of the walls, floors, carpet to drop to a suitable level.

That level might be in the fine print of your insurance, or pick a number based on sampling at a known dry location in the home or area.

There exist specialist probes like this to read the moisture content level. These are intended for carpets - the prongs will leave dents in walls etc.

Don't trust your fingers to tell you if something is damp or dry - they can be completely misleading, leaving you with hidden damp in the future.

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Search terms used to find these: moisture probe carpet flood

  • 2
    Given the likely damage caused by the water, a few holes from the prongs in walls are probably not a concern. Drywall repair (or complete replacement) and painting need to be done already
    – mmathis
    Jun 8 at 0:33
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    How are these "intended for carpets"? I've seen such devices in regular use by experts for concrete and stone walls ... Jun 10 at 14:57
  • @HagenvonEitzen I had a flood at work once (waterchiller popped its plumbed in line and drained for an entire weekend) The flood specialists used tools like this directly on the carpetted floor to measure through the pile and into the structure below rather than having to tear up carpet for a direct inspection. The carpet felt "dry" after 2~3 days, but it took a solid week of industrial dehumidifiers to test as dry. My point was its not intended for books or furniture faces or anything where the surface is important, the spikes need to push in to read well.
    – Criggie
    Jun 11 at 1:25

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