How Long Does Drywall Take To Dry Out?

logo by Editorial Staff | Posted on December 20th, 2022

If you’ve recently had some drywall work done in your home or had water damage, you may wonder how long it takes to dry out. The answer is that it depends on a few factors, but the good news is that you can take steps to speed up the process. This blog post will look at how long it takes for drywall to dry out and what steps you can take to ensure it does so quickly and efficiently.

How Long Does Drywall Take To Dry Out

Drywall takes around 24 hours to dry in optimal conditions. The room’s temperature should be around 70°F, and humidity at 70% or lower. Different types of drywall mud can take different lengths of time to dry. All-purpose drywall mud takes the longest, while fast-drying spackle can take just a few minutes. If it’s humid or raining, regular mud can take up to two or three days to dry.

brown wooden table beside white wall

Larger homes may require up to four days to dry out. However, it’s important to note that you won’t necessarily be able to see the damage for a week or more after the process is complete. It’s important to use ventilation and a dehumidifier or fans when drying out wet drywall, as this can help speed up the process.

Drywall can take a long time to dry out, depending on the extent of the water damage. If the damage is minimal, a towel and a fan may be enough to dry it out.

However, if the damage is more extensive, it can take up to 48 hours for the drywall to dry. It’s important to prevent mold growth by drying out the wet walls and insulation as quickly as possible. If the wet walls are not dried within 48 hours, mold clusters can form and cause additional damage.

Understanding the Process

The drying out of drywall can be involved, but it’s important to understand the entire process so you can know just how long it will take.

The drywall comprises gypsum and paper; when it gets wet, the paper part swells and softens. This process is called “hydrating,” and it will cause the drywall to expand. If left untreated, this can lead to mold and mildew buildup, further damaging the drywall and creating a hazardous environment.

The first step in drying out wet drywall is to remove any excess moisture from the area. This can be done using a wet/dry vacuum or a shop vac to suck up any standing water. Then, use fans to help circulate air around the space and encourage evaporation. If possible, open windows or use an exhaust fan to speed up the process.

Once the excess moisture has been removed, you will want to patch any holes or cracks in the drywall caused by water damage. You can use joint compound or spackle for this purpose.

Once these fixes are complete, you must let the compound dry before adding paint or texture. The time it takes for the compound to dry will vary depending on factors like temperature and humidity, but generally, it takes around 24-48 hours.

Factors That Affect Drying Time

When it comes to drywall, several factors can affect the amount of time it takes to dry. Temperature, humidity, ventilation, type of paint, and other environmental factors can all affect how long it takes for the drywall to dry out.

Temperature is one of the most important factors regarding how long it takes for drywall to dry out. The mud will take longer to dry if the room temperature is too low. On the other hand, if the room temperature is too high, the mud may dry out too quickly and could cause cracking or bubbling of the wall. The optimal room temperature for drywall projects is between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Humidity also affects how long it takes for drywall to dry out. High humidity levels mean more moisture in the air, which can cause water in the spackle to evaporate more slowly. This can increase drying times significantly.

Ventilation plays an important role in keeping humidity levels low and allowing air to circulate in the space where you are working on a drywall project. Good air circulation will help to reduce humidity levels and speed up the drying time of the mud patches.

The type of paint you use can also affect drying times. Latex paints tend to be much quicker drying than oil-based paints, so if you’re looking to speed up the process, opt for latex paints.

What is the Optimal Room Temperature?

The optimal conditions for drying drywall mud consist of a temperature within the range of 65-80 degrees Fahrenheit and a humidity level that is below 70%. If you’re like the average homeowner with a 70-degree temperature and 70% humidity, drywall mud will take 24 hours to dry.

If the temperature is lower than 65°F, the drywall will take longer than 24 hours to dry. Higher temperatures do not affect the drying time of the finishing compound anywhere near to the extent that humidity does. Also, if the temperature rises above 80°F, it can cause the compound to become brittle, which can result in cracking and other damage.

What Should You Do with Excess Moisture?

When confronted with wet drywall, it’s important to take the necessary steps to remove the excess moisture. One of the most common methods is to use a dehumidifier. Dehumidifiers can help reduce the humidity in a room and speed up the drying process.

You may also consider using a fan to help circulate the air and promote faster drying. It’s also important to remember that it’s not just the drywall that needs to be dried out but also any insulation or other materials that were affected by the moisture. Check all the affected areas and take the necessary steps to dry them out before re-hanging the drywall properly.

Does Humidity Affect Drywall?

Humidity can have a significant impact on the drying time of drywall. When there is high humidity, the air retains more moisture, and drying takes longer. Regular mud can take up to three days to dry in humid conditions, while quick-setting drywall mud can take anywhere from 5-90 minutes. Topping drywall mud takes approximately 16 hours to dry.

As humidity increases, it will take longer for the mud to dry out. So if you are experiencing high humidity in your area, it may be best to delay any drywalling project until the humidity drops. This will ensure that your drywall dries correctly and will not become damaged from moisture seeping into the walls.

Is Ventilation Necessary?

Regarding the drywall drying process, ventilation is a major factor. Poorly ventilated spaces can cause moisture to build up and prevent drywall from drying properly. If the air in the room is too humid, it will take longer for the drywall to dry out.

Ensure that your drywall is drying out properly and the room has adequate ventilation. Open windows and doors or use fans to ensure that air is circulating, as this will help reduce the room’s humidity levels and allow the walls to dry out faster.

Does the Type of Paint Matter?

When painting drywall, the type of paint you use can significantly affect drying time. Latex paints are usually dry to the touch within an hour, while oil-based paints can take up to six or eight hours. Primers also vary in drying time; latex primers can be applied in a single coat and will dry in about four hours, while oil-based primers can take up to 24 hours before they’re ready for a second coat.

Fast-drying spackle is often used for patching minor defects in the wall and usually takes just a few minutes to dry. Of course, it’s important to consider the amount of paint you’re applying. If too much paint is used, it can cause decorating nonuniformity on the wall surface and may require sanding before the painting is finished.

It’s important to ensure that the paint is completely dry before beginning the next step, as moisture can cause bubbling or blistering of the paint. To speed up the process, ensure you’re working in a well-ventilated room with optimal room temperature and low humidity. You may also consider using a fan or dehumidifier to help dry out any excess moisture.

Can You Speed Up the Process?

If you’re in a rush, there are several things you can do to speed up the drying time of drywall. One of the most effective methods is to use a fast-drying (quick set) drywall mud. Standard drywall muds take around a whole day to dry, but fast-drying mud can reduce that time dramatically.

Applying thinner coatings, as they take less time to dry overall, and using a drying gun, which uses electric heat on surfaces, can also help to speed up the process. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for use and safety when using these tools. Finally, if you’re working in an area with higher temperatures and lower humidity levels, this can also help to speed up the process significantly.

Should You Use a Dehumidifier or Fan?

When drying out damp drywall, there are two options: a dehumidifier or a fan. A dehumidifier will pull the moisture out of the air, while a fan will blow the air around and help to move the moisture away from the drywall.

Both can be effective, but it’s important to note that a dehumidifier is more powerful than a fan and may be necessary if the drywall is very wet. When using either option, it’s important to have all windows and doors closed so humidity and moisture can be properly managed. If you have a fan with an oscillation feature, you can use this to disperse the air more quickly and help to dry out your walls faster.

What If It Gets Wet Again After Drying Out?

Once your drywall has been dried out, it is important to ensure it does not get wet again. If the drywall becomes wet again, it will likely take longer to dry out and may cause damage to the structure of the wall.

To prevent this from happening, seal any cracks in the walls or around windows, check on the dehumidifier regularly, and use a moisture meter to check for excess moisture regularly. If you can identify the source of the water and fix it quickly, you can reduce the risk of further damage to your drywall.

Can Heat Affect The Drying Time of Drywall Compounds and Joint Compounds?

The temperature of the room you’re working in dramatically affects how quickly your drywall and joint compound will dry. For example, if you’re working in a hot environment, the drying time will be much shorter than if you were working in a cooler space. Hotter temperatures cause the drying process to accelerate, meaning that the drying time is greatly reduced.

This is especially true for hot mud, which can dry in as little as one hour. For thicker applications, all-purpose and topping mud will take a bit longer to dry, usually about 24 hours. However, this time can vary depending on the humidity level and temperature of the room. It’s always belts. Check the label for specific drying times for your product of choice.


Drywall is an essential part of any construction project and is used to create smooth, even surfaces in walls and ceilings. But how long does drywall take to dry out? While the drying time can vary depending on several factors, the general recommendation is 24 hours.

However, some manufacturers may reduce this time to 12 hours by taking shortcuts that will not affect the finished product. You can speed up the process by using a fan, dehumidifier, or heat source or ensuring proper ventilation. It is also important to sand the drywall to get a smooth finish after drying out. Contact your local water dryout specialist for heavy water damage or general construction consultation.


Editorial Staff

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