Can a Dehumidifier Damage Walls? (Can Low Humidity Cause Drywall Cracking?)

How Does A Dehumidifier Affect Walls?

Besides removing excess moisture from the air, dehumidifiers can also reduce allergens, dust, pet dander and even help prevent mold. Similarly, you can use dehumidifiers to prevent or minimize water damage in home structures.

A dehumidifier typically won’t damage walls. However, too little humidity can cause cracks in drywall, wallpaper, and paint. It’s essential to avoid using a dehumidifier to make the paint dry faster, as it can cause bubbling, cracks, and other imperfections. 

This article will explain more about when to use a dehumidifier, if using one can cause cracks, and how humidity can affect your home. Keep reading.


Can a Dehumidifier Cause Cracks?

A dehumidifier can cause cracks in fresh paint if the paint hasn’t had enough time to ‘cure’ or set properly. Using a dehumidifier to make the paint dry faster can cause cracks and bubbling to appear in the recently applied paint. 

Paint requires an adequate drying time for a smooth, nice finish. Especially for big paint jobs, such as painting a very large room, it can be tempting to utilize a dehumidifier to speed up the drying process.

In the end, a dehumidifier might cause you to start over and paint again, possibly costing you time and money.

How To Speed Up the Drying Process of Paint

If you’re in a rush and need to shorten the amount of time it takes to dry large amounts of paint, it’s better to open the window or use fans instead of a dehumidifier. As long as there’s no inclement weather, opening a window will let in the fresh air that’ll quickly dry out the paint.

Fans will also quickly dry paint without causing cracks or bubbles to appear within the paint.


Can You Use a Dehumidifier To Dry Plaster?

You can use a dehumidifier to dry plaster if you use it appropriately. If you don’t, you can ruin the plaster’s natural curing process and cause cracking. 

If the area you’re working in is high in humidity, you can use a dehumidifier to dry plaster. Using a dehumidifier can bring the humidity down to a level where the plaster can dry smoothly. Typically, the ideal humidity for the plaster to dry nicely is between 60% to 80%.


Can Low Humidity Cause Drywall Cracking?

Low humidity can cause the drywall to crack. Because drywall is a porous material, it requires an average humidity level to maintain its form. Fortunately, you can find a piece of special equipment to help you check your humidity levels.

If you notice cracks in your drywall, you might want to use an Inkbird Humidity Controller (available on Amazon.com) to measure the humidity levels in specific areas of your house. The sensor can tell you if the drywall cracking is due to a low humidity level.

 

Inkbird Humidity Controller IHC200 Humidistat Mushroom Greenhouse Pre Wired Outlet Dual Stage Humidifier Dehumidifier

 

Can You Use a Dehumidifier in a Dry Environment?

You can use a dehumidifier in a naturally dry environment. However, using a dehumidifier can increase the dryness of the air to uncomfortable levels, causing skin dryness, exacerbating pneumonia, and more. 

It’s best to use a dehumidifier in naturally humid or wet environments. A home in a dry climate won’t likely need a dehumidifier to remove moisture from the air, as there won’t be much there, to begin with.


Does Humidity Cause Walls To Crack?

Changes in humidity can cause walls to crack as the material settles from the fluctuating changes. Too much humidity in a home can cause several problems, such as water damage, mold, and mildew.

Excess moisture can cause water damage, weaken structures, and destroy the stability of the material in your home. When there’s too much humidity, mold can also thrive.

Molds like black mold can develop, causing health issues like asthma, sore throats, and coughing if left untreated.

In areas of your home where the humidity is high, like the bathroom and kitchen, mildew may grow in hard-to-reach spots.


Tips for Removing Mold Growth From Areas in Your Home

Mold can grow unchecked in the presence of high humidity or water damage. It’s essential to remove mold quickly and entirely from your living areas to avoid unwanted health issues.

 

Shinco 2,000 Sq.Ft Dehumidifier for Basements, Home, Office, Bedroom, Bathroom, Laundry room and Garage. Auto or Manual Drain, Quietly Remove Moisture & Control Humidity

 

Here are a few ways to remove mold from your home:

  • Use a dehumidifier. A Shinco Dehumidifier (available on Amazon.com) is quiet and has an auto-timer to help continuously reduce the moisture level in your home, reducing humidity so that more mold doesn’t grow.
  • Get a mildew/mold remover. A Tilex Mold and Mildew Remover (available on Amazon.com) can kill mold and mildew on common surfaces where it grows, like kitchen counters, sinks, showers, or bathroom tiles.
  • Hire a contractor to remove water damage. If the water damage in your home is too extensive and you can’t repair it yourself, you may have to hire a professional. A professional can remove the materials with water damage and replace them with newer, dry material.
  • Use an industrial dehumidifier for large areas. An industrial dehumidifier such as the RINKMO 296 PPD Commercial Dehumidifier (available on Amazon.com) can remove moisture from larger areas. It works much more efficiently than a regular dehumidifier can.

Tips for Repairing Drywall Cracks

If a change in humidity has caused drywall cracks, you can repair them fairly easily by yourself.

You’ll need the following:

 

  • Drywall Tape: This Duck Drywall Joint Tape (available on Amazon.com) can help you quickly repair holes in your drywall by taping off the desired area. It’s made of fiberglass mesh, with a 0.2 mm thickness.
  • A Putty Knife: This Amazon Basics Putty Knife (available on Amazon.com) will help you spread the drywall repair compound over the crack. It has a nylon handle that provides you with a sturdy grip. The product also comes with a 1-year limited warranty.
  • A Sander: This Warner Manufacturing Hand Sander (available on Amazon.com) comes with an easy-to-grip handle to sand the repaired drywall once it has dried. It’s great for quick touch-ups or light-duty jobs.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, a dehumidifier used correctly won’t cause cracks in walls. However, it would be best not to use a dehumidifier to dry paint faster because it can cause bubbles, cracking, and other imperfections. It’s better to use fans or open windows to help speed up the drying process of paint. If you already live in a dry environment, using a dehumidifier will usually not be beneficial as it may just make the air drier.

A dehumidifier can also prevent the growth of mold and drywall cracks that appear from having too much moisture in the air.


Sources

You may also be interested in… Is Water From Dehumidifiers Good For Anything? and Can You Run a Garbage Disposal Without Water?