Fans to Dry Out Water Damage – Best Fans & How to Use Them

Dealing with Water Damage? Not sure if you should try using fans to help Dry out the Water?

In this guide you’ll learn:

  • If Fans can Help Dry out Water Damage & Best Fans to use,
  • How to Use a Fan to Dry out Water Damage Effectively,
  • Difference between Fans VS Dehumidifiers & Which are more effective when dealing with water damage.

Can a Fan Help Dry Water Damage?

While they might not necessarily be the most ideal option when it comes to drying out water damage, fans certainly have their place in being able to help.  

The unfortunate thing is that they work best when the air around them is dry, so that is certainly a factor that has to be considered when they are being used.  

However, if you want to use something else but all you have is a fan, it’s better than nothing as you run out to grab another method of dealing with the issue.

Best Fans to Use

1.Centrifugal Air Movers

One of the most popular fans to use for water damage are Centrifugal Air movers (Snail fans) . This nickname comes from the snail-like shape that they have, with a large cylindrical in-port that sucks in air, and funnels down to a narrow portion for the out-port.

The best usage for Snail Fans is to blow under rugs to dry out moisture in them, or underneath furniture if it is hard to reach.  However, they can be angled so that they aim at a wall as well.

Although they can be stacked on top of each other, this would change their aim.  Whereas, normally they are horizontally, working best for a carpet, they’d have to be changed to a vertical angle.

2.Axial Air Movers

Another option is an Axial Air mover.  This option is the most stereotypical-looking fan within the contenders.

Pulling air in on one side and blowing it out on the other, they have stands that allow them to pivot and be directed in specific areas, allowing them to be aimed at a floor or the wall.

An axial fan is most effective at top-down water damage drying, as opposed to the snail fan which is able to get underneath. Therefore, snail fans tend to get at the source more effectively. 

Whereas the snail fan generally has one size, though, you’ll be able to find an entire range of size axial fans in just about any home improvement store.

3.Downdraft Restoration Fan

Another fan to consider is called the Downdraft Restoration fan.  The industrial versions of it are fairly large, but can be rented for a few hundred dollars to help deal with water or flood damage.

The industrial size is about the size of a small table, with wheels on the bottom.  The fan can be tilted to face up or straight down, but it’s extremely effective at drying water damage.

The big difference with this and the others is that due to the size, you really only would need one for a standard basement.  Additionally,  you probably won’t be able to get it into tight spaces as you would with the others.  

However, there are more compact versions of this fan, which can provide a similar stream at a smaller scale.  But, you can easily stack them to ramp up the airflow in case you are dealing with a lot of water.  This kind of fan is certainly easier to stack, as compared to the other fans because in this case, it doesn’t impact the airflow.

4.Low Profile/Thrust Air Movers

These fans are similar to the snail fans in that their exit port for the air is thin and facing downward.  

The difference lies in the in-port.  In this fan, the fan is parallel with the ground, making it a much shorter fan, vertically-speaking.

Due to this difference, the low profile fans are much more adept at drying water damage in areas such as under furniture or under a rug, since you can actually put it as close as possible to the wet area.

Additionally, these stack as well as the downdraft personal versions, since stacking them won’t affect the air flow.  The only problem is that they are not able to change angles, unless they’d have something else to lean on.

5.Floor & Cavity Dryer

Lastly, another option is a Floor and Cavity dryer.  This is certainly the most unique design of the various types of fans being discussed.  The actual fan part is not that big, but it extends farther because of various tubes and pads that are a part of the design.

If they’re going to be used to dry water damaged floor, there’s a specific mat that has ports to accommodate the tubing, so that it’s entirely covered.  If it’s going to be used to dry a wall, then the tubing may be put directly into the wall.

The main difference that a floor and cavity dryer has from the other fans, is the fact that it blows hot air when it’s turned on.  This can certainly help with turning the water into a gas which can either be sucked out of the wall, or even caught in the pad on the floor.

However, due to all the parts to it, it’s definitely a lot harder to set up and costs a lot more to purchase/rent.

Water Damage?

Call 844-488-0570 for a Risk Free estimate from a Licensed Water Damage Restoration Specialist in your area.

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How To Use Fans To Dry Out Water Damage:

Arranging the Fans

The best way to orient fans is to have them facing away from the objects/areas that have soaked up water and need to be dried.  When it’s facing this way, it allows the fan to pull the moisture out of the air and move it somewhere else most effectively.

This will help lower the humidity of the area by dispersing the amount of water in the air. 

How Many Are Needed?

As many as you can get, although just having one will be able to help out considerably.

The thing to note is that a fan isn’t going to be able to get rid of a massive puddle, it will be able to dry spots that are mostly dry. So it’s generally better as a supplemental tool to a dehumidifier in the case of a large spill.

How Long Should You Run Fans After Water Damage

If you are getting a different means to deal with the issue, then you should run a fan for as long as it takes you to find a replacement for it.

Additionally, you can run it after the main portion of water has been picked up for a few hours to try and dry it up as much as possible.  However, be sure not to do so if there is mold in the area, because the fan might spread the spores around the room.

Fans Vs Dehumidifier for Water Damage

Either can be used to deal with water damage, however, they both have different aspects in which they are able to perform their task most efficiently.

In the case of dehumidifiers not only they will actually collect the moisture from the air, they are able to dry water damage even if the area has very moist air. Meanwhile, a fan is less effective the more humid the air is.

However, a dehumidifier is not able to work very well in open, outdoor spaces, since it needs to have a contained and controlled environment to be able to focus on. But a fan can work in either outdoor or indoor spaces.

This is due to the fact that fans, generally, are able to dry the surface level of water damage.  This makes them most effective to dry areas such as drywall paneling or the top of a puddle.

Dehumidifiers, on the other hand, are able to draw the water damage from deep areas, such as in wooden floorboards, or within drywall. Or even hard to reach places, like a vent.

Fans tend to be a little more common than dehumidifiers, so they can be found in just about any store.

If you are dealing with Serious Water Damage both Fans and Dehumidifiers will need to be used!

What To Consider When Purchasing/ Renting a Floor Drying Fan

The main thing you want to consider is this: What kind of material are you trying to dry?  Is it a carpet or cement? Or wood?

If it is a carpet, then you’ll want a fan that blows low currents so that it can get under the fibers of the carpet and really dry it at the source.

However, if it is cement, then a larger fan will be able to gather the water in a better manner.

Also, you’ll want to think about whether the water damage is inside or outside.  If it is outside then it would be a more accessible spot for a giant industrial fan, which will be able to grab a lot of moisture and move it to another area.

Lastly, you’ll want to consider getting a special restoration fan. Although they are pricier, they’re the must useful in helping return certain materials, such as wood, to their former glory. 

How Much Do Industrial Drying Fans Cost?


Of course it will vary for each establishment, but the general cost of renting a unit costs about 20 dollars for a 4-hour block, and 30 dollars per day.  This is at places like Home Depot, Lowe’s, Menards.  

Home Depot and Lowe’s offer a 24 inch fan, while Menards has fans that are 36 inches wide. 

In case you need extra time to dry an area out, you can keep the unit for as long as you need.  Naturally the fee will be higher the longer that you have it.

Renting from United rentals will save you money because their fee for a day is 21 dollars per day.  The only drawback being that they have less branches than a Home Depot or Lowe’s.


Similar to renting, most of the prices are pretty close when it comes to the different distributors.

In case you want to consider buying a unit, Lowe’s will sell a 24-inch fan for around 150 dollars.  Meanwhile they can also sell a 36-inch wide fan for 260 dollars.

Home Depot sells their 24-inch fan at around 140 dollars.

When to Call a Professional

It’s perfectly possible to dry a small spill on your own with a fan, if there are large amounts of water or it’s covering a very large area – regular fans can only do so much.

It’s important to dry out the water properly as soon as possible to avoid serious water damage and even larger problems.

If there are large amounts of water, Getting the correct equipment needed to do it properly might cost the same/even more than getting in a water damage restoration team that already has all the equipment needed to do this.

Not only do they have the equipment needed,they also have the crucial experience needed to properly dry out the water before it has a chance to do very expensive water damage.

You’ll also want to reach out if there is sewage within the leakage. Trying to dry this up without proper ventilation and knowledge can lead to sickness and disease.

If there are signs of mold in the area that the water was, be sure not to dry the area with a fan to avoid spreading the spores via the fan.

We have Water Damage Restoration Technicians that can help Dry out the Water Damage, Deal with the source of the water & Repair any Water Damage caused.

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