We need water to live, but when it fills our homes it can make them uninhabitable for great lengths of time. This is because it often comes with bacteria and germs that leave the entire space full of mold spores long after the water has disappeared. This is one of the reasons that water damage restoration can become so costly - it may call for removal and replacement of large amounts of building materials.
There are no "standard" costs for any sort of water damage restoration, but there are few basic factors that can help to explain the prices attached to any of the work. For the purpose of this discussion we will investigate a water damage restoration project and its many activities and associated fees.
- Price issues - one of the first things to know about water damage is that it comes in a number of "types". For one thing the level of damage depends upon the maximum height that the water reached in the home. For instance, a broken pipe may have left two to three inches of water in the basement, or an overflowing river may have flooded the building to the second floor. Additionally, contractors have to base their pricing on the type of water that is to be removed. These include:
- Clean water - this is "risk" free water that comes from pipes and indoor plumbing. This is the least expensive sort of damage to deal with;
- Grey water - this is the sort of water that comes from areas that might contain chemical, biological, or physical contaminants. This might be water coming from laundry equipment or commercial kitchens, and it is a bit more difficult to handle because it may contain materials that will easily make inhabitants ill if they are exposed to it; and
- Black water - this is the worst and most expensive flooding to deal with because it is highly toxic and contains such things as sewage and natural flood waters.
- Size - though the height of the water is significant, so too is the size of the space that it contaminated. All water damage restoration contractors will estimate the cost of any project using the square footage of the structure as a base;
- Extent of the damage - a few inches of water in a basement or an entire ground level of a home full of flood waters are two radically different scenarios, and the extent of the damage will guide the cost of the project; and
- Materials - the last issue that determines the cost of the project is the materials that the contractor will have to deal with. For instance, once removal of all water is done, they will have to use their drying equipment to preserve whatever materials they can and then they will have to clean up and restore the space. If the home had solid wood floors this will take longer to assess than carpeting which would be removed immediately.
Generally, a homeowner can purchase insurance to protect themselves against complete loss, but it is vitally important to act quickly as many contractors begin increasing their pricing within 48 hours after the water damage first occurred.