How much does it cost to have a flooded basement cleanup?
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Flooded Basement Cleanup Cost Guide
Updated: August 17, 2022
Typically, a flooded basement comes at the worst possible time and leaves tons of damage and destruction in its wake. Fortunately, professional cleanup services are available to help mitigate the problem and get your basement back in good condition. Whether you’re dealing with a flooded basement from storms or weather-related flooding, or due to an issue with water backup, you need to call professionals right away to stop the damage from getting worse.
The national average cost for cleaning up a flooded basement is between $2,000 and $7,000. Most people spend around $4,000 for full flood remediation and cleanup of a 500 to 800 sq.ft. basement with 2 feet of water and category 2 damage. At the low end of the price range, you find basic cleanup services for as little as $1,000 for minimal water removal in a space of 500 sq.ft. or less, at category level 1. A serious category 3 cleanout with major damage restoration in a larger space costs up to $15,000.
Basement Flooding Restoration Cost
|Flooded Basement Cleanup Cost
|National average cost
Flooded Basement Cleanup Cost by Basement Size
The size of your basement is also going to impact what you pay for flood cleanup. Typically, jobs are priced based on the severity of the flooding and/or damage as well as the size of the space that needs to be cleaned. Most flood cleanup services charge an average of $3.50 to $7.25 per square foot. Keep in mind that while the size may impact cost, the severity of the damage (discussed above) will also impact costs. Based on size alone, we’ve created a table where you’ll see a breakdown of the most common sizes and what it costs to clean up flood damage in each.
|Average Cost (Labor Included)
|$1,750 - $3,620
|$3,500 - $7,250
|$4,200 - $8,700
|$5,250 - $10,870
|$6,300 - $13,000
Flooded Basement Cleanup Cost by Category
Different levels of water damage and their required cleaning protocols and costs are divided into three categories. The most common category of water loss is Category 2, which comes from things like appliance or sump pump failure, and typically costs about $8,000 to clean up. There are different categories when it comes to flooding in your basement because the cost to restore a minor flood issue is going to be much lower than the cost to repair a major water loss or flooding problem, obviously. The category that you have in your house will impact how much you spend on cleanup, as well as what type of assistance you need. Below, we’ll discuss the three categories of water loss and floodwater, including what causes each, what damage can result, and the best course of action to take.
The labor costs associated with flooded basements vary. You can expect to see a similar service menu from most places. They will have a service list that includes different levels of water cleanup, including square footage rates based on the type of damage. For example, a company might separate its rates into category 1, 2, and 3 damage and then by square footage.
|Category of Loss
|Price per Sq.Ft. (Labor Included)
|Average Cost (Labor Included)
|$3.50 - $4.25
|$1,000 - $5,000
|$4.10 - $5
|$4,000 - $8,000
|$6.25 - $7.25
|$10,000 - $15,000
Category 1 Water Loss
This is the least severe type of water damage, and is often referred to as “clear water flood damage.” You can expect clean-up for this category to run an average of $1,000 to $5,000. This water is usually free of toxins, sewage, and harmful bacteria because it comes from broken pipes, supply lines, appliances that have overflowed, or similar sources. This is usually an easy situation to resolve because there is less disinfecting and mitigating the damage since the water is clean to begin with. Clean water damage is usually easy to clean and dry with few lasting effects on the space when properly cleaned.
Category 2 Water Loss
Also known as gray water cleanup, this is the second category of water damage from flood waters. With category 2 flood damage, you can expect to pay an average of $4,000 to $8,000. This water may be contaminated or more dangerous because it could come from appliances like toilets or washing machines, or even a backed up sump pump. This water may not be excessively harmful, but it still needs to be removed promptly and the basement needs to be disinfected and properly repaired because this damage can be harmful over time if it isn’t mediated properly.
Category 3 Flood Water
This is the most severe category of water damage and backup, and is also known as black water clean up. This cleanup can easily run up to $10,000 to $15,000, depending on the size of the space and the amount of damage. This flooding and backup requires immediate action for the safety of the residents because of serious health risks. Black water can be from sewage, storm-related flood waters, groundwater, and even from rivers or sea water. When this water gets into your basement, most of the items will need to be thrown out or completely disinfected and cleaned before they can be safe to use. This is typically the most expensive type of flood cleanup because of the hazardous risks involved.
Basement Flooding Repair Cost by Class of Damage
Along with the category of water and the size of the flooded area, the extent of the damage or class also factors into the cost for your flood basement cleanup. Flood damage cleanup will be classified one through four. Class one damage is the least harmful with minimal absorption of water in the basement materials. If a flood cleanup is labeled a Class 2, there will be some water absorption in materials, such as carpet, and the evaporation rate of the water will be higher. Class 3 is typically significantly more absorption damage and is often caused by sudden bursts of water such as broken pipes. The most damaging class of damage is Class 4, which likely will require special water removal procedures and restoration. Concrete and flooring are likely damaged at this level. Below you will see the average cost you can expect to pay based on the class of damage that has occurred.
|Average Cost (Labor Included)
|$1,000 - $3,000
|$3,500 - $6,000
|$4,000 - $8,000
|$10,000 - $15,000
Basement Water Damage Repair Cost by Type of Damage
There are plenty of variables that are involved, but the average cost of repairs after basement flooding ranges from $75 to $15,000, depending on the severity of the damage and type of repair or replacement required. This is in addition to the cleanup and water removal cost. From damaged floors and walls to serious foundation issues, any number of problems could arise after a serious flood or water backup issue that could lead to various water damage restoration costs. In the table and subsections below, you’ll learn about the most common repairs involved after a basement flood and what they entail, as well as the average basement water damage repair cost for each.
|Type of Repair
|Average Cost (Labor Included)
|$75 - $300
|$200 - $600
|Water Damaged Wood Repair
|$200 - $2,000
|Restarting Furnace After Flood
|$250 - $1,500
|$250 - $8,000
|Flood Cut Drywall Repair
|$300 - $485
|$5,000 - $15,000
Flooded Basement Carpet Cleanup
The average cost of carpet cleaning ranges from $75 to $300, depending on the amount of carpet that needs to be cleaned and the severity of the damage or dirt buildup. If the basement that flooded is carpeted and the carpet does not need to be ripped out and replaced, you can pay to have it professionally cleaned. Professional carpet cleaning services or water damage restoration services will be able to perform the cleaning and disinfecting to ensure that the carpet is clean and free of any contaminants so that your basement is once again safe for your family.
Electrical Damage in Flooded Basement
If you need to have electrical repair due to flood damage, you can expect to pay an average of $200 to $600 for a licensed electrician. Mixing water and electricity always spells disaster. Any electrical system where the water level has reached during a flood will likely need to be repaired or replaced. Repairs are often needed for outlets, wiring, and light fixtures but could be necessary for panel boards and appliances if the water level is high.
Water Damaged Wood Repair
Repairing wood from flood damage averages $200 to $2,000, which is one of the biggest issues with flooding. Wood flooring that is damaged by flooding could become quite costly to repair. There are many issues that can come with water damage to wood and other flooring. Small amounts of damage could be as simple as a small replacement. However, you may have to completely remove and replace all of the floors in the basement after a flood, along with any other wood subflooring, framing, and other materials.
Restarting Furnace After Flood
The average cost to repair a furnace after a flood is between $250 and $1,500. In the event of a flood that goes higher than the furnace’s pilot light or electronic ignition, the furnace may need to be repaired or restarted after the flood waters have been removed. If it is a simple re-lighting, it may have a minimal cost. However, if the ignitor or the pilot light needs to be replaced, or if there is more serious repair needed, you could spend hundreds of dollars on furnace repair and replacement.
Basement Leak Repair
If you repair a leaking basement when the issue is minor, you can expect to spend between $250 and $8,000. If, however, you have to repair a leak after a major flood or breakage caused by small issues that were left unresolved, it could cost as much as $10,000 or more when you add in the leak repair, material, and property replacement, sealing, and other costs. If you ignore small leaks, they can quickly become big problems. In an area like the basement where you might not spend a lot of time, these leaks can make a big mess before you even realize something is wrong. In some cases, an unresolved leak could even lead to basement flooding that results in serious damage and hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars in clean up costs.
Flood Cut Drywall Repair
The average cost of drywall repair after a basement flood is between $300 and $485. In the event of flooding that causes damage or molding to drywall, it may need to be cut out and replaced. Often, rather than replacing the entire wall, you can get away with cutting out only the drywall that was exposed to the flood waters. This will reduce the cost of replacement significantly, but it’s still going to be a costly job. The price that you pay will ultimately depend on how much drywall needs to be replaced.
Foundation Issues From Flooding
On average, most people spend $5,000 to $15,000 on flood-related foundation repair. In the case of severe flooding, you could experience major foundation issues. You could experience cracks and leaks that result in pooling or standing water, as well as erosion, shifting or settling, or more severe issues. Depending on the severity of the flooding and damage, the foundation issues could be minor or they could become more expensive. The lowest cost for foundation repair is around $500 to fill and seal minor cracks and the foundation itself, while a full foundation restoration that includes jacking, piers, reinforcing walls, sealing, and other steps could cost as much as $25,000.
Steps Involved in Flooded Basement Cleanup
As soon as you notice standing water there is a specific process that you need to follow to minimize the negative consequences of the basement flooding. First, you need to immediately cut any power to the basement and call in the professionals. This will reduce the risk of electrical shorts and shocks, and make the space safer until help arrives. Stay out of the space. When the flooded basement cleanup service technician arrives, they will attempt to figure out where the flooding is coming from, how much damage there is, and what should be done to resolve the issue.
In the sections below, we’ll discuss the steps involved in the cleanup, and the process involved for basement cleaning and sanitizing for a 500 square foot basement.
Drying Out Flooded Basement
Once the flood water has been removed and the damage has been assessed and attended to, it will be time to dry out the flooded basement. Fans and dehumidifiers will be used to dry out the space. Air purifiers may also be used to remove mildew or other odors when the flood water contains chemicals or other hazardous materials. All of this comes at a cost, which will vary depending on the amount and type of damage, the size of the space, and how much needs to be removed and/or cleaned.
Pump to Remove Water From Basement
This step begins with determining whether the water is still entering the basement or if the flooding has stopped. Once the water has been stopped (if possible), the basement water removal service will remove the water from the basement. Usually, they’ll try to use a submersible pump to get out water that is more than an inch or two deep, but if it’s a small backup, a wet/dry vacuum would be used, as well. Once the water is gone, they will clean up any remaining mud or deposits that have been left behind on the walls or floor.
Disinfecting Basement After Flooding
Anything that can be salvaged after a flood will need to be properly cleaned and disinfected. Soft materials will need to be evaluated for damage to see if they can be cleaned and saved. In the case of severe floods or sewer backup, property may need to be thrown out and replaced for your safety and health. In some cases, they can be cleaned and disinfected and returned to use. The flood mitigation team will determine this. The team will then inspect the drywall and hard surfaces for damage. They will remove and dispose of damaged materials and replace them as needed. Any hard surfaces left behind will be disinfected with bleach or a mixture that contains bleach to kill bacteria and germs.
Basement Flood Causes
In many cases, a basement flood occurs due to poor maintenance or improper care of appliances, sewer systems, gutters, and other areas of the home. By making sure that you keep your appliances in good working order and have your pipes regularly cleaned and inspected, you can prevent a lot of potential risks on your own. Not only that, but you need to get to the root of the problem in order to prevent further flooding and water damage. In the sections below, you’ll see the most common causes of flooding and backup in the basement, as well as what each costs to clean up, as well as how you can prevent them and what you should do if the issue happens to you.
Water Heater Flooding Basement
When a water heater fails, it can unload every gallon of water that it holds onto the basement floor. If you don’t have a central drain or if the drain is clogged, this could result in flooding. Some water heaters hold 50-60 gallons of water or more, and that’s going to make a big mess. In the event of any water heater system failure, you’ll want to disconnect the electricity or turn off the breaker immediately and contact a cleanup team right away.
Sewage Backup Cleanup
Sewage backup is perhaps one of the worst basement flooding issues that you can have. When sewage backs up into your home, it smells awful and causes a lot of damage. More importantly, the fumes and bacteria can be deadly with prolonged exposure. Regular sewer inspections and cleaning will help prevent major issues. In the event of a sewer backup of any kind, you should vacate the home immediately and call a cleanup crew for emergency service. They will be able to advise you on the next steps and whether you should contact your home insurance company.
Pipe Burst in Basement
Of all the flooding problems, pipes bursting is far more common than others. This happens for several reasons, from simple degradation and wear as well as due to freezing and thawing in extreme temperatures. Having a pipe burst will require the water to be shut off in order to be repaired. You should make sure to have your pipes inspected at least once or twice a year and insulate them properly to protect against potential bursts or leaks. If there is a problem, shut the water off immediately and call for help.
Washing Machine Flooded Basement
Washing machines are notorious for flooding basements and laundry rooms. There are so many things that can go wrong, from a drainage failure to a simple electronic malfunction that causes excess water overflow. Appliances are typically the easiest to clean up after when it comes to flooding and other damages, but they still require immediate attention. If the washing machine fails and causes a flood, you need to disconnect the power immediately and call a flood cleanup crew to remove the standing water and get the area back in usable condition before mold and mildew set in.
Drainage System Failure
In areas where the water table is high or there is heavy rainfall, having a drainage system in place can help prevent a lot of water issues, including backup and flooding. However, the system needs to be properly maintained and inspected over time to ensure that it doesn’t fail. If the system clogs or fails in another way, a basement flood is going to be imminent. This is a common problem in older homes, and it needs to be addressed immediately to prevent further damage. You should call the pros as soon as you notice an issue.
Clogged Gutters Water in Basement
If your gutters are clogged and result in water getting into the foundation, this could cause a lot of issues. Gutters are designed to run rainwater away from your home and keep your foundation protected. However, gutters that are clogged or damaged could allow water to sheet right off the roof down to the edge of the building and foundation. It could also result in water seeping into the basement and creating a flood. This is common in areas with a lot of falling debris, although it can be avoided by keeping gutters clean and functional throughout the year and inspecting them regularly.
Basement Sealing in Poor Condition
Improper sealing or a lack of any sealing could be a direct cause of ongoing water issues. Sealing or waterproofing your basement should be your first priority when you move into a house if it hasn’t been done already. Improper sealing could lead to flooding not because of any kind of foundation or structural issues, but just because concrete is a porous material. You can often even reduce your home insurance costs by properly sealing your basement to reduce the risk of flooding. In many cases, when a team cleans up flood or water damage from improper sealing, applying a new seal will be part of the job. An unsealed basement can also lead to mold and mildew growth, which can become dangerous for your health and needs to be addressed immediately.
Dangers of Flooded Basement
Beyond the annoyance of a flooded basement, there are several other damages and dangers that could present themselves. This depends on how much water is present, how quickly it can be cleaned up, and where the water came from. For example, stormwater backup might only be a danger for mold and mildew, while sewage backup could cause issues with things like e.Coli, salmonella, and other harmful bacteria that come with serious health risks. Even something like basic mold growth can start as early as within the first 48 hours.
As discussed earlier, the color of the water can typically help you figure out how serious the issues will be or what type of dangers are present. Clear water is typically from burst pipes, while gray water could be from the outdoors or an appliance, and it could contain contaminants or chemicals that are dangerous. Black water is the most dangerous since it typically comes from sewer lines or other drainage pipes that can be filled with harmful levels of bacteria. Most sewage backup issues require leaving the home for safety until the issue is resolved. There are also dangers of electrical shortages or material damage that can result from a flooded basement to consider.
Servpro vs ServiceMaster
Servpro and ServiceMaster are two national brands that are known for offering flooded basement cleanup services. They are not the only companies available, but as industry leaders, it is helpful to look at their average costs and see what people are paying. In the table and sections below, we’ll explore both service providers, including their average rates for flooded basement cleanup including labor and materials.
|Average Total Cost (Labor Included)
|$3,000 - $10,000
|$3,500 - $15,000
The average cost for flood damage cleanup when hiring ServiceMaster is between $3,000 to $10,000. ServiceMaster prides itself on its responsiveness providing 24-hour emergency floor damage service. They can solve your basement flooding issue from start to finish by providing a full inspection, water removal and drying services, dehumidification, and even structural repairs. They work with your insurance company to ensure the maximum repair cost is covered as your insurance company.
Servpro Water Damage
You can expect to pay an average of $3,500 to $15,000 when you have flood damage cleanup provided by Servpro. The higher cost is for the cleanup of significant water damage or sewage backup over a large area. Servpro also offers 24-hour emergency inspection and service for severe cases of damage and helps homeowners work through the claims process with their insurer.
Water Damage vs Flood Damage
The other major consideration of cleaning up a flooded basement is whether the damage is considered water damage or flood damage. There is a difference, including in how the problem is addressed and who is responsible for paying the bill. Water damage restoration includes removing standing water from a building and repairing any subsequent damage. The process involves extraction, cleanup, restoration, and repair. The biggest difference is that water damage will typically be covered by a home insurance policy, depending on the circumstances of the cause, while flood damage requires a specific flood policy or may not be covered at all. Also, flood water comes from a natural source and will usually affect more than one property, while water damage claims are only going to affect the home in which they occur.
Enhancement and Improvement Costs
Sump Pump Installation
The average sump pump installation cost is between $700 and $1,600 for the unit and the installation. One way to prevent further flooding or backup issues is to install a new sump pump in your basement. This can be done by a restoration company, but is usually performed by a plumber or someone experienced in basement waterproofing. You can purchase and install a small, portable sump pump on your own if you have an outlet that is accessible and a smaller space to deal with, but it’s best to leave the work to the professionals.
Most document drying services will charge between $50 and $100 per cubic meter of paper, but you may pay more or less depending on your specific needs. This cost includes all expenses and labor. Those who have stored papers or important documents in their basement may need to pay for professional document drying to assist in salvaging any material possible. This service is going to vary in cost depending on how much paper you have to dry and what level of damage or moisture is present.
Basement Moisture Alarm
There are several types and versions of these alarms out there, but you can expect to spend around $40 to $75 depending on the features and complexity of the alarm that you choose. Installing a moisture alarm or leak alarm in the basement can help prevent major leaks by detecting moisture when it has barely started. Some alarms will be able to detect as little as 1/32 of an inch, helping prevent major damage and repairs. For a standard basement, you should only need a single alarm, but larger spaces might need more than one.
Basement Mold Remediation
While the exact cost will vary depending on the severity of the cleanup, most remediation services cost between $1,500 and $3,500, with the average person spending $2,500 for moderate damage remediation with all labor and materials included. Mold can grow as soon as 48 hours after a flood or water backup issue. Therefore, if you didn’t address the issue and dry the space in a timely fashion, you may need mold remediation services to remove mold and mildew, and disinfect the space.
Additional Considerations and Costs
- Safety. Always be sure to turn off electricity and gas that goes to the basement after water backup or a flood. Check the outside walls for structural damage, too, and ensure that it is safe for you to enter the space. If it isn’t, wait for the professionals. If you have fans, start setting them up to circulate fresh air throughout the space immediately, as well.
- Local assistance. In some emergencies, your local fire department might help pump the water from your basement, or they may at least be able to provide you with a pump to get the process started before the restoration crew arrives. This will typically only be related to weather-related flooding, but it may be an option for some people who need assistance.
- DIY. If you do intend to start the cleanup process on your own, you need to begin as soon as possible. Even the slightest delay can create more damage and expensive repair costs. Of course, it is best to hire professionals for disinfection and proper repair, as well as for quick and efficient water removal. Whether you plan on hiring the pros or not, you can start on the cleanup as soon as you notice there’s a problem for best results.
- Basement flood insurance. Not all flood situations are covered on home insurance. In fact, if the water was caused by a natural flood, you will typically have to have a special flood insurance policy to cover the damages. There may be some instances where your home insurance will pay the claims and cover the cost of repair and remediation, but you will have to talk to them to be certain.
- Waterproofing. If your basement is waterproofed, it should have tar sealing on both sides of the foundation and weeping tiles that pull the water away from the foundation. Even with this system in place, though, floods can still happen when the water is too much for the system to handle. Waterproofing is helpful to prevent serious damage and minor issues, but it isn’t flood-proof.
- Additional issues and damage considerations. There is always the risk of material damage and prolonged moisture exposure that can lead to dry rot, deterioration of drywall, electrical shorts, appliance shortages or failures, and more. Depending on the severity of the flooding and how long it takes to get resolved, you could incur a number of additional repair costs along the way.
- How long should I run a dehumidifier after a flood?
After a flood, a dehumidifier should be operated long enough to dry the basement space completely, or as close as possible. At least two days should be sufficient for most basement spaces, although some spaces may require several days to dry fully even with professional cleanup services.
- How to stop my basement from flooding in heavy rain?
There are some things you can do to prevent basement flooding. You can grade your lawn to run away from the foundation, leave a gap between any landscaping and your siding, extend downspouts, clean gutters, and even install a sump pump to help pump out future water backup. If you want to guarantee future flood prevention, talk to a professional.
- How to clean the concrete basement floor after a flood?
Concrete is porous, but it’s still fairly easy to clean after a flood with bleach or another disinfectant. You’ll want to scrub the floors with a broom or mop and apply a cleaning agent, and then allow the floors to dry completely. This is, of course, after the water has been removed.
- How long does it take to dry out a house after a flood?
Typically, it could take anywhere from a couple of days to a couple of weeks to dry out the property entirely. It depends on the severity of the flooding, how quickly the standing water was removed, and how much airflow you can get into the space. Dehumidifiers and fans will expedite the process.
- How to remove water from the basement?
Removing water from the basement is usually done with a sump pump or another small pump when there is flooding. In some cases, professionals may extract minimal water with shop vacs or related equipment. Unless you have pumps on hand, this is why it’s best to call the professionals for water removal.
- Why do basements flood?
Flooding in basements often occurs due to heavy or prolonged rains, or a rapid snowmelt, as there is too much water for the ground to absorb. Other reasons for flooding include sewage backup and burst pipes.