How Much Does It Cost Restore Water Damage?

Average range: $1,000 - $5,000
Low
$150
Average Cost
$3,000
High
$20,000
(gray water extraction due to flooded bathroom, including drying and repairs to drywall and ceiling)

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Reviewed by Adam Graham. Written by Fixr.com.

If your home was affected by water damage, whether due to storm-related flooding, a broken water line, or some other problem, you probably already know how important it is to get the damage repaired quickly and effectively. This type of damage is unsightly to look at and left unaddressed leads to the growth of mold. In addition, it can cause appliances to malfunction and lead to serious structural issues. Two separate phases are involved in water damage restoration: first, the water extraction and cleanup, followed by structural repairs to building features, such as the roof, walls, ceiling, and/or flooring.

Most homeowners pay between $1,000 and $5,000 to restore water damage in their homes. The average cost is around $3,000 for standard gray water extraction with drying and drywall and ceiling repairs in a bathroom. Costs can run as low as $150 for a simple remediation caused by an overflowing toilet, to as high as $20,000 for black water extraction in a basement and hardwood flooring replacement due to a sewer backup.

Water Damage Restoration Cost

Water Damage Repair Cost
National average cost$3,000
Average range$1,000-$5,000
Minimum cost$150
Maximum cost​$20,000


Water Damage Restoration Cost by Project Range

Low
$150
Simple remediation caused by an overflowing toilet
Average Cost
$3,000
Gray water extraction due to flooded bathroom, including drying and repairs to drywall and ceiling
High
$20,000
Black water extraction in a basement and hardwood flooring replacement due to a sewer backup

What Is Water Remediation?

Water remediation sounds complicated, but it’s really just the process of cleaning up, sanitizing, and restoring (or rebuilding) materials and surfaces after any kind of water damage has occurred. You might also hear terms like “water damage repair” and “water damage mitigation,” too. These phrases all mean the same thing. While water damage remediation can be considered the same as flood cleanup, it also encompasses a broader category of repairs, including damage from leaks.

When it comes to water remediation of any kind, cleaning up quickly and efficiently is important. This type of damage, even small amounts, can lead to serious problems when left untreated. Mold, bacteria, and viruses all fester in wet conditions. Therefore, the most important step in the process is to get rid of the excess water as quickly as possible.

However, when dealing with water that came in from an appliance, a contaminated source, or something besides flooding from just rain or a pipe, additional steps, such as sanitizing, need to be taken. This can make the restoration process a bit more expensive.

A few steps have to be taken in the restoration process. First, if water is still coming in, the source needs to be identified and stopped. Various safety measures need to be performed, and affected areas need to be ventilated and possibly removed. Reconstruction and restoration can only begin after the source has been assessed, and water has been removed.

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Water Extraction Cost by Type of Water

The first step is to remove water. This involves removing it from any source, as a means of flood control or for water sources. It helps reduce the risk of structural damage to the property. Water extracted can be used for irrigation purposes, among other possible uses. The source is a factor that influences how much you can expect to pay for extraction services.

Three types are involved in floods: clean, gray, and black. The gray one is also called sullage and comes from sources like bathtubs, sinks, and washing machines and contains a small number of contaminants but no fecal matter. Ingesting it could cause health issues but will probably not be deadly.This type also causes structural damage if a building is exposed to it. Black water comes from sewer backups and toilets and has been contaminated with fecal matter. Ingesting it will have serious health consequences. In addition, exposure can cause structural damages to a building. Clean water has no chemical or fecal matter, although exposure can cause structural damage to a building. It is the easiest type to extract because it requires less safety measures.

Water extraction prices per sq.ft. are $3.50 to $7.25 depending on the volume, equipment used, and the area affected.

Cost per Sq.Ft. to Extract Clean, Gray, and Black Water

Cost per Sq.Ft. to Extract Clean, Gray, and Black Water

TypePrice per Sq.Ft. (Labor Included)
Clean$3.50 - $4.25
Gray$4.10 - $5.00
Black$6.25 - $7.25

Water Damage Restoration Cost per Square Foot

After extracting the water, the next step is damage restoration. The term "water damage restoration" refers to both extraction and repairing any damage caused by it. As we have seen above, it is easy to determine the extraction cost per square foot depending on the type. However, the cost per square foot for water damage restoration including repairs and extraction is hard to calculate because it will depend on many factors, such as the extent and location of the damage, the need to replace or the possibility to repair items, etc. This makes every project different. For example, the average project that would include gray water extraction, drying, and repairs to some drywall and ceiling areas, you can expect to pay $35 to $45 per sq.ft. for both the cleanup and repairs. However, other projects that involve much more complicated fixes such as foundation or roof leaks will have much higher costs per square foot.

Water Mitigation Cost by Class

One factor that helps determine the cost of your restoration project is the class of damage. There are four main classes, with the amount of damage increasing with the class number. Class 1 usually means only a small area of the home was affected, and there was minimal absorption in the surrounding structural materials. An example of a Class 1 project could be an overflowing toilet. An overflowing dishwasher or burst pipe in a kitchen could lead to a Class 2 repair job, which means structural damage to the surrounding floors and walls may require minor repairs. More severe projects, such as those listed as Class 3, typically include top down damage where water has affected the ceiling floor and walls. This could result from a leaking roof due to an ice dam build up. The most severe category is Class 4, which means a large area is likely affected, and significant structural issues that make accessibility a concern. Below you will see an idea of the average cost you can expect to pay based on the class of damage that occurred.

Cost to Repair 1,2,3, and 4-Class Water Damage

Cost to Repair 1,2,3, and 4-Class Water Damage

ClassAverage Ranges (Labor Included)
1$150 - $400
2$500 - $1,000
3$1,000 - $3,000
4$2,000 - $10,000

Average Water Damage Restoration Cost by Type of Damage

Water can cause several types of damage, depending on the location and what is affected by it.You may find that, whether due to flooding or gray water issues, it affects the floor, basement, ceiling, drywall, or even fixtures or pipes. Damage can be cosmetic, structural, or electrical. It can also affect personal items or even be related to mold growth.

Your total water damage house repair costs will most likely be determined by the types of repairs needed. The least expensive repair is the cosmetic one. Cosmetic damage is everything that needs to be restored that does not affect the integrity of the construction, such as repairing drywall, fixing pitting in the walls, replacing sections of wallpaper, repainting, or replastering areas, which can run an average of $75 to $1,000.

One of the most expensive repairs is electrical repair which can run between $300 and $7,000 and may include removing affected wires and rewiring the room. Electrical repairs are more costly because damaged electrical is dangerous to repair.

Mold remediation is another costly type of repair which can run an average of $1,500 to $3,500 and involves inspecting the area, removing affected drywall and wood and cleaning all structures to ensure they are safe. It is important to inspect for mold whenever water damage has occurred as it can quickly spread and affect your indoor air quality, leading to health concerns.

Structural repairs may also need to be done, ranging from roof repairs to foundation repair. Though the cost for structural damage has a wide range, running as low as $250 to as high as $25,000 for foundation repair. Most homeowners pay between $500 and $3,000 for structural damage from water, including repairs to roofs, fixing load bearing walls, or repairing minor foundation cracks.

You may also need to replace or repair personal items that have become damaged, such as clothing and electronics, which run from $500 to $1,500. Furniture, especially items made of fabric or wood veneer, will likely also need repair or replacement if the water affected it.

Cost to Remediate Mold, Repair Cosmetic, Electrical, or Structural Damage, or Personal Items

Cost to Remediate Mold, Repair Cosmetic, Electrical, or Structural Damage, or Personal Items

TypePrice (Labor Included)
Cosmetic$75 - $1,000
Personal Item Replacement$500 - $1,500
Structural$500 - $3,000
Electrical$1,200 - $3,000
Mold Remediation$1,500 - $3,500

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Flood Damage Repair Cost by Room

Water remediation cost will be determined by the room where the damage is sustained, as this affects the repairs needed. Different areas of the home will often have different repair needs. Below you will see the average cost for restoration repairs based on the room in your home where the damage has occurred.

Cost to Repair Water Damage in the Bathroom, Laundry Room, Living Room, Kitchen, and Basement

Cost to Repair Water Damage in the Bathroom, Laundry Room, Living Room, Kitchen, and Basement

Area of the HouseCost (Labor Included)
Bathroom$2,500 - $4,500
Laundry Room$2,500 - $5,500
Living Room$3,000 - $6,000
Kitchen$3,000 - $8,000
Basement$3,000 - $10,000

Bathroom Water Damage Repair Cost

You can expect to pay an average of $2,500 to $4,500 for water damage cleanup in a bathroom. Bathrooms are a common place for this to occur because of the presence of numerous pipes in the wall and several plumbing fixtures that can leak and overflow. Bathrooms tend to be less costly compared to other rooms in the home for a few reasons. First, they tend to be smaller areas. They also often have tile or vinyl flooring that can be easier to repair than wood and carpeting. Most often, bathroom repairs include extraction, and minor drywall, ceiling, and flooring repairs.

Flooded Laundry Room Repair

If you sustained water damage in your laundry room, you can expect the average cost to be the same as a bathroom ranging from $2,500 to $5,500. Laundry areas tend to be slightly larger than bathroom spaces, but they typically have fewer overall pipes and fixtures in the space. The most common cause of this type of damage in the laundry room is an overflowing washer or leaking washer hose. Common repairs done to this area are flooring repairs, drywall repair, and sometimes minor electrical work.

Flooded Living Room Repair

Water damage in a living room comes with an average repair cost of $3,000 to $6,000. The biggest reasons for the increase in costs are that living room areas tend to be larger, often suffer damage from overhead, and typically have flooring that is more expensive to repair. The most common causes for this kind of damage in the living room are broken pipes and leaky roofs, with the most common repairs being ceiling, drywall, and flooring repair. In some cases, subfloors and furniture need to be repaired or replaced.

Kitchen Water Damage Restoration

The kitchen is one of the most expensive areas for water damage repair. Repairs cost $3,000 to $8,000. Kitchen repairs can lead to higher costs because of the numerous repairs needed from one incident of this nature. This type of damage in the kitchen can result from flooding, broken appliance hoses, and overhead leaking. Repairs in the kitchen typically include flooring, drywall, ceiling, and electrical.

Basement Water Damage Repair Cost

Basement flood damage repair ranges from the low end of repair costs to the high end, but on average most homeowners pay between $3,000 and $10,000. Most often, this kind of damage in the basement results from flooding, though it can also occur from broken or leaking overhead pipes. The cost to clean your basement will cover a wide range with smaller sections of unfinished basements with concrete floors running on the low end, while finished basements with drywall, flooring, and ceiling tiles will be more on the high end. Repairs range from a simple extraction to major structural and electrical repairs.

Water Damage Repair Cost by Area

A major contributing factor to the cost of water mitigation is the areas of the home that are affected. Your repair technician will include the cost for extraction and drying of the area and any repairs to the area affected in the total repair price, which is why costs vary widely. For example, repairs to a wall will be a lot less than repairs to the roof, which would make a project involving roof repair likely more expensive. Below you will see the average price project that you can expect to pay for certain repairs you may encounter after damage has occurred.

Cost to Repair Water Damage in the Ceiling, Subfloor, Roof, Wall, Floor, and Foundation

Cost to Repair Water Damage in the Ceiling, Subfloor, Roof, Wall, Floor, and Foundation

Area of RepairPrice for the Average Project (Labor Included)
Ceiling$200 - $1,500
Subfloor$250 - $750
Wall$300 - $2,200
Roof$400 - $1,000
Floor$600 - $20,000
Foundation$2,000 - $10,000

Cost to Fix Water Damaged Ceiling

A common water damage repair associated with roof leaks is ceiling repairs that run from $200 to $1,500. Water from the cracks in a roof or leaking or broken pipes above seeps down through insulation until it begins to damage the ceiling. This takes a while to notice and is often detected by discoloration and soft spots in the ceiling before actual leaking. Repairs usually include replacing the ceiling drywall and repainting the area.

Subfloor Water Damage Repair Cost

Subfloor repair costs run an average of $250 to $750 to repair a 150 sq.ft. section of subfloor. In some cases where there is heavy damage or water that has been standing for a period, there is a good chance that the water has seeped through the flooring and possibly affected the subfloor. This can cause buckling, and warping, which can lead to unevenness and noise. If after the area is cleaned and dried and subfloor damage is found, your repair technician will likely replace the area of the subfloor that has been affected. If the subfloor is not properly cleaned and repaired, it can lead to mold growth and an uneven surface for the flooring above.

Water Damage Wall Repair Cost

One of the most common repairs included in the cost of restoration is wall repair, which runs an average of $300 to $2,200, depending on the project and the type of wall. This repair is most often needed when water comes in from the ceiling, such as roof leaks or when a pipe leaks or breaks in the wall. You may also need wall repairs if the area is flooded with an inch or more of standing water on the floor. Below you will see the average cost you can expect to pay based on the type of wall repair you need.

Cost to Repair Water Damaged Wall: Drywall, Plaster, Brick, Cinder Block, and Wallpaper

Cost to Repair Water Damaged Wall: Drywall, Plaster, Brick, Cinder Block, and Wallpaper

Type of WallRepair Prices (Labor Included)
Drywall$300 - $485
Plaster$500 - $1,000
Brick Wall$525 - $1,100
Cinder Block Wall$650 - $1,250
Wallpaper (one room)$960 - $2,200

Drywall Water Damage Repair Cost

Making repairs to drywall in a single room costs $300 to $485. Drywall repairs are common when walls suffer water damage because drywall is the most common material used on walls throughout the home. During the repair process, the affected section of the drywall will be removed and replaced with a new piece patched in.

Plaster Wall Water Damage Repair

You should anticipate spending $500 to $1,000 to have 10 sq.ft. of plaster walls repaired. While materials are involved in repairing plaster walls, the bulk of the cost is linked to labor. Your repair technician will remove the affected plaster, apply new plaster to the area, sand it down, and repaint it. In some cases, the repair may take multiple skimming and sanding passes to ensure it blends in with the rest of the wall.

Brick Wall

Brick walls can be expensive to repair, costing an average of $545 to $1,100 for a 10 sq.ft. area of wall that needs brick replacement and mortar repair. Brick walls can withstand a lot of damage, even caused by water, without needing repair. Yet, in cases where high water levels have affected the wall for several days, or there has been a partial ceiling collapse, the bricks or mortar may need to be repaired for aesthetic reasons and to preserve the integrity of the wall.

Repair Water Damage Cinder Block Wall

Repairing cinder block walls after water damage is moderately expensive, running between $650 and $1,250 to repair a 10 sq.ft. area that is cracked or chipped. Cinder block walls are quite durable and can withstand some minor damage without needing repairs. Yet, in cases of heavy damage or long-term immersion, such as with flooding, cracks occur and require filling and sealing.

Wallpaper

The cost to replace affected wallpaper is $960 to $2,200 for a full 12’’ x 18’’ room. Matching up small pieces of wallpaper can be extremely difficult, especially if it is aged. The typical fix for wallpaper involves the removal of the old wallpaper and replacement with new. The main differences in costs are determined by the cost of the wallpaper chosen for replacement.

Roof Water Damage Repair Cost

Roof damage is one of the most costly repairs associated with this type of damage. When you have roof repairs made, you can expect to pay an average of $400 to $1,000 to fix leaks on a roof by patching and replacing some shingles. The actual cost will largely depend on the roof material. Repairs will often include replacing the affected section, the underlay, and any nearby flashing so that the area is made watertight again. Roof leaks can happen due to normal wear and tear from a roof aging, damage from storms, and even a build up of ice that backs up water on the roof where it seeps through any small cracks.

Water Damage Floor Repair Cost

Another common repair needed is flooring repair. Flood damage repair cost for flooring averages $1,000 to $5,000. Flooring damage can occur when there is minor damage from an overflowing toilet to major issues such as flooding. Whether or not flooring needs to be repaired and how extensively depends on the type of flooring, the amount of water, and how long it was on the floor. Below you will see the average cost per sq.ft. for repairing floors based on the type of flooring.

Cost to Repair 200 Sq.Ft. of Water Damaged Floor: Carpet, Vinyl, Tile, and Hardwood

Cost to Repair 200 Sq.Ft. of Water Damaged Floor: Carpet, Vinyl, Tile, and Hardwood

Type of FloorAverage Cost for 200 Sq.Ft. (Labor Included)
Carpet$450 - $2,000
Vinyl$600 - $3,200
Tile$1,000 - $2,100
Hardwood$1,600 - $20,000

Carpet Water Damage Repair Cost

Repairing carpets after water damage costs between $900 to $1,550 to repair 200 sq.ft. of carpet. In almost any incident in a room with carpet, a thorough cleaning and drying will be required. In some cases, there may be more damage to the carpet, and it may need to be restretched after drying, pieces may need to be replaced, or the pad underneath may need to be replaced to prevent mold and mildew.

Vinyl Floor

If you have damage to the vinyl flooring, you can expect to pay an average of $600 to $3,200 for 200 sq.ft. In most cases, when damage to vinyl occurs, the section of vinyl needs to be cut out and disposed of, with a new piece of vinyl being reglued into the section. Even if the vinyl can be dried out, the glue is likely to be ruined so that it will no longer properly bond the vinyl to the floor.

Tile Floor

Another type of flooring repair that can be costly is repairing tile flooring. You can expect to pay anywhere from $1,000 to $2,100 to repair tile in a 200 sq.ft. room. The range of prices is solely based on the type of tile material. When tile repair is done, the damaged tile and grout will be removed. Then, new tile will be installed and regrouted. In some cases, the only thing that may need to be replaced is the grout around the tile.

Water Damage Hardwood Floor Repair Cost

You can expect to pay $1,600 to $20,000 if you need to have 200 sq.ft. of hardwood floors repaired after water damage. The cost range for repairs is wide due to the various costs of different types of hardwood and how extensive the repairs need to be. In cases of minor damage, repairs may be limited to drying, sanding, and staining. In more severe cases, planks and underlay will need to be completely replaced.

Foundation Water Damage Repair Cost

Foundation flood damage repair costs run from $2,000 to $10,000 to fix a foundation with leaks. The price for repairs has a wide range because different types of repairs may be needed. In some cases, multiple repairs may be required. Most often, foundation damage occurs from large amounts of water standing for several days, such as when area flooding occurs. The impact from the rapidly flowing water from floods can lead to shifting, cracking, and even breaking of foundation supports.

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Labor Costs to Repair Water Damage

The labor costs to repair water damage vary widely depending on the type of repairs needed. On average, homeowners can expect to pay between $40 and $130 an hour, based on repairs and what type of technician they need to use. For example, paying for drywall repairs will be a lot less per hour than paying for electrical or plumbing damage.

On top of labor costs, you should be aware that repair projects are subject to surcharges. If accessibility is an issue, extra equipment may be needed to reach the areas needing cleanup and repairs. Labor costs could increase by a minimum of $200 for safety equipment rental. Below is a breakdown of the average per hour cost you can expect to pay depending on the type of professional services you may need to use.

Cost per Hour to Hire a Roofer, Electrician, Painter, Carpenter, and Plumber for Water Damage Repair

Cost per Hour to Hire a Roofer, Electrician, Painter, Carpenter, and Plumber for Water Damage Repair

Type of ProfessionalAverage Cost
Electrician$40 - $120/hour
Painter$50/hour
Carpenter$70/hour
Plumber$75 - $130/hour
Roofer$1.00 - $1.50/sq.ft.

Restoration Steps

All professionals follow a dedicated step-by-step procedure for this type of restoration. This same process is followed no matter the cause, nor the extent of it. Following this set process ensures that all of the water has been properly removed, damage has been assessed, repairs have been made, and the area is now safe for you to inhabit again.

Step 1

An inspection and damage assessment is always the first step in the restoration process. A professional reviews the area and makes a detailed plan for making the area safe and structurally sound. It is important to understand that the initial plan and original price for the job may change if more damage is detected during the remediation process.

Step 2

Water extraction is probably the most important step to restore this type of damage. If it is not removed completely, then all other steps are moot. The remaining water could result in mold and mildew, leading to more significant problems. The process usually involves using industrial pumps to dry out an area as much as possible through the use of powerful suction.

Step 3

Although extraction starts drying a water-damaged area, excess moisture is always left behind. Heaters and air blowers help evaporate the moisture, while a dehumidifier removes droplets from the air. The length of this process is hard to determine as normal humidity in the home affects the process. Your restoration technician will want to ensure that everything is as dry as possible before moving on to the next step.

Step 4

The next step in the process is a thorough cleaning and sanitizing of the affected area. Cleaning and sanitizing are extremely important after water extraction and drying. Although the water is removed, gray and black water require comprehensive sanitation to keep household members and pets safe. It is also necessary to ensure the air quality inside your home is at an acceptable level.

Step 5

The restoration process is the final step and, in some cases, may be one of the longest parts of the process. Restoration efforts may be minimal or extensive, depending on the underlying damage. It is important to address any damages after the water extraction to remove all possible avenues for mold and mildew.

Furniture Repairs

Another type of damage that can occur from water is damage to furniture. While the costs for repairs can vary depending on the type of repair needed and the type of furniture, most homeowners pay between $100 and $300 for repairs. However, the cost can get close to $1,000 or more if it involves restoring antique furniture.

In some cases, repairs won’t be possible, and in some, the cost of repairs will not be worth the value of the furniture. Homeowners may attempt the repair if the piece holds sentimental value, has a higher value, or has minimal damage. Furniture made of solid wood can be repaired as long as it was not submerged for several days. Veneer furniture is often not worth the cost of repairs as the center particleboard will often swell and warp the piece. If the piece is made with a low pressure laminate, it is likely not able to be repaired because it cannot be reglued. Upholstered furniture will most often need to be reupholstered with new fabric, although it could be cleaned if the damage is not too extensive.

Emergency Water Damage Repair

Some repair needs result in an emergency service call which can add an emergency fee of $50 to $100. Often this is not seen as an emergency. However, there are some cases where an emergency call may be necessary. For example, if your home is flooded with black water because of backed up sewage, which creates a significant health hazard and should be remedied as soon as possible. You may also want to request emergency services if there is electrical damage that could lead to fire.

Swelling Leaking of Whitewash and Plaster on Ceiling of Dwelling Due to Penetration of Water From the Top Floor or Roof

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RV Water Damage Repair Costs

If you have water damage in your RV, you can expect to pay $500 to $1,500 for repairs. Costs can run as low as $150 to fix a leaky window and remove the water from the RV to as high as $4,000 to repair an RV roof and remove water. A wide range of problems can lead to this kind of damage in an RV, such as a leaking toilet, internal pipe leaks, parking in a flooded area, and leaks from the roof.

While they can take a while to show up, common signs in your RV include rust, moist carpets, discoloration, and a musty smell. You can lower your risk by making sure all seals are intact, being aware of the weather where you are traveling, and ensuring it is stored properly when not in use.

Signs of Water Damage

Not all flood damage is immediately evident. Although you may notice damage after a severe storm, some types of moisture issues occur over several months. Noting any signs early on is vital for diminishing the permanent effects. The longer a structure is exposed to moisture, the more widespread the damage becomes.

Peeling and cracking paint on the walls and ceilings are a significant sign that water damage has occurred. When moisture builds up inside the drywall, it swells and pushes against paint on the surface. You could also notice discolored paint since water can stain wall paint.

Another sign to look for is the warping of flooring materials due to water exposure. Flooring damage can actually go unnoticed for some time if the spot is located in the corners of a room or against a wall. If you notice any warping of wood or vinyl flooring, then the area is likely exposed. Another common sign is noticing wet areas in your carpet.

Any notable sagging in parts of the walls or ceiling is a sign that you need repair services. Drywall sags when saturated with water. Seeing visible mold on the walls is another sign, but not everyone notices mold within their homes. Before mold is located, you may smell a distinct moldy scent or experience allergy symptoms due to mold exposure. These odors are especially pungent in areas like the basement. The foul odor is similar to the scent of wet, mildewy laundry. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for homeowners to mistake mold growth for dirt.

If your water bill surges for no apparent reason, it could mean there’s a leak causing underlying water damage. For reference, water companies often provide a chart to demonstrate your historical month-to-month average usage. Also, if you hear the sound of water running and can’t find the source, chances are there’s a significant leak that needs to be addressed immediately to prevent further damage.

Causes

Knowing the potential causes helps you make the right decision about what remediation services and products are required.

Severe weather wreaks havoc on a home and often causes significant flood damage. One of the most frustrating things about storm damage is you can’t control Mother Nature. Natural disasters, such as hurricanes and tornadoes, potentially leave behind a significant amount of water.

Any appliance that relies on tubes, pipes, or gaskets has the potential to cause water damage. Refrigerators and dishwashers may start to leak and require repair. Other sources of potential leaks include air conditioners and water heaters. HVAC systems may need repair to stop leaks and even floods.

When your plumbing systems fail, then water damage occurs in the surrounding areas. For instance, an overflowing toilet may damage the flooring in the bathroom or the ceiling on the floor below. Other examples of plumbing issues to watch for are leaking showers, bathtubs, and sinks. Sewer backups can also result in water damage.

What to Do Before Water Damage Restoration?

First and foremost, in an emergency flooding situation, power should be turned off immediately. This prevents any type of electrical fire from occurring.

To limit damage to personal belongings, remove any items that can be relocated. This could include personal effects such as clothing and accessories, rugs, draperies, and soft furnishings. Depending on the extent of the damage, some items may need to be disposed of instead of being returned once the restoration services are complete. Any furniture that can’t be removed should be wiped down.

Remove any wall hangings, like photographs, if an area has sustained water damage. Keep them in a safe, dry place until they can be returned to the walls. Wipe down the walls, too, to alleviate excess moisture.

Open all windows in the room to assist with the drying process. If there are cabinets in the room, they should be left open. Avoid shutting the door to the impacted area since you don’t want to promote mold growth.

Is Water Damage Dangerous?

Water damage is a two-fold threat that is dangerous to both the physical home and residents’ health. It is critical to limit exposure, especially if gray or black water is involved.

Threats to the Home

Threats to a home may involve structural damage. Drywall becomes brittle and causes underlying structural issues. Ruined flooring and walls are additional problems for the home. Wood floors warp, wet carpets are prone to mold, and walls start to soften.

Corroded pipes are a common occurrence after prolonged exposure to flood water. The corrosion makes them more likely to leak or crack. Also, water damage in electrical systems is costly to fix. Appliances and fuses may not work properly after water exposure. In the worst cases, electrical fires could occur.

Erosion to concrete and brick within a home is possible due to prolonged water exposure and requires masonry work to repair. Permanent staining on walls and floors is another potential effect of water damage. Walls and flooring may need replacement or refinishing depending on the extent of the damage. Musty odors can linger in a home where leaks or flooding have occurred. This could be indicative of excess mold and mildew growth.

Health Risks

Threats to health may occur from high humidity levels in the home. Due to mold exposure after water damage, respiratory issues may develop in household members. This is often due to common allergies and can also cause eye and skin irritation.

One of the signs that your health is being threatened is if you or your family members start sneezing and coughing with no other known cause. Chronic headaches could also be caused by mold growth in the home due to long-term exposure.

Standing water is a breeding ground for viruses and bacteria that could impact human health. Parasites are another concern if it is left for a prolonged period. Bugs like mosquitoes are attracted to it and lay their eggs around the area.

Skin irritation could occur if you’re exposed to water from a flooding situation. This is especially true for gray and black water. Although the latter is the most dangerous to human health due to fecal matter, the former could have chemicals that cause breathing problems or allergy symptoms.

How to Prevent Flood Damage?

Preventing water from collecting where it doesn’t belong is, of course, the first step in ensuring your home is protected from water damage in the first place. Inspect your home and yard to note any issues with drainage systems and remedy them early on. In the yard, extend downspouts and improve yard grading if you have concerns about water collecting around your home’s foundation. Keep gutters and downspouts clear of debris, and make sure sump pumps empty out far enough away from your home. If you don’t have a sump pump installed, arrange to install one.

Inspect appliances and all plumbing fixtures monthly. Confirm hoses are secured with no drips. Hoses and faucets should not be actively leaking. Check the sealing around tubs and showers and caulk as needed. Look at the pipes under the sinks and in your basement to note any issues like corrosion.

Water back-up valves and leak detectors are useful devices for preventing serious leaks. Automatic shut-off valves should be installed and fully operational in the home.

Schedule a roof inspection annually or after any significant storm. The inspectors could check for potential issues such as cracked or missing shingles.

How to Prevent Mold After Water Damage?

The best thing that can be done to prevent mold after water damage is to make sure all the affected surfaces are clean and dry. Bacteria and mold often grow when there is a wet environment, so you’ll want to make sure that you remove or replace rugs and carpets after damage has occurred. Finally, consider that not replacing materials that are severely damaged will not save you money but can be the source of further damage, such as mold.

This is one of the main causes of mold growing on the walls and ceilings of a house. Any sign of excessive moisture, musty odors, or mold should be tackled as soon as possible to prevent further complications that may cause health issues and serious damage to the house. Mold inspections are often useful to detect any mold growing in your home, especially those that might impact your health negatively.

Repair vs Replacement

During the assessment phase of water damage repair, professionals will let you know what parts of the room need to be repaired or replaced completely. Ceiling and walls are most likely repaired instead of replaced altogether. Insulation, however, traps water, produces mold spores, and is often replaced before the walls are repaired. Flooring is usually replaced, including installing new carpets and hardwood flooring. Any electrical system is never repaired, and for safety reasons, is replaced completely. Wall and ceiling leak repair costs may start at $200, while electrical rewiring can be as much as $8,000.

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Enhancement and Improvement Costs

Basement and Foundation Waterproofing

Waterproofing your home allows you to remain proactive about preventing water damage. If your basement is prone to flooding or you notice condensation on the walls or windows, then consider basement and foundation waterproofing services that cost $3,000 to $7,000.

Water Leak Detection System Cost

Water leak detection systems prevent serious issues from occurring. The system actively monitors plumbing systems and uses sensors to sound an alarm if issues such as ceiling leaks arise. The system also includes shut-off valves to stop leaks immediately. These systems cost an average of $500 to $1,500 and are installed by a licensed plumber.

Upgrade Washing Machine Hoses

Washing machine hoses are now available constructed from materials like stainless steel to prevent bursting. Replacing your reinforced rubber hoses with stainless steel ones lowers the risks of cracks and wear, which can be more common with rubber hoses. A pair of stainless steel hoses costs around $45 to $75 installed.

Document Drying

If any important papers were damaged during the flood, document drying is a type of service you may need. With document drying, freeze drying techniques are used. The service is costly, with an average price of $75 per cubic foot of paper products. The technicians calculate the cubic feet of the damaged documents to provide a restoration estimate.

Air Scrubbers

Air scrubbers are a type of mold remediation tool used to purify the air. Air scrubbers remove impurities from the air, including mold spores that may be lingering due to water damage. When installing an air scrubber through an HVAC specialist, expect to pay $1,500 to $2,750.

Additional Considerations and Costs

  • Permits. Permits may be needed by your contractor depending on the extent of the restoration work needed. Certain appliance replacements and major structural damage repairs often require approval by a township. Contractors arrange permits and acquire approval before beginning work.
  • DIY. DIY is never recommended for water damage restoration. Professionals know how to take the right precautions to prevent health hazards when exposed to potential mold and black water. They would usually wear special suits and use certain products to get rid of the hazard safely.
  • Insurance. Home insurance plans vary with different coverage limitations. Some cover issues such as flooding, but others require you to purchase separate flood insurance to cover flood damage repairs and restoration efforts.
  • Water alarms. They are relatively low-cost and can be placed in areas like the basement to notify homeowners of flooding. They run off of batteries and cost around $20 for a basic version.
  • Dehumidifiers. Dehumidifiers are a must for areas like the basement that are prone to water damage. A desktop dehumidifier cannot adequately evaporate droplets in large areas like the basement. Expect to pay at least $150 for a basement humidifier.
  • Quick response. Damaged materials must be removed quickly with proper safety equipment worn by professionals. The EPA recommends flood cleanup efforts be performed within 48 hours.
  • Air movers. Air movers are a type of blower fan used to dry out areas affected by the flooding. The average cost of these fans is $100 to $200.

FAQs

  • Can air in water pipes cause damage?

No, the air in pipes will not damage the piping system. One of the main causes of air in the pipes is when the supply has been cut from the tap for a prolonged period. Other causes of air in the pipes include loose valves, leaks in a piping system, and air created from heating water. When there is air in a pipe system, you often hear a strange noise from the pipe system, but this air will not damage your water pipes.

  • How long does it take to repair water damage?

Cleanup and repairs are done in phases. At a minimum, water extraction and drying efforts take at least three days to complete. Overall, the duration depends on factors surrounding the damage. Such factors include the size of the area affected, how much water escaped into the area, how long the leakage lasted, and the building materials affected by the leakage. These factors determine how long the repair process takes.

  • What is the average cost of water damage restoration?

Homeowners can expect to pay around $3,000 for mid-range restoration services, such as extraction of gray water and drywall and ceiling repairs in a bathroom. The overall cost of the restoration arises from two chief sources: the cleanup and structural repair. Depending on the level of damage, the cost of structural repair often raises the total repair cost. Also, the type of water that caused the damage is another factor that might cause a surge in the repair cost.

  • How do you restore water damage?

Professionals follow a strict timeline to restore water damage. The process always starts with an inspection and assessment before water extraction. The area is then dried with excess humidity removed from the air. Once completely dried, structural repairs can be scheduled.

  • Does homeowners insurance cover water damage?

Home insurance may cover it but always check with your provider before filing a claim. For instance, you may need flood insurance if the damage occurred due to a flood. Damages as a result of negligence or lack of maintenance may not be covered by your insurer. A standard home insurance policy covers sudden water damage.

  • How long does it take for water damage to show?

Water damage may take months to show up if there’s a slow leak in the home. Post-storm damage may be visible immediately. Homeowners should watch for signs such as soft areas in the ceilings or walls or discoloration.

  • How much does it cost to repair water damaged drywall?

Drywall repairs cost an average of $2.05 to $4.15 per sq.ft. An average homeowner spends $300 to $485 to fix drywall water damages.

  • How can you tell where a water leak is coming from?

Routinely inspecting the pipes and faucets in your home helps narrow down the source of the leak. You could also follow the sound of dripping or running water. Stay alert to wall discoloration. Yellowish or brownish color may be a sign that there is a leaking pipe behind the drywall. Mold is an indicator of a water leak. However, the leak may be within the walls. You have to stay alert to the musty smells and call a plumber to identify the source of the leak.

  • How much does it cost to dry out water damage?

On average, it costs $1,000 to $2,000 to dry out a 500 sq.ft. basement with basic flood damage. That does not include any repair costs. After extracting as much water as possible, your technician will dry the area using blowers that put air over the area while drawing out the humidity in the room.

  • How much does Servpro charge for water extraction?

Servpro charges an average of $0.35 per sq.ft. for basic extraction services, though they have a $145 minimum for any project. On average, homeowners will pay $525 for a full basement water extraction.

Cost to restore water damage varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

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