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How Much Does It Cost To Repair & Cleanup Water Damage?

National Average Change Location | View National
$2,468
Typical Range
$1,048 - $3,889
Low End
$450
High End
$7,500

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The average homeowner spends between $1,048 and $3,889 to restore or repair water damage, with an average of $2,468. A licensed professional can determine the cause and extent of the destruction by categorizing and classifying the damage to your home – the two largest factors in figuring the final bill.
Want to avoid large cleanup and repair bills? Preventative maintenance and cleaning up quickly after damage are critical to keeping costs down. How long moisture is left untreated increases the scope of the damage and allows mold to grow. Preventing damage by contacting professionals to diagnose causes and make small repairs can save thousands later. Regardless of cause or cost, always document the damage for insurance claims.

Types of Water Damage and Common Causes

Type depends on the source and extent to which it has affected the home. Sources can range from clean water from a burst pipe to black water from sewage backup. Cleanup ranges from $3.75 to $7.00 per square foot. Repairs range from $450 to $7,000. Again, these vary widely depending on the source and extent of damage, whether it’s a flooded basement, leaky toilet, or damaged roof.
Though a competent DIY homeowner may be able to clean up and repair some damage, it’s important to have a professional assess it first to determine the extent and any underlying conditions. Missing even a small amount – or its causes – can lead to costlier repairs later. Even small quantities of moisture may result in mold growth. Plus, undiagnosed causes will lead to recurrences. For instance, fixing a damaged ceiling but not the leaky roof that caused it will only lead to another wrecked ceiling.

Ceiling and Roof - $800

Nationally, the average cost to repair a roof is about $800. Diagnosing a leaky roof is best left to professionals. Improperly repairing or installing a roof can lead to more issues. Sometimes, an insurance company may require a professional inspection. The most common causes of leaky roofs are:
  • Missing shingles – that often come off due to high winds.
  • Damaged flashing – around pipes, chimneys, skylights, and in valleys.
  • Ice dams – snow melts and refreezes building dams on the roof, causing standing water.
  • Roofs with low slopes and inadequate runoff.

Basement Damage and Flooding -$1,500

Moisture damage in your basement happens for a wide range of reasons including flooding, drainage issues, clogged gutters, burst pipes, and sewage backups. Repair costs vary widely depending on the cause and extent of the destruction.
For instance, it will be less expensive to restore a basement with an inch of clean water from a burst pipe than to tackle a fix caused by three feet of sewage backup. An inch of clean water would start at around $500 to $1500 to pump out and thoroughly dry it. However, the price of basement drainage repairs can increase up to $10,000 or more depending on the size of the space and the extent of the damage. Budget more when your space has been hit from contaminated sources, like a river flood.

Drywall - $500

Drywall repair cost about $500 on average with a typical range of $250 - $750, but can cost much more or less depending on the destruction. It is used in most modern homes and is found in almost all finished areas of a house, including bathrooms. When it becomes wet, it typically needs to be replaced. Not only is the drywall itself ruined, but the wet paper backer of the drywall becomes an excellent environment for mold growth.
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Floors and Hardwood -$350

Flooring repairs typically range between $200 to $500. The type of flooring and the length of time water sits affects the costs of removal and repair. Some types of flooring are more permeable than others. For example, laminates and carpet soak up liquids and degrade the subfloor quickly, whereas hardwood can sit underwater for short periods with little damage. Most tile products are either impervious to liquids or can be cleaned and dried with little or no damage, though the area may need grout work.

Broken or Leaky Bathroom Fixtures -$3,000

A leaky faucet, cracked bathtub, or failing toilet can easily become a much larger and costlier problem. A 120-square foot bathroom can cost as much as $3,000 to clean up and repair. Homeowners spend an average of about $300 when hiring a plumber, but can save thousands in future expenses. More importantly, homeowner’s insurance typically does not cover damage due to ignored maintenance issues.

Burst Pipes and Leaky Plumbing - $1,000

Among the most common and most preventable causes of water damage are burst pipes. Burst pipes typically happen because of clogs and freezing. Prevent the damage by finding a family plumber to do annual inspections. Regular inspections and maintenance are a cost-effective, preventative measure. Installing new plumbing typically runs between $350 to $2,000.

Natural Causes

Hurricanes and river flooding are common natural causes, as are high water tables and improperly graded ground. Installing a sump pump and water alarm are sensible preventions in areas with high water tables. The sump pump will pump water from under the foundation to drain it away from the home and averages about $1,200 to install. The sump pump itself will cost between $50 to $400. Also, ground that slopes towards the basement of the home can lead to leakage in the basement and increased stress on sewage systems.
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Category and Class of Water Damage

Each incident of damage falls into a category and a class. Category determines the source and how clean it is. Classification determines the severity of the damage itself. Only a licensed professional can categorize and classify water damage. These factors primarily determine the cost of cleanup and removal of damage to a home.
Even a competent DIY’er should have a qualified professional assess the damage first – making sure no part of the cleanup is missed. Before doing anything, check with your insurance company – they may require a licensed assessment. Don’t wait. As soon as you detect any damage, call a professional. With time, each class and category quickly degrades into something worse.
Removing any moisture and cleaning up (not necessarily repairs) are key to keeping your budget to a minimum. Water damage remediation and repair services can save up to 40% if done quickly.

Category 1: Clean Water - $3.75 sq. ft.

This type poses no threat to health. However, it can degrade to a Category 2 if not dealt with quickly. It often comes from drinking sources, such as:
  • Leaky faucets – also the pipes and fittings under the sink, which can go unnoticed for long periods of time.
  • Leaky toilet tanks – without cleaning agents like bleach or bromine pucks.
  • Rain and sprinklers – coming through an open window or leaky roof.
  • Burst pipes – though this often leads to a higher-class due to the amount of water.
  • Water Heaters – The average heater lasts 8 to 12 years.
You’ll spend about $3.75 per square foot to dry clean water. However, this is only a starting point. Repairs will depend on the types of materials involved. For example, carpets vary from $1 to $11 per square foot. Quick cleaning can keep fixes to a minimum.

Category 2: Grey Water - $4.50 sq. ft.

This type of floodwater poses some health threat. It may contain harmful contaminants such as detergents which may cause minor illness. If not treated, it can quickly degrade to a serious threat due to the growth of mold and bacteria.
Common causes of grey water flooding:
  • Overflowing dishwashers and washing machines – Contains soaps and detergents. Special care should be taken to remove staining or bleaching detergents from carpets.
  • Toilets containing urine or cleaning agents. – this does not include sewage backup or feces.
Grey water is only slightly more expensive to clean up averaging $4.50 per square foot. Again, this is only for cleanup; repairs will vary based on damage class.

Category 3: Black Water - $7.00 sq. ft.

This category contains contaminants that will cause serious health issues and possibly death. Only professionals should handle most large-scale black water accidents such as flooding. Some cleanup, like a backed-up toilet, can be handled by competent homeowners. This type of cleanup and repair is usually the most expensive, often requiring specialized equipment used by qualified mold and chemical remediation crews. It will often require replacement – not cleaning – of the affected home materials.
Common causes of black water flooding:
  • Sewage backups – from drains and septic systems.
  • Flooding – usually from overflowing rivers or lakes, or from contaminated groundwater.
  • Storm surges – often causing secondary flooding from streams and groundwater.
    The average homeowner spends $7.00 per square foot for professional cleanup. That does not include the amounts for repairing and replacing items. Typically, anything that can absorb the contaminants in black water should be replaced, including upholstered furniture, beds, carpets, clothing, and all permeable building materials. Replacement is often more cost effective than restoration.
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    Class 1

    This is the easiest and usually least expensive to clean and repair. Only a section of a room is affected with very little wet carpeting. A typical Class 1 would be a small leak in a faucet. Class 1/Category 1 damage can often be repaired by a competent homeowner or a professional with very little expense.

    Class 2

    Class 2 has affected an entire room, including the walls up to at least 12 inches. Moisture remains in the structure and will need cleanup as well as some repairs.

    Class 3

    Class 3 has saturated the ceilings, walls, floors, and even subflooring and insulation. Usually, the moisture has come from above – like a burst pipe.

    Class 4

    Damage from long standing water falls in this class, like river flooding or storm surges from a hurricane. It has saturated materials such as stone, brick, and hardwood. These materials have low permeance – meaning they do not soak up liquids quickly. Time is the primary factor in this category. With a higher cost of cleanup and repair, it is important to get problems diagnosed and solved as quickly as possible.
    Consult with a Pro to Classify your Damage

    Mold - $2,300

    On average, it costs around $2,300 for mold removal. Mold spores are found in almost all environments and begin growing in just 24 to 48 hours when moisture is present. All types of water damage come with a risk of fungal growth. The longer moisture sits, the greater the risk and cost of removal. Only a qualified inspector should test for mold. An inspector can help determine if there is any and if professional remediation is needed.

    Preventing Water Damage

    There are just as many preventions as there are causes. Being proactive in preventing water damage is usually less expensive than repairing damage after it happens.
    Keep the basement dry as it’s the most common place to find damage. Flooding, burst pipes, and even clogged gutters can cause leaks. Pitching the landscape, cleaning the gutters, and installing downspout extensions are simple outdoor fixes. From the inside, install a sump pump and water alarm. Have the basement inspected for waterproofing – or have some installed.
    Cleaning a gutter and sloping the landscape can be a free, DIY activity if the necessary tools are available. Downspout extensions can cost as little as $50, depending on how many are needed. The savings are incredible considering basement cleanup and repairs can run upwards of $10,000.
    One of the simplest proactive steps is getting an annual plumbing inspection. These are often free or free with other services. The plumber will inspect all visible plumbing including fixtures, pipes, appliances, and drains. They diagnose and fix small problems before they become big ones. They can also tell you the best time to replace worn fixtures and appliances.

    Insurance

    Does insurance cover the damage? Check your policy or call the insurance company to find out. Put that smartphone to work by taking pictures and video of the damage. Properly documenting the incident will make the claims process easier. Also, be sure to check with a pro to see if they do insurance claim management.
    Part of a comprehensive water damage prevention plan includes knowing what insurance covers and what it doesn’t. Most plans cover sudden and accidental damage like a water heater failing or a dishwasher overflowing. However, they usually don’t include flooding, sewage backups, and known maintenance issues like a continuously leaky faucet.
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    Ronald Case More than 1 year ago
    You NEVER want to PUT A FAN on MOLD! Unless you want to pay me and your doctors more than normal. The BEST course of action is to either cover the mold area with plastic and dry around it or seal off/ or avoid the area completely. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO CLEAN IT WITH BLEACH! Bleach is for hard non-porous surfaces only. (Read the Bottle!)

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