If your home were to flood, how much would you expect to pay? How would that be different if the flood was from a burst water pipe versus a river bursting its banks? What if water permeates the walls or the brickwork? Each of these will greatly shape the final bill for repairs.
The cost of water damage repairs primarily comes from two main sources:
The cleanup refers to the actual act of removing the water, drying out the space, and generally undoing the immediate damage the water caused (including mold remediation). The structural repairs involve making sure that the walls, the wiring, and other fixtures and fittings are replaced.
In serious cases of water damage, it is the structural repair that really drives up the final total. There are, of course, ways you can save money throughout the whole process.
This guide will provide you with a ballpark figure of what you can expect to pay for an average amount of flooding, followed by a breakdown of each of the costs involved. Think of the ‘headline’ figure as a rough estimate, followed by a more accurate picture depending on your specific circumstances.
The overall cost
Overall, if you have water damage in your home, you can expect to pay between $1,100 and $4,500. However, this represents only a ‘typical range,’ meaning that, in some extreme circumstances, your bill can come in outside of this range.
Price per square foot
The cost per square foot of water damage will be between $3.75 and $7.00. For a typical 500 square foot room, therefore, you would pay between $1,875 and $3,500 in total.
- 1 $3.75 - $7
- 10 $37.75 - $70
- 100 $375 - $700
- 500 $1,875 - $3,500
- 1000 $3,750 - $7,000
The exact figure within here depends on the type of water that has caused the damage:
For ‘Clean Water,’ that is water that is safe for drinking (i.e. leaking faucets), you can expect to pay the lower end of the spectrum, or $3.75 per square foot.
For ‘Grey Water,’ or water that is clean but may contain things like detergents or other contaminants, you will pay $4.50 per square foot.
For ‘Black Water’ - water that contains toxic materials, or other materials that can cause serious harm (such as sewage), you will pay $7.00 per square foot.
Room by Room Costs
Here are the costs of water damage restoration in different parts of your home. Basement restoration costs are usually the highest.
● Leaks caused by missing shingles
|$350 - $1,400|
● Pipe burst in the ceiling
|$325 - $1,100|
● Burst pipes
|$500 - $85,000|
● Structurally unsound due to water damage
|$275 - $785|
● Damage to subfloors
|$200 - $500|
● Damage due to clogging
|$150 - $350|
Breaking down the price
Below is a breakdown of the different costs that can be included in the water damage restoration pricing.
One of the biggest costs involved in water damage restoration is labor. Generally, you will expect to pay between $70 and $200 per hour for every laborer working in your home.
Call Out Free
If you need a professional in an emergency (i.e. they need to come immediately) you will be charged a call out fee of between $50 and $100.
Portable Pump Rental
If you decide to do some of the work yourself, you will need to pay to rent materials. The most common of these are portable pumps and dehumidifiers. Renting a pump for your home will cost between $120 and $350, assuming you also decide to rent the hose. You can save $50-$100 if you use your own garden hose, although the process will be slower, potentially leading to more water leaching into the carpet and walls of your home.
A dehumidifier is crucial in removing water from the walls of your home. For a standard dehumidifier, you can rent from a hardware store for around $200 for a week. For an industrial dehumidifier, the costs are around $1,000 for a week. For comparisons of dehumidifiers you can purchase, check out our best dehumidifier guide.
- Labor $70 - $200 / hr
- Call Out Free $50 - $100
- Rentals $320 - $1,350
- Total $720 - $2,450
Different Classes of Damage
As well as the different types of water, there are also four different classes of damage. These will play a major role in shaping the labor and materials needed, and therefore the overall cost of the project.
This is the most severe class, and usually involves some sort of natural disaster like a hurricane or flooding.
- In this class, water has saturated brick, stone, or hardwood - materials that usually don’t absorb water quickly. The cost for class 4 repairs can be anywhere from $2,000-$10,000, depending on how quickly you can catch the problem.
In this class, moisture has usually come through a ceiling, and involves saturation of the ceilings, walls, and floors.
- This will require serious professional help, in terms of both addressing the flooding, and the structural damage. The cost for Class 3 is usually $1,000-$3,000.
This is when an entire room is affected by water damage, including the walls to a height of more than 12 inches.
- The big damage here is that water is in the structure of the walls, and therefore will require additional materials. The cost for this type of damage is usually between $500 and $1,000.
This refers to small levels of cleaning, usually involving only clean water.
- An example of Class 1 damage would be a leak in a sink pipe or an overflowing sink, resulting in a wet carpet. Class 1 can usually be fixed without the need for professional help, or with minimal professional involvement, therefore resulting in a cost of less than $200.
Types of Damage
The actual manner of damage falls under five different categories:
Cosmetic damage refers to things like stained and discolored ceilings, tarnished metals, and damaged furniture. In most cases, the damage can be repaired for less than $200.
Structural damage involves the destruction of things like drywall and plaster, as well as warping of the floor and sagging of the ceiling. Replacing damaged drywall is $1.40 per square foot, plaster walls are $6.25-$18.75 per square foot, and hardwood floors are $10.45 per square foot.
Although price, therefore, depends on the scope, this can come in at between $500 and $1,000.
Mold and Bacterial Damage
Mold is an extremely common after-effect of water damage. Mold remediation is usually around $5.00 per square foot.
Appliance and Electrical Damage
Washers and dryers ($500-$2,000), furnaces ($2,000-$4,000), hot water tanks ($500-$2,500) may all need to be replaced after water damage.
Damage to Personal Items
If water damages things like photo albums, or other heirlooms, the damage is priceless. Other objects like televisions, computers, or other electronic devices are more quantifiable, and usually fall in the $500-$1,000 range.
In addition to the above, the following may be required:
- Replacing carpets - $4.70 - $5.50 per sq. ft.
- Replacing or refinishing hardwood floors - $10.45 per sq. ft.
- Replacing drywall - $1.40 per sq. ft.
- Replacing plaster in walls - $6.25 - $18.75 per sq. ft.
- Mold remediation - $5.00 per sq. ft.
HOW TO SAVE MONEY
CALL YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY
It is important to call your insurance company. Whether you have homeowner’s insurance, renter’s insurance, or flood insurance, getting the costs of restoration covered by your insurer is a game-changer.
DO IT YOURSELF
You can also undertake smaller projects yourself. As mentioned above, some water damage restoration will be cosmetic, meaning you can use domestic cleaning products and some elbow grease. If you’re confident in your ability, you can also rent a dehumidifier and do some of the work yourself. For anything more serious, however, it’s safer (and often cheaper in the long-term) to just let the professionals take over.
What determines your final cost of water damage restoration is the precise nature of the damage. Actually removing the water is, in many respects, the easy part. It’s the cleanup that happens afterwards that determines what your final bill is.
You can certainly look for ways to save money yourself (as long as it is safe for you to undertake the work). However, one of the most frustrating things about water damage is that there’s not really much you can do short of identifying the problem as soon as possible.
In general, prevention is a better tactic than restoration. Whether that involves taking the steps to buy flood insurance, or fixing the old pipes, it’s almost always cheaper to spend the money to prevent water damage than to have to spend the money after it’s happened.