How Much Does Water Damage Restoration Cost?

Water damage can be a devastating experience for any homeowner. It’s often the result of a burst pipe, a leaky roof, or even a broken dishwasher. No matter the cause of the damage, it’s important for homeowners to act quickly and contact a water damage restoration company to prevent structural damage and mold.

When it comes to a typical water damage restoration cost, homeowners can expect to pay between $1,240 and $5,343, according to Angi and HomeAdvisor. While a variety of factors influence the final cost of restoration, such as the severity of the flooding, the size of the affected area, and any provisions in homeowners insurance, the average cost of water restoration is $3,291.

Flooding rarely comes with a warning, so exploring this cost guide now can help homeowners feel more prepared in the event they one day have to estimate their own water damage cleanup costs.

Factors in Calculating Water Damage Restoration Cost

Restoring water damage in a home can be difficult and costly. Water damage restoration cost is calculated by assessing the severity of the damage, the size of the area being restored, and any necessary repairs. There are also other factors that influence cost, such as the presence of mold growth and emergency callout fees. Some of the most influential factors homeowners should keep in mind when estimating average water restoration cost are explored in more detail below.

Damage Category 

There are three categories of water damage. Only a licensed professional can categorize and classify water damage; in fact, most insurance companies don’t accept category diagnoses from homeowners when processing claims.

Each category identifies the level of cleanliness or contamination in water resulting from a flood or leak. Category 1 is considered clean water and is the cheapest to remove and dry at $3 to $4 per square foot. Category 2, or gray water, poses slight health risks and costs a bit more to remediate, with a price range between $4 and $6.50 per square foot. Category 3, also known as black water, is the most dangerous and incurs the highest removal cost at $7 to $7.50 per square foot.

Damage Class

In addition to category, damage class plays a large role in water damage restoration cost. There are four classes homeowners should be aware of.

Class 1 is the easiest and most budget-friendly to clean. With class 1 damage, only part of one room has experienced water damage, so the damage is not widespread. Some homeowners may be able to handle a class 1 cleanup, but if they are hiring a professional, the average cost falls between $150 and $400. Class 2 is assigned when an entire room, including the walls up to 12 inches from the floor up, is covered in water. Homeowners can expect to pay between $500 and $1,000 for a class 2 restoration. Class 3 damage affects most of one room or multiple rooms, including ceilings, walls, subflooring, and insulation. A restoration for class 3 damage costs around $1,000 to $3,000. Finally, class 4 damage is the most severe and typically applies to restorations required after long periods of standing water, such as after a hurricane or river flood. Class 4 water damage is extremely expensive, costing homeowners between $20,000 and $100,000 to remediate.

Damage Type

Water can cause several types of damage. Many restoration companies break damage down into five categories:

Cosmetic damageDamage to or replacement of personal itemsElectrical damageMold growthStructural damage

Cosmetic damage is likely to have a lower repair cost than more extensive damage, with an average repair cost range of $150 to $1,000. Homeowners may also find themselves needing to repair or replace their personal items, which can add up quickly depending on the type of belongings affected. Homeowners can expect to pay between $500 and $1,500 to replace personal items lost in a water leak or flood.

Electrical damage can be more expensive, with a repair cost range of $1,200 to $3,000. Mold remediation can also come with a hefty price tag, falling between $1,500 and $4,000. Finally, as one might expect, repairs to structural damage are the most expensive type of water restoration service. Structural damage can hide, which means diagnostics take time—and, of course, the longer the time, the greater the cost. Most structural repairs add up to a total of $1,500 to $10,000.

Damage Location

Water damage can hide in many places throughout the home, so finding it as soon as possible should be a top priority. When it comes to water damage restoration cost per square foot, the location of the damage has a large impact. For example, repairing a leaky roof has a national average cost of $1,000. A basement flooded with an inch of clean water has a restoration range of $500 to $1,500; with two feet of black water, the cost jumps to $2,800 or more. A bathroom, even with less square footage than a basement, can cost up to $3,000 to clean and repair after water damage. When homeowners are estimating water restoration cost by location, they should keep in mind that the average cost per square foot also depends on the damage category, class, and type.

Damage Extent

When it comes to water damage, the extent to which it has spread within a home can greatly affect the total restoration cost. For example, damage limited to one corner of a room due to a leaky window is likely to be less expensive to repair than damage to a finished basement flooded with 3 feet of water.

To help estimate how much the damage of a flood or leak will impact the total restoration cost, homeowners should consider both the class and category as determined by their water restoration company. The higher the category or class, the more likely it is that the damage is extensive and will cost more to repair.

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