How Much Does Water Damage Restoration Cost?
$1,241 - $5,338
$1,241 - $5,338
Updated June 16, 2022Written by HomeAdvisor.
Water damage restoration is the process pros take to clean up water after an emergency. It costs between $1,241 and $5,338, with an average price of $3,286. This range varies depending on the severity of the damage, the type or class of water damage, and where it happened.
Additional cost factors include mold remediation and preventive care, though insurance plans for qualifying homeowners offset some prices. Always document water damage for insurance claims as you meet with your water damage restoration pro.
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|Typical Range||$1,241 - $5,338|
|Low End - High End||$450 - $13,000|
Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 1,242 HomeAdvisor members.
Qualified pros start by determining the source of each water damage incidence, assigning classifications based on how clean the water is, which illustrates the level of contact it had with dirt, grime, sewage, and other contaminants.
Only a licensed pro can categorize and classify water damage, and many insurance companies disallow DIY diagnoses when issuing payouts. Speed is also of the essence here, as Category 1 damage can quickly transform into Category 2 damage and so on.
|Water Damage Category||Average Price Range per Square Foot for Restoration Service|
|Category 1||$3 – $4|
|Category 2||$4 – $6.50|
|Category 3||$7 – $7.50|
Clean water is the easiest to dry, so you’ll pay around $3 to $4 per square foot for this service. However, drying is just the first step in the restoration process since related repairs depend on the impacted material. As such, repairing and cleaning carpets costs around $1 to $11 per square foot, and repairing drywall costs around $1 to $3 per square foot.
Clean water poses no health risk, as it hasn’t come in contact with chemical or fecal matter—though it can cause structural damage if left unchecked. Damage related to clean water often starts with drinking sources. Here are some common causes:
Leaky faucets: The faucets themselves and related pipes and fittings are susceptible to leaks that go unnoticed for long periods.
Leaky toilet tanks: Toilet tanks spring leaks every once in a while, leading to clean water damage.
Rain and sprinklers: Water often travels into the home via open windows, a leaky roof, or any other holes or cracks throughout your structure.
Burst pipes: Repair burst pipes immediately, as massive amounts of water can transform a clean water issue into a more costly grey or black water one.
Water heaters: Like any water source, water heaters are susceptible to leaks and burst pipes. The average heater lasts eight to 12 years, so call in a pro for yearly maintenance calls to ensure proper operation.
Grey water—also called sullage—includes harmful contaminants such as detergents, and these spills are more difficult to clean up than clean water. You’ll pay around $4 to $6.50 per square foot to dry and remediate the water, with additional costs to repair related damage. For instance, repairing hardwood damage related to grey water costs about $10 to $15 per square foot, while repairing plaster damage costs around $6 to $19 per square foot.
Though grey water hasn’t come into contact with sewage and fecal matter, it has come into contact with certain chemicals that pose some health risks. Additionally, grey water is the perfect place for bacteria and mold to thrive if left unchecked. Here are some common causes:
Overflowing appliances: When the dishwasher, washing machine, and related appliances overflow during use, they spill grey water that has come into contact with detergent, food, or clothing debris.
Toilets: When toilets overflow while filled with urine or cleaning agents, this leads to a Category 2 grey water repair issue. Please note that this doesn’t mean there’s any sewage backup.
Black water is the most notorious category for repair and cleanup. It costs around $7 to $7.50 per square foot to remove black water from the home, but this price doesn’t include repairing and replacing infected items.
Unfortunately, prices escalate further once a pro removes the water from the home. Anything the water touches—including upholstered furniture, beds, carpeting, clothing, and any porous building materials—absorbs contaminants since black water has come into contact with sewage. In many cases, replacement is cheaper than restoration.
Also, this category poses some serious health risks due to the level of bacteria found in black water. This type of damage often requires a qualified mold remediation crew.
There are several common causes of black water flooding:
Sewage backups from drains and septic systems
Leaks or tears throughout your plumbing system
Flooding from overflowing rivers, lakes, and contaminated groundwater
Secondary flooding created by powerful storm surges
In addition to category, pros also describe water damage by class. Whereas the category describes the source of the damage, the class type illustrates the level and extent of the damage. Consult with a pro to classify your damage correctly.
|Water Restoration Class Designation||Average Price Range for Water Damage Restoration|
|Class 1||$150 – $400|
|Class 2||$500 – $1,000|
|Class 3||$1,000 – $3,000|
|Class 4||$20,000 – $100,000|
This is the easiest and most budget-friendly class to clean and restore, costing around $150 to $400. Class 1 indicates that just a section of a single room experienced water damage, with very little carpeting exposed. A competent homeowner with some DIY experience can handle Class 1 water damage, as well as pros new to the field.
This indicates water damage throughout an entire room, including the walls up to at least 12 inches. Class 2 water damage restoration costs around $500 to $1,000 since it’s more time-consuming for a local water damage cleanup pro to handle, as moisture remains in the actual structure, carpeting, floors, and any nearby appliances and fixtures.
When water damage reaches nearly every part of one or multiple rooms—such as the ceilings, walls, subflooring, and insulation—it’s classified as a Class 3 issue. It costs around $1,000 to $3,000, with the prices escalating quickly since many of these structural materials require replacement.
Class 4 costs around $20,000 to $100,000 and is the most expensive class of water damage to restore and repair, as it derives from long-standing water such as a river flooding or hurricane storm surge. Class 4 water damage permeates structural materials like stone, brick, and hardwood and typically spreads throughout the home quickly.
Water damage doesn’t play favorites, infecting nearly every component, material, and fixture throughout a home. Each part experiencing water damage has varying costs for repair and restoration.
|Area of the Home||Average Price Range to Repair and Restore|
|Bathroom fixtures||$150 – $350|
|Floors||$200 – $500|
|Drywall||$300 – $800|
|Ceiling||$350 – $1,250|
|Roof||$400 – $1,700|
|Basement||$500 – $80,000|
|Plumbing||$1,000 – $4,000|
Fixing a leaky faucet costs around $150 to $350, but more severe issues with bathroom fixtures cost more to repair. For example, cleaning and repairing an entire 120-square-foot bathroom from water damage can cost as much as $3,000. Hiring a plumber costs an average of $300, and they'll diagnose any lingering bathroom issues related to water damage. Repair plumbing issues quickly, as many insurance plans don't cover damage due to ignored maintenance problems.
Repairing floors cost around $200 to $550. Due to permeability, some flooring types are more susceptible to water damage than others. For example, laminates and carpets soak up liquids quickly, leading to subfloor degradation. Hardwood does a bit better when coming into contact with water, while tiles are sometimes impervious to water damage. There are many causes of water-damaged floors, including flooding, leaks, and damaged pipes.
Repairing drywall costs about $300 to $850. These costs vary depending on the amount of water damage, as most drywall types require replacement when coming into contact with high moisture levels. Replacing drywall costs $1.50 to $3 per square foot and is recommended to minimize the chances of mold growth.
Repairing a ceiling costs around $350 to $1,250, with pros charging around $75 per hour to fix a sagging ceiling caused by water damage. The overall price fluctuates depending on the severity of the damage and any issues that require repairs, such as broken pipes in the ceiling.
Repairing a roof costs around $400 to $1,700. Repair a leaky roof quickly, as damage can easily spread to other parts of the home. Leaky roofs are commonly caused by missing shingles, damaged flashing, ice dams during the winter, inadequate runoff, and structural damage. Insurance companies may require a professional inspection before paying for the repairs, which technicians can handle easily.
Repairing water damage and flooding in a basement depends on several factors, including the level of standing water, the extent of the damage, and any appliances and fixtures exposed to the damage. For instance, repairing a basement drain costs around $700 to $6,000, and removing one inch of clean water costs around $500 to $1,500. This cost increases with higher levels of freestanding water and the presence of grey or black water versus clean water.
All told, the total cost to restore a basement from water damage ranges from around $500 for small leaks up to $80,000 for many feet of standing sewage water running throughout the house. Budget for more when your space has been hit by contaminated sources, like a river flood.
Repairing burst pipes is a crucial step in preventing future water damage and typically costs $1,000 to $4,000. In some cases, damaged pipes require a total replacement. Installing new pipes costs around $350 to $2,000, depending on their accessibility, overall length, and materials. Prevent burst and leaky pipes by hiring a local plumber to conduct a yearly inspection, as they'll suss out minor issues before they can cause serious damage.
Hurricanes and river flooding are common natural causes of water damage, as are high water tables and improperly graded ground. In some cases, massive amounts of water damage necessitate a sump pump repair or replacement, particularly in areas with high water tables. Installing a sump pump costs around $640 to $2,000, with an average installation price of $1,200. Other water damage preventive measures include installing a water alarm and regrading the ground near your home.
Mold is a serious health issue since spores begin growing just 24 to 48 hours after moisture enters the environment. Removing mold costs around $1,100 to $3,400, with an average price of $2,200. Mold remediation is time-consuming and potentially dangerous work, best suited to experienced pros. A local mold testing expert will analyze your property to assess the presence of mold and what type exists in the home, then call in a local mold remediation expert if necessary.
DIY water damage restoration is possible for small clean water leaks that are in one room. But call in a local water restoration pro for anything more serious.
Helping your home recover from extensive water damage is best left to the pros, as these jobs require specialized tools, safety equipment, and years of experience. In the case of grey water and black water damage, there are also some serious health risks to consider.
There are some helpful things you can do before the contractor shows up, such as:
Leaving windows open
Removing wall hangings and furniture
Turning off the power to your home
It's impossible to prevent every instance of water damage, particularly when caused by extreme weather or river flooding. However, there are some ways to minimize the risk of water damage.
Inspect appliances and plumbing fixtures monthly, looking for leaks and related issues. Confirm hoses are free from drips, and check the sealing around tubs and showers, caulking them if necessary.
Hire pros to inspect the various parts of your home every year, including the plumbing, roof, foundation, and more.
Extend downspouts away from the foundation, improve yard grading, and install a sump pump to minimize flooding risks.
Keep gutters and downspouts clear of debris, and keep on top of cleaning tasks.
Install leak detectors and automatic shutoff valves throughout the home.
Winterize your pipes to prevent bursting from the cold.
In many cases, homeowners insurance plans cover water damage due to acts of nature, sudden damage, or damage related to fixtures still under warranty. Call your insurance company for specific plan and coverage details, and take photographs and videos of the damage. Properly documenting the incident simplifies the claim process and maximizes your chances for a favorable outcome. Some pros handle insurance claim management, so bring this up while collecting repair estimates.
A water-damaged home can take around five days to dry, though this depends on the damage. As for dedicated cleanups and repairs, it goes in phases, with water extraction taking at least three days and full restoration taking weeks or even months. Replacing drywall, plumbing fixtures, and electrical components can take a few days as well.