Leaky faucets, clogged toilets, faulty appliances and inclement weather can all cause disastrous water damage to a home. From ceilings to floors to crawl spaces, excess water can’t be ignored—it can weaken the structure of the home as well as cause mold. Repairing water damage can be very expensive if the source of the moisture is difficult to reach, such as within the walls, or if it’s begun to break down natural materials like wood. The cost of addressing water damage depends on the ease of eliminating the source of the water, the extent of the damage and the amount of affected material, and the amount of cleanup and debris removal. Most importantly, the cause of the water damage must be fixed as well as the damage itself; a slow-leaking pipe left to drip in the wall will continue to cause additional water damage.
The cost to restore a typical, noncatastrophic water leak averages $2,400, ranging from $1,000 to $3,800. Simply cleaning up and drying out the house ranges from $3.75 per square foot to $7 per square foot, depending on the amount of water. On average, drying out a 10-foot by 12-foot room costs $200-$400. This doesn’t include any serious construction required to return the home to its original state, such as replacing floors or repairing a roof. Here are the factors that affect the cost of water damage restoration.
Steps to restoration
In many cases, water damage is a result of an emergency, such as a burst pipe or a natural disaster. Before repairs can begin, the homeowner must make sure it’s safe to enter the space, and may need to call on local first responders to help. Next, the damage must be assessed and the home inspected; any standing water removed, such as lingering floodwater; the areas dried out, cleaned and sanitized; and finally, the damage fixed.
Mold abatement and removal
The most common water damage restoration tasks include replacing drywall — on the walls and ceilings — as well as intensive carpet cleaning. A general contractor, such as American Home & Hardscape in Burtonsville, Maryland, can handle most of the work. For instance, replacing sheetrock costs between $5 and $8 per square foot and installing new drywall is about $1.50 per square foot. Repairing a ceiling, which can be stained, soggy and sagging, usually costs between $500 and $1,000.
Carpets also need to be dried out and cleaned, assuming they can be salvaged, by professional carpet cleaners such as DB Carpet Care in Humble, Texas, Greenside Clean in Mission Viejo, California, or Master’s Touch Steam Cleaning in San Antonio, Texas. Mold hiding underneath the carpet poses the biggest health risk from water damage, so carpets should be cleaned right away; many companies, including Greenside Clean, offer 24-hour emergency services. Most carpet cleaning pros can extract water from a carpet, which ranges from $150 to $500 per room, and then clean it thoroughly, which generally costs less than $1 per square foot.
Finally, homeowners often must have debris hauled away, including torn-out drywall and sheetrock. A junk removal service, such as EBRR Property Maintenance Services in Capitol Heights, Maryland, can collect and carry away a range of debris, ensuring proper disposal of potential hazards as well as recyclables. Depending on the amount of debris, this service generally ranges from $100 to $700.
Any restoration project that requires hazard containment or ventilation will be more expensive. If construction is required, the cost of local building permits must also be factored in.