Water damage can devastate your residential or commercial property, leading to expensive restoration costs. In fact, the Federal Emergency Management Agency estimates that restoring damage caused by just one inch of floodwater can cost up to $25,000.
If you reside in a flood zone near a river or coastal line, it is crucial to have a plan in place to address water damage quickly. The accumulation of water can rapidly cause damage to walls, floors, and other areas of your property and promote mold and bacteria growth. To prevent mold growth, it is essential to dry any wet or damp areas within 24 to 48 hours.
Failing to address water damage promptly can have severe consequences, such as compromised structural integrity, health hazards, and increased repair costs. Therefore, taking immediate action to minimize the damage and prevent any further harm to your property is essential.
Causes of Water Damage in Homes
Water damage in your home can happen unexpectedly and have a significant impact. It can occur in various ways, such as broken pipes, failed valves, and other malfunctions in the modern home. Therefore, it's crucial to be prepared and have the plan to address any potential water damage issues promptly.
There are numerous causes of water damage in homes, including:
- Plumbing issues such as burst pipes, leaking faucets, and damaged hoses.
- Damaged shingles, cracks, or missing tiles cause roof leaks.
- Flooding from heavy rain, storms, or natural disasters like hurricanes or floods.
- Faulty or malfunctioning appliances such as dishwashers, washing machines, and refrigerators.
- Clogged or overflowing gutters and downspouts.
- Improperly installed or damaged windows and doors.
- HVAC system malfunctions or leaks.
- Water heater leaks or malfunctions.
- Clogs or blockages in the pipes cause sewage backups.
- Foundation cracks or damage that allow water to seep in.
How much does Water Mitigation Cost?
Water damage cleanup costs can vary greatly depending on the extent of the damage and the necessary restoration services. HomeAdvisor estimates that the average cost to clean up water damage in 2021 is between $1,202 and $5,104, potentially exceeding $12,000. This estimate does not include the cost of a complete restoration.
Factors impacting the final cost include whether the water damage is isolated to one room or section of the home and whether walls, floors, or ceilings must be removed to dry the damage properly.
Even small details can affect the price, such as the type of flooring affected, with laminate being more expensive to restore than hardwood due to its ability to hold moisture on the subflooring and cause rot.
Additionally, the cost can be higher if the outer walls are affected than the inner walls. Other factors that can add to the overall cost include the need for mold remediation services, repair or replacement of damaged personal belongings, and the cost of reconstruction services.
Homeowners should also check with their insurance company to determine what costs may be covered under their policy.
Costs Based on Types of Water Damage
Water damage in homes can result in varying costs depending on the type of damage. The following are some factors that determine the cost of water damage restoration services:
Type of water damage
The type of water damage can impact the cost. For instance, clean water damage (Category 1) caused by a burst pipe may cost less than black water damage (Category 3) caused by sewage backup.
Per square foot
Some restoration companies charge per square foot of the affected area. The bigger the area, the higher the cost.
If a sump pump is required to remove standing water, it can add to the water mitigation cost.
Depending on the homeowner's insurance policy, some or all of the cost of water damage restoration services may be covered.
If mold has already started to grow, additional mold remediation services will increase the overall cost. You can seek the assistance of mold remediation customer service or damage restoration company services.
Repair and restoration process
The extent of the damage and the repair and restoration process required will impact the cost.
Immediate health risks
If there are immediate health risks to occupants, such as mold or contaminated water, additional safety measures may be required, which can increase the cost.
Water damage restoration companies
The cost of restoration services may vary from one company to another, with some charging higher rates than others.
Cleanup and restoration services
Some companies may offer additional cleanup and restoration services that can add to the overall cost.
Water mitigation process
The process of water mitigation involves removing water and drying the affected area, which can impact the overall cost.
Cleanup and repair process
The process of cleaning up and repairing the damage can also impact the overall cost.
If the water damage has resulted in additional damage, such as structural damage, it can increase the restoration services cost.
In summary, the cost of water damage restoration services can vary depending on several factors, including the type of water damage, the extent of the damage, the repair and restoration process required, and any additional services needed. It is important to contact a water mitigation company as soon as possible to assess the damage and provide an estimate of the restoration cost.
Water mitigation process: Step-by-step
Locate the water source
To locate the water source causing the damage, you should start by identifying where the water is coming from. This could be a burst pipe, a leaky roof, a malfunctioning appliance, or even a natural disaster like flooding. Look for signs of water damage, such as discoloration, bulging walls or ceilings, and a musty smell.
Trace the water damage to its source, and if necessary, turn off the water supply to prevent further damage. It may also be helpful to consult with a professional plumber or water damage restoration company to identify and address the source of the water damage.
Remove the Water
After locating the source of water damage, the next step is to remove the water as quickly as possible to prevent further damage. This can involve using pumps, wet vacuums, or mops to remove standing water from the affected area. The goal is to remove as much water as possible to speed up drying and prevent mold and bacteria growth.
It's essential to take safety precautions while removing water, such as turning off the electricity in the affected area and wearing protective gear like gloves and boots to prevent exposure to contaminated water.
Call a Water Mitigation Technician
After removing the water, it's important to call a water mitigation technician immediately. These professionals are trained and equipped to handle water damage. They can quickly assess the situation, identify any potential hazards or safety concerns, and begin the mitigation process to prevent further damage.
Water mitigation technicians use specialized equipment to extract any remaining water and moisture from the affected area and dry it out completely. They also sanitize and disinfect the area to prevent mold and mildew growth, which can harm your health.
Choosing a reputable and certified water mitigation company ensures the job is done properly and thoroughly. They can work with your insurance company to help you navigate the claims process and minimize out-of-pocket expenses.
Contact Your Insurance Company About Water Damage Mitigation
Contacting your insurance company is an essential step in the water damage mitigation process. Most homeowner's insurance policies cover water damage, but it's crucial to double-check your policy details to ensure you have adequate coverage.
When you contact your insurance company about water damage mitigation, be prepared to provide them with as much information as possible, including the cause and extent of the damage, affected areas, and any immediate health risks.
Your insurance company will likely send out an adjuster to assess the damage and determine the coverage for repairs and restoration services. Make sure to ask your insurance company about any additional fees or deductibles that may apply.
It's important to note that insurance companies may not cover damage caused by certain types of water damage, such as flooding from a municipal wastewater system or natural disasters. In those cases, you may need to consider alternative sources of financial assistance.
Regardless of the cause of the water damage, it's crucial to act quickly and contact your insurance company as soon as possible to ensure the best possible outcome for your home and personal belongings.
Water Cleanup Equipment Setup
To begin the water cleanup process, appropriate equipment must be set up depending on the extent of water damage. The tools required may include:
- Industrial Dehumidifiers: These are designed to eliminate large amounts of water quickly. The size of the dehumidifier and its ability to remove moisture depends on the room's size and the wetness level. It is important to select the correct size, as an overly large dehumidifier can unintentionally remove moisture from solid surfaces like ceilings and floors, causing them to crumble. At the same time, an undersized one will take too long and allow mold to grow.
- Desiccant Dehumidifiers: These are industrial dehumidifiers that are ideal for extra-wet areas like flooded basements.
- Air Scrubbers: These are filtering devices that attach to air conditioning ductwork. They remove moisture and filter out contaminants like mold spores, mildew, pet dander, dust, allergens, and pollen. They are also used to remove debris from the air that is created during drywall demolition, which may include asbestos.
- High-velocity Air Dryers and Air Movers: These are used to remove moisture from hard-to-reach areas like under kitchen cabinets. Once the moisture is eliminated from these tight spaces, industrial humidifiers can eliminate it.
- Thermal Imaging Cameras: Technicians use these devices to determine whether a surface is wet or dry based on its heat retention or release. They aim the camera at surfaces around the home to assess the progress of the water dry-out.
- Non-invasive Moisture Meters: These devices assess the precise moisture levels in various surfaces, preventing overdrying. They are used to ensure that granite countertops and drywall reach the correct moisture level.
- Invasive Meters: These meters check the core moisture of materials like wood beams that can be penetrated.
- Atmospheric Readers: These devices check the temperature and relative humidity in different home areas, identifying areas that require more attention.
The Dry Out
"The Dry Out" refers to the process of removing excess moisture from a space that has been affected by water damage. This process involves using specialized equipment such as industrial dehumidifiers, desiccant dehumidifiers, air scrubbers, high-velocity air dryers and air movers, thermal imaging cameras, non-invasive and invasive moisture meters, and atmospheric readers.
These tools help to eliminate moisture from different areas and surfaces in a home, including tight spaces like under kitchen cabinets and core materials like wooden beams. The goal is to achieve the proper moisture levels to prevent further damage and inhibit mold growth and other harmful contaminants.
Before and After Comparisons
Before and after comparisons are often used to show the effectiveness of water damage restoration and its impact on a property, these comparisons can involve a range of factors, such as the extent of the damage, the cleanliness and safety of the environment, and the overall appearance of the space.
Some common before and after comparisons include:
- Water damage: Before the restoration process, a space may be flooded, with water seeping into floors, walls, and furniture. After restoration, the area should be completely dry and free of excess moisture.
- Mold growth: A space may grow mold before restoration due to excess moisture. After restoration, the mold should be removed and prevented from returning.
- Air quality: Before restoration, the air quality in a space may be poor due to mold, dust, and other contaminants. After restoration, the air quality should be improved, with contaminants removed and the space properly ventilated.
- Structural damage: Before restoration, a space may have structural damage, such as weakened walls, floors, or ceilings. After restoration, the space should be structurally sound and safe to occupy.
Overall, before and after comparisons are useful tools for showing the positive impact of water damage restoration and the importance of addressing water damage quickly to prevent further damage and ensure a safe and healthy environment.
After the water cleanup and the dry-out process, a water mitigation company will typically conduct a customer walkthrough to ensure the customer is satisfied with the work. During the walkthrough, the customer will be able to see the areas that were affected by the water damage before the cleanup and how they look after the restoration process.
If the customer notices any issues or concerns during the walkthrough, they can address them with the technician, who will take the necessary steps to address the problem. Once the customer is satisfied with the work done, they can sign off on completing the restoration process.
Water Mitigation Completion
Water mitigation completion refers to the final stages of the water damage restoration process. At this point, the water mitigation team has successfully removed all the excess water, dried out the affected area, and cleaned and sanitized the space to prevent mold growth.
During the water mitigation completion phase, the team will conduct a final walkthrough with the homeowner to ensure that they are satisfied with the work that has been done. The team will also answer any homeowner's questions and provide instructions on maintaining the restored area.
Finally, the team will conduct a final inspection of the restored area to ensure that it meets its high-quality standards. Once they are satisfied with the work, they will provide the homeowner with a certificate of completion to certify that the restoration work has been done professionally and to industry standards.
Schedule an Insurance Adjuster Walkthrough
To schedule an insurance adjuster walkthrough after water mitigation completion, follow these steps:
- Contact your insurance company and inform them that the water mitigation process has been completed.
- Request an insurance adjuster to come and assess the damage to your property.
- Work with the water mitigation company to schedule a convenient time for the insurance adjuster walkthrough.
- Be present during the walkthrough to discuss the mitigation process and answer any questions the adjuster may have.
- Provide the adjuster with a copy of the water mitigation report and any other relevant documentation.
- Ask the adjuster about the claims process and what additional information may be needed to complete your claim.
- Follow up with your insurance company after the walkthrough to ensure that your claim is being processed in a timely manner.
Remember to keep all water damage and mitigation process documentation safe, as you may need it later for your insurance claim.
Find a Water Restoration Company
To find a water restoration company, you can follow these steps:
- Research online: Use search engines and review websites to find water restoration companies in your area. Look for companies that are licensed and insured.
- Check references: Ask friends and family for referrals or look for online reviews and ratings from previous customers.
- Contact potential companies: Reach out to the companies you are interested in and ask about their services, pricing, and availability.
- Check credentials: Ensure your chosen company is certified by industry associations such as the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification (IICRC).
- Get estimates: Ask for estimates from multiple companies and compare prices and services to find the best option for your needs.
- Check insurance coverage: Ensure the company has liability and worker's compensation insurance.
- Read the contract carefully: Ensure you understand the scope of work, pricing, and contract terms before signing.
You can find a reputable water restoration company to help you with your needs by following these steps.
Does Water Damage Decrease Your Home's Value?
Water damage can potentially decrease your home's value, depending on the severity and extent of the damage. If the water damage has caused significant structural damage or mold growth, it can reduce the value of your home. Additionally, even if the water damage has been repaired, it can still impact the value of your home if potential buyers are aware of the past damage. It's essential to address water damage promptly and thoroughly to prevent further damage and potential decreases in your home's value.
How to Sell a Home with Water Damage?
Different options are available to you, depending on your situation, if your home has suffered water damage.
You may choose to do so if you have the financial resources or insurance coverage to pay for the cleanup and repairs. It is essential to hire a reputable contractor and ensure the restoration work is of good quality. You should also consider repairing and updating any other areas of the home that require improvement before putting it on the market.
However, if the water damage is due to recurring flooding, you must inform potential buyers of the issue. Remember that most home buyers do not want a half-finished home, so you must invest time and money to make the property market-ready. This may involve high upfront costs you may or may not recoup during the sale.