Water damage is a threat millions of Americans face every year. It is estimated that one in 50 insured homes will make an insurance claim for water damage each year, which amounts to $2.5 billion paid out by insurers.
The high cost is not just due to the presence of water but the prolonged exposure of the home to water. Costs can also increase based on the type of water present. Unclean water, for example, can lead to nasty bacteria on surfaces, which only a professional can remove.
If your home has been damaged by water, you need to calculate how much it can expect to cost.
What Is Water Damage Restoration?
When flooding occurs, water does more than making everything wet. Prolonged water exposure can damage floors, drywall and roofs. If left unaddressed, water damage may render a property unsafe.
Water damage restoration is a service that comprises two major stages.
The first step is the removal and extraction of any water in the property. This will also include a general cleanup. The second stage involves inspecting the structural elements of the property, followed by any necessary repair work.
Categories That Determine Water Damage Restoration Cost
Most homeowners simply want to know how much a water damage restoration service is going to cost them.
The answer is: it depends.
A leaky gutter filled with rainwater will inevitably cost less to fix than water damage caused by a burst sewage pipe.
Water damage restoration is, therefore, separated into three main categories. Only a water damage expert may accurately classify a category of water damage.
Category 1: Clean Water Damage Restoration
The lowest category is clean water damage restoration. Clean water is defined as water that contains no fecal matter, chemicals or other nasty bacteria. This type of water damage typically comes from drinking sources and toilet tanks containing no chemicals.
Also, the water will not have been standing for a prolonged period of time. If left unaddressed, clean water damage may be reclassified as gray water damage.
Clean water damage restoration is a matter of removing the water and repairing any existing structural damage.
Homeowners who experience clean water damage are not at risk of serious illness or death by coming into contact with the water.
Cleanup costs as part of a clean water damage restoration projects average at $4 per square foot. Like with all average water damage restoration costs, this figure does not include the costs of structural repair.
Category 2: Gray Water Damage Restoration
Gray water damage typically contains harmful contaminants, such as household detergents. If left untreated, gray water may also lead to bacterial growth and mold.
There is little difference between the cleanup costs of gray water and clean water. On average, cleanup costs are $4.50 per square foot.
The most common causes of gray water flooding include overflowing washing machines, dishwashers and toilets.
Category 3: Black Water Damage Restoration
Black water damage is the most serious of all types of water damage. The water left behind is full of dangerous contaminants, which can cause serious illnesses and even death in some cases.
Homeowners who notice extremely dark-colored water should leave the property immediately and call a professional who can accurately classify the type of water damage.
Black water damage occurs mainly due to flooding, storm surges and backups of the sewage system. The contaminants are extremely toxic and any household items which absorb the water must be replaced.
The average cost of black water cleanup is $7.00 per square foot. Repair and replacement costs may be considerably higher as it is not enough to simply remove the water and dry everything.
All upholstered furniture and permeable building materials must be removed and replaced. The whole area afflicted by black water will need to be thoroughly disinfected in order to make the property safe for human habitation.
Only professionals should handle black water accidents.
Water Damage by Class
As well as categorizing the type of water damage, professional water damage restoration contractors will also classify the project by class.
This will take into account not just the type of water but the area and scale of the repairs.
Class 1 jobs afflict only a small area of the home with minimal moisture absorption, whereas class 4 jobs are full-scale jobs that require a specialist. Most class 4 jobs are the result of major weather events, such as hurricanes and earthquakes.
The classification of the job will have a major influence on the final cost.
Consider Hiring A Water Damage Restoration Company
Homeowners often make the mistake of assuming a large concentration of water is something that can be managed by an afternoon of cleaning. This is not the case. Major structural damage may not become apparent for months after the initial incident. There may also be serious bacterial issues that need to be addressed.
Do not put your or your family’s health and well-being at risk. Contact the water damage restoration experts at Monumental Contractors for a full inspection.