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What is the cost to restore water damage?

Short answer: It typically ranges from $1,400 to $7,500. The cost could be higher or lower, depending on the source and amount of water, the types of damaged materials, and how hard it is to access the damaged area.

Minimum emergency service, which would be basic drying of clean water only without replacing damaged materials, would cost the least.

More involved drying for things like contaminated water or damage that requires repair/replacement of sheetrock, baseboard, and flooring will cost the most.

Insurance will usually cover the damage, but in cases where it isn’t covered, or where the damage isn’t costly enough to justify filing a claim, it’s important to know your options.

When it comes to water damage costs, the two most important questions are:

  1.  What is the cost to properly dry the damage?
  2. What is the cost of doing nothing and letting it “dry naturally?”

Let’s start with question number two. While properly drying the damage will cost money up front, doing nothing will cost much more in the long run.

Consider this: When you find wet places in your home or business, that water has usually passed through walls or ceilings before it got to the place where you found it. The areas behind those walls, floors, or ceilings will be very wet, and the longer they stay wet, the worse the damage will be.

Mold and mildew can start within forty-eight hours under the right conditions, and that can lead to wood rot in the building’s structure; something very expensive to repair. Trapped water can take a long time to dry up on its own; especially if those areas are filled with wet insulation. By the time it dries naturally, the worst damage might have already been done.

Also, water trapped water will continue to be released and spread to other areas of the structure. Humidity levels will rise as the water evaporates. That water vapor can cause even more damage to other parts of the building and to your belongings, so it’s important to open up wet areas and dry them inside using the right equipment.

So, that brings us back to question number one: What is the cost to properly dry the damage?

Restore Water Damage

How we determine the cost

The cost is determined by the size of the affected area and the amount of time it takes to dry.

The size of the area will determine how much equipment is needed to dry it, and there is a daily charge for each piece of equipment. The larger the wet area, the more equipment we need. The wetter the area, the longer the equipment will be needed.

Average cost per square foot depends mostly on the type of water that caused the damage. The dirtier the water, the higher the cost. That’s because the people who set safety standards for our industry require extra safety measures for contaminated water.

Those safety measures are meant to protect occupants and our team members, and they help us to comply with laws that regulate the disposal of contaminated materials.

Here’s how the average cost breaks down per square foot:

Clean water (Water from leaky water supply pipes): $3.75 sq. ft.

Gray water (Dishwasher or washing machine water): $4.50 sq. ft.

Black water (Water from sewage backup or flooding from groundwater): $7 sq. ft.

This square footage includes floors, walls and ceiling.

Repairing and replacing affected materials

After drying is complete, the risk of secondary damage is over. However, in almost every case, you will have holes in your sheetrock, which are necessary to vent the walls for drying. In some cases, you may have sections of ceiling or walls cut out, which is necessary for removing wet insulation before drying.

You might also have baseboard or flooring that had to be removed, or cabinets that had to be removed in order to dry behind and under them. In those cases, you will probably want to have those materials professionally repaired or replaced.

The cost of that will depend on the amount and cost of the materials being replaced. For instance, it’s cheaper to replace the carpet or laminate than hardwood floors.

On the typical restoration job, repairs will add an average of $1,000 to $2,000 over the cost of drying. As mentioned previously, that’s only an average. It could be more or less.

Costs per square foot for repairs break down like this:

To replace sheetrock and insulation, and paint to match can range from $3.50-$4.50 per sq ft.

To replace a ceiling, texture it, replace insulation, and paint it can cost between $5.50 and $6.00 per sq. ft.

To replace and paint baseboards and shoe molding can cost between $5.50 and $9.00 per linear foot, depending on the type and thickness you need.

We always like to remind our customers that water damage restoration is a process that requires time, money, and communication. We hope the information provided above helps you understand how the process works. If you have any other questions, please visit our website:, or call us at 901-624-9200.

Remember…IT’S WHAT WE DO!