The 3 factors that affect water damage costs after a leak.
If you’re dealing with a leak in your home, you’re probably wondering, “How much does water remediation cost?” The simple answer is that it depends on the extent of the water damage. But you can get set realistic expectations by considering several factors that make the cost higher or lower.
Your water damage restoration cost could be influenced by:
1. Water Mitigation Costs.
First, you will need to hire a professional to mitigate the water damage. This includes removing and drying the water from the leak. Water mitigation services and rates will depend on the type of water that needs to be cleaned up and how much of it there is.
Types of Water
Your water removal professional will start by assessing the type of water present from the leak or appliance failure. The most common types are clean and grey water.
- Clean water comes from rain or a water pipe that is not contaminated by waste or hazardous materials like cleaning solutions.
- Grey water may come from overflowing washing machines, dishwashers or toilets and often contain contaminants such as detergents or urine.
If fecal matter is present in the toilet water, you may need restoration services for black water since the water can pose serious health threats.
Amount of Water
Next, the professional will determine the amount of water that needs to be removed from the damaged area and how much of the home it has affected. Leaks and appliance failures usually cause water damage that is categorized into three classes:
- Class 1. The water damage only affects a small area of the home, such as a bathroom floor.
- Class 2. The water has damaged a larger area, usually an entire room, and can’t easily be dried out with equipment only. In addition to the flooring, the walls of the room are often damaged.
- Class 3. This class of water damage is most often associated with a flooded basement or a room where the water has come from above, such as a burst pipe over a living room or a roof leak. The floor, walls, ceiling and even insulation and subflooring may be damaged.
Average Water Damage Mitigation Cost Per Square Foot
- $4 per square foot for clean water.
- $4.75 per square foot for grey water.
- $7.25 per square foot for black water.
Left untreated, a small leak with class 1 damage can turn into class 3 damage, so it’s critical to detect and stop leaks as soon as they occur.
2. Structural and Pipe Repair Costs.
After removing and drying the water, a professional will need to remove mold and repair structural damage. Average costs may include:
- Average cost to repair water leak in wall: $1.40 per square foot of drywall
- Average cost to refinish hardwood floor: $10.45 per square foot
- Average carpet replacement cost: $4.70-5.50 per square foot
- Per hour carpentry services: $70/hour
Average cost of mold remediation per square foot: $4.70-5.50
To fix a burst or leaking pipe, the cost depends on how accessible it is and the type of pipe that’s being replaced. For example, a small leak repair involves pipes in a part of the home that’s easy to access, such as a utility room, whereas complicated pipe repair jobs may require the plumber to cut into drywall to replace a more costly pipe like copper. On average, you could pay $150-2,000 for labor and parts.
In Slab Leak Repair Cost
The cost to replace a plumbing line under the slab can vary depending on which pipe is leaking. A sewer line under slab often requires more invasive repairs, while a smaller line can be bypassed with updated plumbing, like PEX.
Water Damage Hotel Cost
If damage is extensive enough, you may also need to pay for a hotel while your home is being repaired. This was the case for an Atlanta homeowner whose family was displaced from their home for months during the water remediation process. Before he discovered the StreamLabs Control, he and his family experienced a catastrophic leak that resulted in hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage.
3. Property Replacement Costs.
Depending on the severity of the leak, some of your belongings may need to be replaced as well. For example, if the water from a leak covers the floor of a room, furniture and personal items that touch the floor may become waterlogged and need to be replaced. The problem becomes even more devastating when the leak causes damage to irreplaceable family heirlooms and mementos.
Preventing Water Damage from Leaks
At the end of the day, how much you will pay out of pocket for water damage depends on labor rates in your area and your home insurance coverage.
Unfortunately, water damage claims are 3 times more common than claims for theft and fire combined, so it’s not safe to assume you’ll never experience water damage. And if you have already experienced water damage from leaks, you may be 2 to 3.5 times more likely to experience another leak, even after repairs are made.
The good news? Most water damage caused by leaks is preventable using smart home leak detection technology. The cost of the device is minimal compared to the potential cost of water restoration, and it gives you peace of mind that you can keep track of your home’s water usage from anywhere in the world. And you don’t just need a leak detection device that monitors a certain area of your home, such as a crawl space or under a sink. You need a smart home device that offers whole home protection at all hours of the day, whether you’re home, at work or on vacation.
Learn more about the StreamLabs’ 24/7 real-time leak detection today.