If you have water damage in your home or business, there are many factors to consider when it comes to the cost of restoration. The source/amount of water, length of time, and materials involved are just a few items to consider. As an example, it’s typically cheaper and less labor intensive to repair a leaky pipe than it is to replace a hot water tank. 

The extent of the water penetration will also play a role in cost. As water floods an area, it’ll spread horizontally, then vertically. In a large area, it may cost less since the water level will be lower, but this can be changed by the type of water that’s responsible for the damage. 

There are three types of water that are categorized according to their danger to health:

• Category 1 – comparatively clean water that poses a minimal risk to health.

• Category 2 – gray water that contains chemical or biological contaminants that may be hazardous to health. 

• Category 3 – black water that is extremely unsanitary and presents serious health risks if one is exposed to it.

It is important to note that the longer the water stands, it’ll steadily become more contaminated and move from clean water, to gray water, and eventually to black water. The latter two may require special treatment or equipment, such as mold removal, which can drive up the cost of repair. 

The type of materials involved will also play a factor in determining the cost. Different materials have different levels of water resistance/absorption, which means that some materials can simply dry out and be fine, while others will require complete replacement. For example, refinishing hardwood floors is typically cheaper than replacing carpeting. 

The physical location of the damage within your home or business may also influence the overall cost of repair. If the area is difficult to access, such as an attic or crawl space, special techniques/equipment may be required, including taking apart other parts of your property to access the damaged area. 

While getting an estimate over the phone is good to get a general idea of the cost, keep in mind that without a complete survey of the area, any estimate you get is just that, an estimate. The above factors need to be analyzed in person by a professional to get the most realistic evaluation. 

You’ll also want to review your home/business insurance policy to see what, if any, of the cost can be covered by your insurance company. While mechanical failures are often covered, acts of nature, like a hurricane or flood, are typically not. Due diligence with regards to the water damage restoration process and available options is important in finding the water restoration professional that best fits your needs.