The last time you called a water damage expert, the thought probably flashed through your mind: “How much does it cost to repair water damage? How much am I going to end up paying?” The short answer is: it depends. What is the extent of the damage and what parts of your home were damaged? 

Featured image for "FAQ: How Much Does It Cost To Repair Water Damage?"

The fact is, there are a lot of different senarios that fall into the category of “water damage.” And to help you figure out how much your water damage repair job will cost, today we’ll be discussing the levels of damage that can ocurr.

Why you should hire a professional in the first place

It might be tempting to clean up the water damage yourself. Now, if you catch a small leak early, deal with it, and fix whatever caused it, that’s great. But when we say “water damage” we’re talking actual damage. If your home has been damaged in any way, if the water has seeped into ceilings, walls, or floors, call a professional. That really is your best bet.

What can a professional do that you can’t? A lot, actually. Water damage and restoration experts can read the signs and classify your water damage case. And classifying water damage gives you an idea of how much it will cost.

So let’s take a look at a couple of these classification systems to better understand how an expert works out a price based on the information obtained during the inspection.

Colored water?

In the world of water damage, water is separated into three categories: clean, grey, and black. Clean water is – obviously – clean. Or close to it. This kind of water hasn’t sat for very long and is not smelly. And it comes from clean water sources such as rain or faucets. Grey water, on the other hand, is water from dishwashers, washing machines, or a toilet filled with urine. And this water, since it may have chemicals or contaminants in it quickly becomes a breeding ground for bacteria.

Of course, the worst is black water. And it even sounds nasty, doesn’t it? Black water comes from an already-contaminated source, like a sewer pipe, river, or stream.

Dark brown liquid

Now, what does all this have to do with how much it costs to repair water damage? Plenty! Black water, for instance, is the dirtiest and the most expensive to clean. The average cost, according to, is about $7 per square foot. Clean water is about half that much, at an average of $3.75. Grey water is a dollar more than that. However, keep in mind that these are averages. Depending on your particular water damage case, the price could look a bit different.

How much does it cost to repair water damage?

Lastly, we come to the subject in question. After we know what kind of water we’re dealing with, we can determine the extent of the damage. Again, as with water types, levels of damage are also divided up into categories. These are often referred to as Classes 1, 2, 3, and 4. Class 1 is a small cleanup and repair, including replacing a little drywall and drying a damp carpet. On the other hand, Class 4 probably means that you had a massive flood or hurricane. In this case, even your hardwood floors and brick walls are damaged and beyond help. 

In between Class 1 and 4, there are variables such as water leaking into the walls, an inch or two of standing water that is affecting your drywall, or ceiling damage.

There are many particulars we could go into, but for now, let’s focus on average costs.

From cleanup to restoration 

How much does it cost to repair water damage? The national average for a water restoration job is approximately $3,000. Thank goodness for home insurance, right? But again, it depends on what kind of water you’re dealing with and what elements of your home were actually damaged.

For instance, water damage roof repair may only cost about $800. To repair flooring, you’ll be looking at around $200 to $500. And for basement flooding, you could pay anywhere from $500 to $8,000. If your home has serious basement drainage issues, the price can get high fast. 

Calculator register

Before you panic, call a water restoration company in your area to assess the situation and give an estimate. If you don’t like what they say, there’s no shame in getting a second opinion. Call as many companies as you like.

Get water damage repaired the right way

We hope you now have an idea of how much your water damage repair job will cost. No more wondering, “how much does it cost to repair water damage?” Call up a professional today and get your water damage taken care of the right way. For more tips on how to hire a water restoration professional, check out Do You Need A Water Restoration Professional Who Is Licensed And Insured?