As unfortunate as it may be, basements are prone to flooding. Their location at the lowest level of a building and usually underground makes them prone – water always runs from high to low ground, so it can easily find its way into a basement. Whether the excess water comes from a burst pipe, backed-up sewer line, failed sump pump, malfunctioning water-using appliance, or heavy rainfall, the basement will flood and cause plenty of headaches to the unfortunate property owner.
Basement flooding can result in many serious problems, such as rotted sheetrock and weakened support beams, so it needs to be dealt with quickly and efficiently – before the basement water damage compromises the structural integrity of the building and causes mold issues.
Flooded basement cleanup and restoration, however, is a long, complex, and expensive process, so you may be deeply concerned about how much it’s going to cost you.
The average cost to remove standing water and dry out a flooded basement is about $3,000-$5,000, but the price can vary widely depending on the cause and extent of the damage and several other important factors.
Factors Affecting the Cost of Repairing a Flooded Basement
The cost to fix a flooded basement is determined by:
1) The amount of water to be removed – The depth of the water is the first thing to consider when dealing with a flooded basement – the more water there is, the more difficult it will be to remove it and the greater damage it will cause. The cleanup cost will vary considerably depending on whether there’s an inch of clean water covering the basement floor, a foot of gray water, or several feet of dirty water, mud, and other storm debris.
2) The type of the water – Water damage is classified in three categories depending on the source of the flood water and its cleanliness and safety:
- Category 1: Clean water from broken pipes, leaky faucets, etc. that poses no health concerns. Restoring Category 1 water damage requires fixing the source of the excess moisture, removing the standing water, and drying the basement. Pumping out an inch of clean water and drying the affected area costs about $500-$1500;
- Category 2: Gray water from malfunctioning appliances, such as dishwashers and washing machines, that contains small amounts of cleaning agents, detergents, and other harmful chemicals and poses minor health risks. Dealing with Category 2 water damage involves fixing the problem that caused the water spill, removing the excess water, cleaning up any dirtiness that may be left behind, and drying the basement. The restoration cost is a bit higher and ranges from $3,000 to $5,000;
- Category 3: Black water from sewage backups and overflowing rivers that contains various hazardous contaminants, sewage, and/or toxic debris. Black water cleanup should be handled by experienced professionals who have the specialized equipment and technical know-how to safely remove the water and disinfect the area. The remediation cost is much higher and may soar up to $10,000 or more (considering that anything that may have absorbed the contaminated water – all permeable building materials and any porous materials stored in the basement – must be replaced).
3) The size of the basement – Most flooded basement cleanup companies base their initial estimates on the square footage of the affected area. Bigger basements take longer to clean up and require more manpower to complete the process. The subsequent repair and remediation works also take longer for larger areas as there are more damaged materials and structures to be fixed or replaced. Of course, this results in higher restoration costs.
4) The length of time the water sat in the basement – The longer the water stays, the more time it has to penetrate the basement materials and cause mold growth, dry rot, etc. The damage will become greater with every passing hour and the necessary repairs will get more and more expensive.
5) The kind of sustained damage – If there’s only moisture, the basement will be easily dried out and the cleanup cost will be quite low – a few hundred dollars or so. If any basement features or structural materials (flooring, support beams, furnishings, etc.) were damaged as a result of the flood, however, they’ll have to be repaired or replaced at an additional cost to the homeowner.
Basement Flooding Repair Cost
The typical basement flood remediation cost ranges from $3,000 to $10,000. A minor flood with several inches of water could cost under $2,000, whereas a more substantial flood may cost $25,000 or more to remediate.
Flooded Basement Cleanup Cost
The basic costs to pump out the standing water and thoroughly dry a flooded basement can start at around $500 and increase to over $10,000, depending on the amount of water to be removed and the equipment and procedures used to dry out the basement.
Cleaning your flooded basement yourself will cost you about $1,500 for pumping and drying equipment. Portable utility pumps generally run from $75 to $250, but you will also need a large diameter discharge hose that can cost from $50 to $100 to pump out the water (you can use a standard garden hose, of course, but its diameter is too small and the job will take longer). A professional-grade dehumidifier that will be necessary to thoroughly dry out the area can cost anywhere from $800 to $1200. You can rent the equipment to save some more money on the project, but keep in mind that the cleanup and drying process generally takes from four to six days to complete.
Using professional basement flood cleanup services will typically cost you between $2,000 and $10,000, but will save you a lot of time and effort and will guarantee that the affected area has been properly dried and sanitized.
These numbers, however, only include the cost of basement water removal, drying, and disinfection – they don’t cover the cost to replace or repair damaged structural materials or basement contents.
Additional Basement Flood Remediation Costs
Basement water damage may incur a lot of additional costs, depending on the cause of the flooding, how high the water rose, and how long it was allowed to sit in the basement.
If the heating system was flooded, it will have to be cleaned by a professional before it’s safe to use again. Cleaning will typically cost about $50-$150, but if the furnace was damaged, you may need to pay anywhere from $300 to $2,000 for the repairs. Replacing a furnace may add $4,000-$6,000 to the cost of restoring a flooded basement.
You will also need to consider the potential cost of:
- Structural repairs – replacing the drywall, repairing the floor and/or walls, replacing support beams, etc.;
- Fixing plumbing issues (if relevant);
- Replacing compromised electrical wiring;
- Replacing or repairing the basement contents;
- Mold removal and remediation.
Keep in mind that the risk for mold growth increases with every passing day, so you need to deal with the problem quickly and begin the water damage restoration process right away. Call experienced flood remediation specialists in your area and ask for an estimate of the repair cost. The pros will assess the damage, create a restoration plan, and provide you with an accurate price estimate. They can also help you with your insurance claim.
Insurance Issues after a Basement Flood
Your homeowner’s insurance may or may not cover the basement water damage, depending on the kind of policy you have and the cause of the flooding.
Most standard insurance plans cover sudden and accidental damage like a burst pipe or an overflowing dishwasher. However, they usually exclude flooding, sewage backups, and water damage that is a result of improper maintenance (like a continuously leaky faucet). Therefore, unless you have specific flood damage insurance, you may need to pay for the flood damage repair costs out of your pocket.
Either way, make sure you report the damage immediately – contact your insurance company as soon as you find that your basement has flooded and follow up with a written notice of the facts related to the claim. Do not forget to take pictures and videos of the damage – documenting the incident properly will make the claims process easier.
Whether your insurance covers the damage or not, you’ll want the water from your basement removed as soon as possible and the affected area thoroughly dried. Your best option is to call a professional disaster restoration specialist to clean up the water damage and return your basement to its original state.
Efficient and Affordable Basement Restoration Services
If you need professional water damage restoration services in the Milwaukee, WI, area, call ServiceMaster Kwik Restore without delay – we’re a fully licensed, bonded, and insured company with many years of experience in dealing with water damage restoration and mold remediation.
We respond quickly and adequately in order to prevent water from causing further damage to your home. Our technicians use state-of-the-art drying and dehumidification equipment and advanced drying methods to ensure that all water and excess moisture is removed from your basement. We sanitize the area and repair damaged structural elements, such as woodwork, drywall and flooring. In the end, our experts perform a final inspection to ensure that your property is restored to its original condition. We can even provide anti-microbial applications, as well as corrosion control, if necessary.