Residential Home Water Damage

Quick Summary

Water damage can be an incredibly challenging and frustrating experience resulting from situations such as burst pipes, leaky fixtures, leaky roofs, ice dams, flooding and missing roof shingles. While daunting, a professional can rectify water damage quickly and restore your home to its original state.

Types of Home Water Damage

Most people will experience home water damage at some point. Knowing what to look for and following prevention measures will ensure issues are quickly fixed and limit the damage.

There are different types of water damage, causing issues that range from minor drywall rot to extensive structural damage. Failed plumbing and leaky roofs are two of the most common causes of water damage. Seepage from cracks in the foundation, leaks in the windows, or the house’s exterior may also cause water damage.

Your home might be affected by one of the following types of home water damage:

  • Ceiling water damage
  • Hardwood floor water damage
  • Carpet water damage
  • Drywall water damage

Depending on the extent of damage, you may be able to repair affected areas yourself or you may need to hire a water damage restoration professional. Costs to repair water damage vary, depending on where the damage has occurred and the prices in your local area.

Ceiling Water Damage

Ceiling water damage may be from leaky or burst pipes, heavy rain, missing shingles or a leaky faucet. An untreated leaky roof may lead to extensive and costly structural damage to your home.

Stains or water dripping from the ceiling are signs you have leaks that need to be addressed. Finding the water source and repairing the leak is key to ensuring limited damage.

Signs of Ceiling Water Damage

Thankfully, it’s easy to visually recognize signs of ceiling leaks. You may see water rings or stains on the ceiling or you may notice water dripping from it and pooling on the floor below.

Common ceiling damage signs to watch for:

  • Sagging ceiling
  • Cracked, chipped or peeling paint or plaster
  • Brown or yellowish stains

Ceiling water damage typically occurs around plumbing pipes, near washing machine water lines or in top-floor rooms or rooms near the attic.

Repairing Ceiling Water Damage

Ceiling water damage repairs can be done using a DIY approach or contracted out to water damage restoration professionals. Repairing ceiling water damage may be as simple as removing and replacing drywall in the affected area. Or repairs can be extensive, such as rebuilding a section of your home.

If the water damage is contained to a small area, you may remove the affected area, ensure the water source is found and fixed, then replace the drywall, mud and paint.

Extensive damage from a leaky roof is best left to the professional with water damage repair and restoration training. Professionals have the skills and tools to correct leaks and dry areas properly.

Water damage left untreated may need to be rectified by a professional trained in mold remediation, since prolonged moisture often leads to mold growth and mold damage.

Ceiling Water Damage Repair Cost

Ceiling water damage repair costs may range in price from $350 up to $1250. Damage from a burst pipe will be more expensive to repair than a leaky faucet.

Check with your insurance company to see if your homeowner’s insurance policy covers water damage.

Hardwood Floor Water Damage

Hardwood floors are easily damaged by water in a short period. When standing water sits on hardwood floors, it can permanently ruin the wood due, as water is readily absorbed through the material’s pores.

When flooding occurs, it’s important to remove the water immediately and be sure to dry the area as quickly as possible. Water may come from a burst pipe, a water leak in the faucet or a leaky roof.

Signs of Hardwood Floor Water Damage

Assessing hardwood floor water damage may be done through visual inspection. Check for:

  • Buckling, cupping or crowning planks
  • Fading or discoloration in the wood surface
  • Warped and uneven flooring

Water damage to hardwood floors builds up slowly over time. Some common areas you’ll find damaged hardwood floors include:

  • In the kitchen, around sinks, dishwashers or refrigerators
  • In the laundry room near the washing machine or sink
  • In bedrooms, near or around leaky windows or doors

Repairing Hardwood Floor Water Damage

Handy homeowners can repair their hardwood floors themselves, with the right materials and enough time. But for extensive damage, a professional may be necessary.

Follow these steps when you notice hardwood floor water damage:

  • Find the source of the water shut off the water supply
  • Remove damaged planks showing visible signs of warping or discoloration
  • Dry out the affected area using fans and dehumidifiers
  • Replace wet subflooring before installing new planks

Wet floors left for too long promote mildew and mold growth, leave a musty smell. For extensive mold damage, it’s best to leave the job up to the professionals.

In older homes, be advised that many floor layers used asbestos-based adhesives. Asbestos is a dangerous material to handle without the proper protection. If you suspect your flooring contains asbestos, contain a certified remediation specialist trained in asbestos handling.

Always contact a professional before you remove any materials to prevent disturbing any asbestos.

Hardwood Floor Water Damage Repair Cost

Water damage repair costs for hardwood floors range from $1,000 to $2,500 or more. The price will depend on the extent of the damage and costs of replacement flooring in your area. A wood floor expert will properly diagnose the problem and provide a water damage remediation quote.

Small areas may be corrected by the homeowner, while other areas may require a wood floor expert trained to remove the water damage and repair hardwood floors and subfloors.

Carpet Water Damage

Water damage to carpet may be due to leaky pipes left unfixed, flooding or leaks in doors, windows or roofing. When a wet carpet is left untreated, it may cause a musty odor, mildew and mold growth.

Carpet left wet for 72 hours or more may warrant removal since it often takes no longer than 2-3 days for mold to grow and spread.

Water damage professionals have a process for drying wet carpet and preventing mold, which may salvage your carpets. Mold can affect young children and immune-compromised people, so be sure to dry up areas quickly.

Signs of Carpet Water Damage

The easiest way to spot carpet water damage is to look for discoloration or dark staining. Detecting carpet water damage is not always easy, as only a small portion of the flooring may be affected. Even if you can’t see the water damage, you might smell it—wet carpet causes a foul odor that doesn’t go away even after cleaning and vacuuming.

Other signs of trapped moisture may include an increase in allergy or cold-like symptoms in people and pets. Many people experience allergic reactions to mold growth, which can indicate untreated water damage.

Carpet water damage usually occurs around improperly sealed doors and windows or in finished basements that have suffered flood damage.

Repairing Carpet Water Damage

The key to repairing carpet water damage is to act fast by drying out the area.

To dry out water-damaged carpet, you’ll need:

  • A wet/dry vacuum
  • 1-2 large fans or air movers
  • A dehumidifier

If the carpet is left wet for too long, mold and mildew may grow, at which point, it’s necessary to replace the carpet.

Carpet Water Damage Repair Cost

Carpet water damage repair may range in price from $300 to $3,000. The cost will depend upon the extent of the damage and if an expert trained in water damage restoration is needed. You may simply need to dry out the area and clean the carpet or remove and replace it yourself.

Check with your homeowner’s insurance company to see if they will cover the water damage costs.

Drywall Water Damage

Drywall water damage may occur from leaky pipes, a leaky roof or leaks near windows and doors. The decision to repair or replace drywall will depend upon the extent of the water damage and where it has intruded.

Suppose a sewage backup causes drywall water damage. In that case, it is best to consult with a certified professional for repairs, as this kind of repair involves safety matters related to biohazard cleanup, which may affect your family’s health.

Signs of Drywall Water Damage

Detecting drywall damage is done quickly through visual inspection but may require a moisture meter to inspect for moisture in the drywall and the walls. Drywall water damage is most commonly found where plumbing is located—in ceilings below bathrooms or other plumping lines or around doors and windows.

Some commons signs of drywall water damage may be:

  • Stains on the drywall
  • Bulging drywall
  • Bubbling joint compound
  • Peeling paint

Repairing Drywall Water Damage

Before beginning any project to fix drywall, you must first locate the water source and repair the leak. Continued leakage or seepage of water will only cause future drywall water damage.

When repairing drywall water damage yourself, follow these steps:

  1. Locate and fix the water source
  2. Wear protective equipment and turn of the electricity
  3. Remove damaged portions of the drywall
  4. Dry the walls using fans and dehumidifiers
  5. Sanitize and deodorize the area
  6. Replace the drywall
  7. Mud and paint the restored drywall

While the homeowner may want to fix small drywall damaged areas, it is best to call a restoration company trained in drywall water damage repair for larger jobs, especially those involving mold or extensive damage.

Drywall Water Damage Repair Cost

Drywall restoration may range in price from $45 to $55 per square foot.  The price will depend upon the damaged area size and location. The larger the area of drywall damage, the greater the cost.

Find Water Damage Restoration Professionals Near You

Water damage in your home is devastating, no matter the extent or area, causing undue stress and costly repairs. Proactive monitoring of your home will help limit leaks and damage.

While repairing damage on your own may save money, you should contact a professional trained in proper damage restoration to protect your health. A professional will be able to help you submit a water damage claim to your homeowner’s insurance company to cover the water damage and determine your deductible amount.

Author:Water Damage Advisor
Water Damage Advisor

The Water Damage Advisor content team is made up of multiple contributors, writers, and editors. We are your resource hub for anything related to water damage, mold and restoration needs that you may be challenged with facing.

10 References
  1. Chris Deziel. (unknown). How to get rid of water trapped in the ceiling. https://homeguides.sfgate.com/rid-water-trapped-ceiling-87991.html
  2. Chris Deziel. (unknown). How to get rid of water trapped in the ceiling. https://homeguides.sfgate.com/rid-water-trapped-ceiling-87991.html
  3. The Spruce. (2020). How to save a water damaged wood floor. https://www.thespruce.com/how-to-save-water-damaged-wood-floors-1821661
  4. Do It Yourself. (2011). Repairing water damaged wood floors. https://www.doityourself.com/stry/repairing-water-damaged-wood-floors
  5. Laura Reynolds. (unknown). How to fix a water-damaged wood floor. https://homeguides.sfgate.com/fix-waterdamaged-wooden-floor-30171.html
  6. AerIndustries. (2017). How to dry carpet and prevent mold after water damage: 5 Steps. https://aerindustries.com/blog/2017/02/09/steps-dry-carpet-prevent-mold-water-damage/
  7. Simply Contents. (2018) 5 Practical tips for how to repair water damaged carpeting. https://simplycontentsllc.com/5-practical-tips-for-how-to-repair-water-damaged-carpeting/
  8. Dale Cox. (Unknown) How to repair drywall water damage. https://www.do-it-yourself-help.com/repair-drywall-water-damage.html
  9. Vernon Trollinger. (2019). How to repair water damaged drywall. https://blog.directenergy.com/how-to-repair-water-damaged-drywall/
  10. Timothy Baron. (Unknown). Is drywall ruined once it’s wet? https://www.hunker.com/13418469/is-drywall-ruined-once-it-is-wet
Back to Top