05 May Flooded living room

The Costs of Serious Water Damage

Posted by PlumbWize

Indoor flooding: it’s a homeowner’s worst nightmare. Some of the damages it inflicts on furniture and on the home’s structure can be costly to remedy. But this kind of aggravation is highly preventable.

Oftentimes, these floods are caused by overlooked plumbing problems like leaky pipes, clogged drain lines, and the like. Plumbing problems like this may start small and are then brushed off as something not worth an expert’s attention. However, there are also cases of an indoor flood’s rapid onset because of an unexpected plumbing emergency.

Whatever the case may be, please know that plumbing experts are just a phone call away and are available 24/7. No matter how small the plumbing issue seems to be or how late in the night a plumbing emergency happens, don’t hesitate to reach out. Time is of the essence and you’d want to nip that problem in the bud. Because as you will see in this article, serious water damage is definitely a nightmare that no homeowner deserves.

walking through a flooded house

What Does Serious Water Damage Look Like?

The amount of water damage that you get from indoor flooding varies. Most electrical appliances are likely to be damaged upon contact with the water especially if they are plugged in and turned on.

The amount of damage on your carpeting, flooring, wooden structures, and furniture, however, depends on how much time has passed before the flood is managed and the resulting moisture is cleared up.

That’s an important point to emphasize. If the flood is mostly gone but a significant amount of moisture still remains, the damage on the affected furniture and structures can still continue. Here is what the timeline of serious water damage from indoor flooding looks like.

Within Minutes

Within just minutes after the flood, it can already cause significant damage to the furniture and carpeting. Moisture-sensitive furniture finishes will turn white. Furniture standing on soaked carpets will leach and stain the carpets.

Within Hours

Within hours, these damages become even worse. Furniture that is left in contact with the water will begin to swell and delaminate. Certain dyes can also begin to bleed.

Within Days

And within days, permanent damage extends to the wooden floors, the wallpaper, the paint, and other wooden structures. Fungi can begin to appear. Wooden floors may exhibit cupping and warping, making them damaged beyond repair. Paint will blister and wallpaper will start to peel away. Any wooden structures will be prone to swelling, warping, and splitting apart.

Close up of water-damaged wooden flooring

How will Indoor Flooding & Serious Water Damage Impact Me?

Indoor flooding and the resulting water damage can impact you in many ways. The overall water damage cost is a total of the stress, time, and money it takes to get everything back to normal.

Hassles at Home

Depending on the extent of the damage to be remedied, you may not be able to stay in the house or certain parts of the house will be inaccessible until the problem is completely fixed. If you are able to stay in the house, you need to be prepared for the hustle and bustle of reconstruction work that needs to be done.

The Time Cost

Once the flood has been cleared, it generally takes about 72 hours for the affected materials to be completely dried out from the moisture. Only after this time can water damage restoration work begin – if necessary. The reconstruction, which typically involves the flooring, walls, and various wooden structures, can take an average of 1 – 2 weeks.

The Monetary Cost

The monetary cost of dealing with a flood and repairing the damage it leaves behind sits on an average of $4,200. However, the kind of floodwater and the extent of damage can add more to this amount. We’ve already talked about what extent of damage indoor flooding can have in a previous section.

So let’s talk quickly about how the type of floodwater can actually raise the costs. Basically, dirtier water with more contaminants and/or pathogenic agents will have a higher clean-up cost. There are three categories:

  • Clean Water Damage – comes from a pipe such as leaky faucets or running water. However, if cleanup is delayed, this can escalate to the next category, Grey Water Damage.
  • Grey Water Damage – also encompasses flooded toilets, burst pipes, sump pump failures, and the like. Grey Water Damage, when left for 48 hours, escalates into Black Water Damage.
  • Black Water Damage – also includes sewer backups. Any affected items recovered from Black Water Damage is non-salvageable.

Where Does Home Insurance Come In?

Though this can vary from policy to policy, your homeowner’s insurance will most likely cover water damage under specific circumstances. If the water damage results from a sudden, unforeseen mishap such as a broken pipe or malfunctioning appliances, insurance will likely cover it.

However, gradual damage and wear and tear are typically not covered. This is yet another reason to call in the plumbing experts even when the problem seems small – such as a leaking pipe. If this worsens over time and ends up causing serious water damage, there’s a high chance that insurance may not cover it.

We’d like to take this opportunity to also note that if you experience any kind of water damage, make sure to let your insurance company know immediately and do the proper documentation.

What Can I Do to Prevent Water Damage?

In a nutshell, one of the best ways to prevent serious water damage to your home is to not overlook even seemingly small plumbing problems. Here is a list of plumbing problems that typically cause indoor floods:

  • Leaky or broken pipes
  • Leaking water heaters
  • Faulty washing machine hose
  • Clogged sewer or drain lines

Aside from recognizing the above culprits, it is also highly recommended to get your plumbing inspected by an expert at least once a year to find any hidden problems before they become emergencies.

As a final note, be aware of where your valves are located and label them accordingly. In case of sudden indoor flooding, you can switch off affected valves or even shut off the water supply to your home.

Who Can I Call For My Plumbing Concerns?

PlumbWize is a premier provider of professional plumbing services in Hamilton, Oakville, Burlington, and anywhere in between. With over 20 years of industry experience, we’re more than confident that we can solve your plumbing problems, big or small. We are also committed to 24/7 service in case of plumbing emergencies. Contact Plumbwize today!


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