One of the most devastating things you can experience as a homeowner is severe water damage or flooding. Whatever the cause, be it broken pipes, leaking appliances, or more serious issues like sewer backups and flooded basements, they can all cause major water damage issues.

Amplifying the problem is that you have no time to waste in dealing with water damage repair. Mold can start developing in as little as 24 hours, even from small amounts of water. Water damage may also result in all sorts of safety hazards and structural problems that you may not even notice until it’s too late.

Therefore, the first priority is stopping any leak or whatever the source of the water problem. Once you have stopped it from causing more damage, you need to contact a professional to begin water damage restoration steps. They will repair and restore your home and prevent additional damage from occurring. 

Different Types of Water

Did you know there are three types of water? The first type is "clean" water from rain, condensation, leaky pipes, and so on.  Clean water is relatively harmless to clean up yourself. However, if you decide to seek outside help, it typically costs around $3.75 per square foot for basic water damage cleanup. 

The second type is gray water, which is slightly dirty water from dishwashers, washing machines, clean toilets, etc. Gray water may have some contaminants. However, you can clean it up yourself if you remove it carefully and with proper safety gear to protect yourself. Professional water damage cleanup cost rises to $4.50 per square foot. 

The third type is black water, such as sewage or serious flooding from nearby rivers, etc. This water contains waste, bacteria, and other serious contaminants. Black water can cause very serious health problems, and you shouldn't try to clean it up yourself. It's time to contact the pros for home water damage repair. Water damage cleanup cost rises to $7 per square foot.

Clean Up

Before you hire someone to safely getting rid of water in your flooded home, be sure to document the entirety of the damage first. This will help with any insurance claims you make. 

When you have standing water, a professional can remove it more easily than you would with buckets or plastic tubs. They will likely use a wet-dry vacuum after removing the bulk of the water. 

The next step is to let the area ventilate and dry thoroughly. A professional water restoration crew will bring a dehumidifier to help speed up this process. 


The time that water damage repairs take to complete will depend on the time it takes for the material affected to dry up and how severe the damage is. If you’re dealing with a single room, it will likely take less than a month to clean, repair, and restore. That allows for 72 hours for drying out, and another 1-2 weeks to repair the damage.

The drying process for homes affected by water damage can vary.  Technically there’s no precise estimation on how long the drying time will take. However, on average, a water-damaged home will take around 5 days to dry. In other cases, it could take as little as two days, or in other situations, it may take a few weeks to dry out a home.

Preventing & Reducing Water Damage

Once you have stopped the actual leak, you need to immediately start the process of water mitigation. This is the process of preventing or reducing the amount of water damage, to prevent additional damage.

Maybe you are dealing with a burst pipe, or worse yet you have a flooded basement. Regardless of how bad the initial damage is, you cannot afford to wait to start the water cleanup process. Water spreads very quickly and will get absorbed into the floors, the walls, your furniture, and other areas in your home. Here is a breakdown of the impact of water damage over time. 

Water Damage Within 1 to 24 hours:

Within just a single hour up to a day after your home has been exposed to water, it will begin to cause damage. This is when drywall begins to bulge and break, furniture begins to swell and crack, and metal surfaces begin to tarnish.

Water Damage Within 48 hours up through 7 days:

Between hour 2 and the end of the first week, the damage will compound. Your home will experience growth and spread of mold and mildew. The doors, windows, and wood flooring may swell and warp, and metal may begin to rust and corrode. At the same time, there is a possibility of serious biohazard contamination.

Water Damage After More than a Week:

If water damage persists for more than a week, mildew and mold growth, structural damage, and biohazard contaminants may pose serious risks to you and your family. The delay in restoration time may also increase the cost to repair water damage significantly.

Mold spores and the need for mold remediation and decontamination services are almost guaranteed at this point.

Water Damage FAQs

If you’ve experienced water damage, you may have questions. Whether you’ve had a water issue before or are just doing due diligence t remain prepared, the following questions and answers contain vital information. 

Will my homeowners’ insurance cover water damage?

Homeowners insurance provides coverage for damage that is sudden and accidental (such as a rupturing water heater or a pipe burst). With flood damage, regardless of the source of the water, it may not be covered by standard homeowners policies. Be mindful that the water damage resulting from lack of maintenance is not covered on a standard homeowners insurance policy. Flooding can occur from storms, sewer backup, and overflowing bodies of water such as rivers,  ponds, lakes, etc. Luckily you do have the option to purchase flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program.

Is water damage an emergency? 

Yes. Water damage can be one of the most common and most serious emergencies your property will experience. Whether your home has been affected by a storm, flood, roof leak, HVAC leak, busted pipes, overflowing appliances, or sewage backup, a water problem can easily distress and threaten you and your home’s safety as well as your property value.

How quickly can mold grow from water damage? 

It usually takes between 1-2 days for mold to grow from water damage. It’s important to act quickly and safely to ensure your home and your health aren’t in jeopardy from exposure.  

Will mold die if it dries out?

Unfortunately, no. Unless mold has been completely removed mold spores can remain dormant or inactive but can still be a threat to your home. Mold removal should only be done by a professional who specializes in mold removal. 

Getting Professional Help

Most water and flood damage situations require immediate response by professionals. Once you have stopped the leak, it’s time to start removing water. If you try to do it yourself and miss something or wait too long to call, it will take significantly longer to repair and restore your home. Often, professionals can get to the damage more quickly, taking steps that the average homeowner may not know to take, that can reduce the overall costs of restoration.

When you hire a water damage restoration company to handle your water repair, they will start with water extraction immediately to minimize the damage and even help prevent the onset of mold. After the water mitigation process is complete and further damage prevented, the water damage restoration process will begin so you can start rebuilding and restoring your home!

With TrustDale certified companies, our goal is to get you repaired and restored as soon as possible to help you safely enjoy your home once again. Be sure to contact a company through TrustDALE to qualify for the $10,000 Make It Right Guarantee.

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