How Long Does Water Damage Repair Take?
Water damage repair timelines can differ greatly depending on the type of saturated materials, scale, amount of water, and many other factors. Most water damage claims can be split into two large stages, mitigation and rebuild. Many factors can affect the time it takes to complete each step, but below is a theoretical timeframe.
Estimated Water Damage Mitigation Timeline
- New water damage: 3-7 days
- Week old water damage: 10-14 days
- Month old water damage: 2-4 weeks
- Extreme water damage: 4-6 weeks
Estimated Rebuild Timeline
- Light rebuild: 1 to 30 days
- Medium rebuild: 1 to 4 months
- Heavy rebuild: 4 to 12 months
- Extreme rebuild: 12+ months
What is Water Damage Mitigation?
Mitigation, often referred to as the cleanup by homeowners, is the stabilization stage. What needs to be done during this stage will depend upon the level of damage. All efforts to prevent secondary damage and remove harmful materials are prioritized. Basically, all the water needs to be removed from the affected area to prevent it from causing even more damage.
This stage may include:
- Extraction of standing water
- Moving belongings out of the affected area
- Assessing the damage to belongings
- Selective deconstruction or “demo” of potentially harmful building materials (heavily saturated drywall, wet insulation, soaked carpet pad, etc.)
- Cleaning and sanitizing the affected area
- Setting up equipment (air scrubbers, air movers, dehumidifiers, extraction equipment, etc.)
The timeline for mitigation varies with the square footage affected, the type of building materials affected, the number of belongings in the affected area, and how quickly the source was identified and stopped. It is realistic to expect a standard mitigation to take 1 to 2 weeks from the time work begins.
The timeline for this stage is also heavily dependent on the source of the water. Water can enter homes and businesses from all sorts of different sources. Some of these may be fresh water sources such as a supply line or a leaky faucet. But water originating from something such as a sewage backup requires more care to be taken extending the duration of mitigation.
What is Rebuild?
The rebuilding stage is when your home is put back together. Not all water damage events require a rebuilding stage. Mild water damage with a quick response may only require a basic mitigation dry out.
The timeline for rebuild completion varies more than mitigation. The process of acquiring approval from your insurance can be the first hurdle that needs to be crossed during the rebuild stage. Insurance adjusters may take a while to go over the rebuild estimate and make approvals and changes.
Since the pandemic, supplies availability and shipping times have been frequent hold-ups on completing jobs. The right people to do the job can also add time to the rebuild schedule. While we have rebuild professionals on our team, some repairs are best done by a specialist, so waiting for availability with a particular specialist can result in a longer timeline.
Important Note: At Flood & Fire Solutions rebuilds cannot be scheduled until either 1.) insurance has approved the rebuild estimate and all related quotes. Or 2.) You sign a letter of guarantee that the rebuild invoice will be paid in full whether your insurance agrees to it or not. Some repairs may require a down payment of half the total amount of the invoice or full payment for materials.
What Can I Do To Speed Up Water Damage Repairs?
- Maintain 3-way communication at all times: Get frequent updates from Flood & Fire Solutions (or your restoration company) and your insurance adjuster. Make sure to request to be CC’d on all communications. The more informed you are, the quicker things can move forward. We always include our customers on emails and communications.
- Know your insurance policy. What's included? Even more importantly what’s excluded. Looking at your policy exclusions can often help you find what's covered faster than looking at what is covered. Every insurance policy is different, so it’s difficult to make generalized recommendations.
- Be prepared to make decisions. The sooner decisions are made the sooner we can spring into action.
- Ensure equipment is running during mitigation: You may be tempted to shut off the equipment; refrain from doing so as this will lengthen the drying time and the time of your claim.
- Make sure technicians have clear and uninterrupted access to the affected areas. If our technicians cannot access equipment or the area during mitigation they will fall behind schedule.
- Frequently view the photos and reports of the work being done. It pays to be informed throughout the process. Flood & Fire Solutions makes it easy to keep track of progress on your home and or business.
- Push for approvals on quotes and estimates by calling frequently. Your adjuster has multiple claims they are juggling and the squeaky wheel generally gets taken care of first. Don’t be afraid to reach out frequently for updates. It will get you ahead of the curve.
- Ensure timely payment. Without payment for mitigation the rebuild stage cannot be scheduled at Flood & Fire Solutions. Many other restoration companies maintain similar policies, but ultimately it will depend on your company and situation.
Disclaimer: The following conditions may interfere with the ideal general timelines included in this document: timing, market lead times, supply availability, location, weather, insurance, and other unforeseen circumstances.
As a general rule water damage cleanup will usually be complete within 7 to 14 days and rebuild will be concluded anywhere from 1 to 4 months. Other factors can complicate and extend drying time and mitigation efforts. This is only an estimated water damage repair timeline and does not represent any one flood.
If you have any questions about timelines or wait times for restoration services across east Idaho please contact us. Our team is always available and ready to help out.