Water damage restoration is the process of repairing damage caused by water infiltrating a building or home. How long the water damage restoration process takes can vary significantly depending on the extent of the damage. When water damage occurs in your home, you may be wondering how long it will take to repair and get your life back to normal.
What is Water Damage Restoration?
Water damage restoration involves several steps to fully repair damage caused by water. This includes:
- Assessing the damage and locating the water source
- Extracting any standing water
- Drying out affected areas
- Sanitizing and deodorizing
- Completing any needed repairs like replacing drywall or flooring
The goal is to quickly remove all water, dry the area to prevent mold growth, sanitize to inhibit bacteria, and make needed repairs. This restoration process allows you to get your home back to a pre-loss condition.
How Long Does Water Damage Restoration Take?
The length of time it takes for water damage restoration can range anywhere from a few days for minor damage to several weeks if extensive repairs are needed.
Here are some of the main factors that influence how long the water damage restoration and repair process will take:
Type of Water
- Clean water from sources like broken pipes or appliance leaks is easier to remediate than contaminated water sources. This water damage may only take 2-3 days for restoration.
- Grey water contains some contaminants and takes longer to sanitize and dry. This type of water damage may take 3-5 days to fully restore.
- Black water from sewage or floods requires extensive sanitizing and drying which can prolong the restoration. This can take 5 days to several weeks depending on severity.
Extent of Damage
- Minor water damage limited to a small area like one room will take less time to dry out and repair. Restoration for minor damage may only take 2-3 days.
- Major or extensive water damage affecting multiple rooms or structural elements will require much longer to fully restore. Drying and repairing severe damage can take several weeks.
- The drying process is one of the most important steps and influences how long restoration will take. Areas need to completely dry to prevent mold growth.
- Drying time is affected by factors like amount of standing water, humidity, airflow, and materials affected. The drying process alone can take anywhere from 2 days to 2 weeks.
- The extent of repairs needed like replacing drywall, floorings, cabinets etc. will add to the restoration timeline. Minor repairs may add just a few days but major replacements can add several weeks.
As you can see, the type of water, amount of damage, drying time, and needed repairs all work together to determine the total timescale for restoration.
What Does the Water Damage Restoration Process Look Like?
Now that you know what factors affect how long water damage restoration takes, let’s look at what the step-by-step restoration process generally involves:
1. Emergency Response
- A water restoration company will arrive ASAP to begin mitigating damage and removing water. The faster water is extracted, the less damage.
2. Water Extraction
- Standing water is removed using vacuum pumps and other extraction tools. All affected areas are identified.
3. Drying Begins
- Equipment like dehumidifiers, blowers, and air movers are positioned to dry out materials. Wet flooring, carpets, walls etc. are removed if needed.
4. Sanitizing & Cleaning
- Once dry, surfaces are sanitized to inhibit mold growth and bacteria. Odors are also removed.
5. Structural Repairs
- Any repairs like replacing drywall, insulation, flooring or other removed materials are completed.
6. Restoration & Rebuild
- The final step is refinishing and rebuilding damaged elements like trimwork and cabinetry. Your home is restored back to normal.
The drying process is continuous throughout restoration and drives the timeline more than any other factor.
How Long Does Water Restoration Take for Different Water Damage Situations?
To give you a better idea of timescales, here’s an overview of approximately how long the water damage restoration process takes for some common water damage scenarios:
Minor Leak or Spill – 2 to 3 Days
Minor water damage from a small leak or appliance spill usually takes 2 to 3 days to fully restore. Water extraction, drying, sanitizing, and minor repairs can often be completed within this timeframe.
Major Leak or Burst Pipe – 3 to 5 Days
For a larger leak from a burst pipe or appliance that affects a sizable area, the restoration process typically takes 3 to 5 days. More extensive drying along with some repairs may be needed.
Basement Flooding – 1 to 2 Weeks
When a basement floods, there is usually a substantial amount of standing water to extract and the space must be thoroughly dried to prevent mold growth. Complete restoration for a flooded basement generally takes 1 to 2 weeks.
Sewage Backflow – 1 Week to 1 Month
Sewage backflow causes some of the most extensive damage and greatest health risks. Remediation requires extensive disinfecting and sanitizing which can prolong the restoration timeline from 1 week to 1 month depending on severity.
Major Storm Flooding – Several Weeks to Months
For homes damaged by major storms, flooding or water intrusion can impact the entire home and require extensive repairs. The restoration process for this level of severe water damage can take several weeks to months.
Key Takeaways: Expected Water Damage Restoration Timelines
- Minor damage like appliance leaks: 2 to 3 days
- Major leaks or pipe bursts: 3 to 5 days
- Flooded basement: 1 to 2 weeks
- Sewage backflow: 1 week to 1 month
- Major storm/flood damage: Several weeks to months
The key is that every water damage situation is unique, so it’s impossible to predict an exact timeline. Get in touch with a professional water damage restoration company after any water damage occurs to get an accurate estimate for your specific situation.
How Can I Get an Accurate Restoration Timeline?
If you have suffered water damage in your home, contact a professional water damage restoration company as soon as possible. Here’s what you should do:
- Call for emergency water removal within 24-48 hours of damage occurring to prevent mold growth.
- Ask the technician for an estimated timeline specific to the details of your water damage.
- Get an itemized explanation of what is required for the drying, sanitizing, and repair phases.
- Ask if they have drying equipment like dehumidifiers and air movers available to start right away.
- Inquire about their availability to start restoration work immediately.
A reliable water damage restoration company will assess your situation and give you a detailed breakdown of what is needed to restore your home along with an accurate estimate of how long the entire process will take. This tailored timeline will help you know what to expect.
The sooner you call for help after discovering water damage, the quicker restoration can begin and the less impact there will be on your home. Professional flood damage repair experts have the right tools and technology to restore your home to a pre-loss condition as efficiently as possible.
How Can I Speed Up the Water Damage Restoration Process?
While there are many factors involved in how long water damage restoration takes that you cannot control, there are some things you can do to help minimize the timeline:
- Immediately call a restoration company to begin water removal and drying.
- Mitigate damage ASAP by removing affected items and extracting standing water if possible.
- Increase airflow in damaged areas by opening windows.
- Separate & elevate wet items to improve drying.
- Point out all damage areas to ensure comprehensive repairs.
- Approve necessary repairs and replacements quickly so work is not delayed.
- Keep restoration technicians updated on any changes to the damage.
- Be flexible with restoration company schedules when possible.
The faster you can get professional restoration started and approve needed repairs, the quicker the water mitigation and rebuilding process can be completed.
Don’t Wait to Call for Professional Water Damage Help
As you can see, there are many variables that affect how long the water damage restoration process takes after water infiltrates a building or home. When water damage occurs, time is of the essence.
To limit damage and get your property restored as quickly as possible, contact Southeast Water Restoration, a professional water damage restoration company, right away after discovering the problem. Reputable companies have the latest drying equipment, sanitize fully, make all needed repairs, and work to get your home back to normal as fast as possible.