How Much Should It Cost to Clean a Flooded Basement?


Need some repair and cleaning for your flooded basement? What should your estimate be? Take a look at this guide to prices.

How Much Should It Cost to Clean a Flooded Basement? Emergency flood situation at the apartment house

Did you know that 90% of all types of natural disasters in the US are water-related? From 1995 to 2015, floods accounted for almost half of these disasters. Worse, they’ve caused the country $662 billion in damages during this period.

And they continue to do so.

In 2018, flood damage led to over $1.35 billion in claims paid by the National Flood Insurance Program alone. The average claim paid by NFIP amounted to $42,580.

These figures already tell you how costly flood damage cleanup and repairs could be. So, if you have a flooded basement, you should prepare to shell out thousands of dollars to get it clean and dry.

The question now is, how much should you expect to spend on basement flood cleanup? What are the factors that can drive your costs up (or down)?

We’ll answer all these questions below, so be sure to keep reading!

The Typical Cost Range of Basement Flood Cleanup

Cleaning up a basement flood can run you anywhere from $500 to a whopping $85,000. Those in the lower end are usually basements flooded with clean water. Those on the higher tier are usually flooded with toxic black water.

The depth of the floodwater, its category, and the size of your basement will determine your costs. The location of your home will also influence your flooded basement cleanup bill.

The Depth of Water

Every year, over half of new home constructions in the US feature slab as a structural foundation. They’re cheap, easy to install, and require low maintenance, after all.

Basements, however, provide more usable square footage and greater structural integrity. This has made them popular, and in 2018, 25%, or 213,000 of the 840,000 new homes built had a basement.

But since basements are an entire floor built into the ground, they are prone to flooding. Flood water can fill them up, which could be a lot of water since basements are at least six feet.

This is also why the cost to clean up basements is higher than the average crawl space cleaning cost. Crawlspaces have above-the-ground placement, so they’re also less prone to flooding.

That said, a basement that has less than an inch of flooding could cost around $1,000. This involves completely drying out the area and fixing the most minor water damage.

If the standing water in your basement is over one inch deep, expect up to $4,000 for water removal. Note that this price is usually for just pumping the water out of your basement. It doesn’t include the basement reconstruction or repairs of water-damaged items.

Type of Flood Water

There are three categories of floodwater, and the cost to clean up your basement will depend on this too.

Category 1

Category 1 is water that comes from a clean source, such as faucets and drinking fountains. Since they come from sanitary sources, they don’t pose serious health and safety risks. That’s why it’s the cheapest type of floodwater to clean up.

Category 2

Exposure to this water may pose a health hazard, as it can have significant contamination. Toilet backup and dishwasher overflow fall under this category. This makes it more expensive to deal with than category 1 flooding.

Category 3

This involves water with high contamination levels of toxins or pathogens. Sewage water, as well as floods from lakes, rivers, and oceans, are category 3 flood water. Their severe health risks make them the most expensive type of floodwater to clean up.

Professional cleanup of category 1 water averages at $3.75 per square foot. This goes up to $4.50 per square foot for category 2 and up to $7 for category 3.

Size of Your Basement

Now that you have an idea of pricing factors, you can use these to estimate your basement clean-up costs.

Let’s say that you have an average size basement, which could be 700 to 1,000 square feet. Multiply the size of your basement by the average cleanup price based on the type of floodwater.

If you have category 1 flooding, then your cleanup bill would be around $2,625 to $3,750. This would go up to $3,150 to $4,500 for category 2 clean up. Ballpark figures for category 3 cleanup would be about $4,900 to $7,000.

Your Home’s Location

18 states, such as D.C., Illinois, and Maryland, implemented labor cost increases this 2019. These three, along with a handful of other states, now have a minimum wage of $15.

If you live in any of these states, expect to have higher basement flood cleanup costs. The higher the minimum wage in your state, the more expensive labor and services cost. Labor is one of the biggest determiners in flood cleanup contractor costs.

If you live in Georgia or Wyoming though, lucky you as they have the lowest minimum wages in the nation at $5.15. Of course, your flood cleaner will charge more, but likely not as much as states like D.C. or Illinois.

Other Cost Factors to Consider

The prices above are only for the cleanup costs and exclude the cost to repair or replace damages. If you have a finished basement, you might have to fix or replace the flooring too. Walls, insulation, and support beams would also likely need repairs or replacements.

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