The Costs of Disaster Cleanup and Restoration
Straight answers to questions about what we know best
Abbotts is a family-owned business. Collectively, we have more than 65 years of experience in helping people recover their homes and businesses in the aftermath of calamity.
We take very seriously our obligation to contribute value to our community and figure one good way to do so is to be a trusted source of reliable information about the subject we know best: disaster recovery and restoration. So we’re launching the “Ask Abbotts” blog post series to respond directly to the questions we get from our customers and readers.
First topic? Easy … what does it cost to restore damaged property? Read on for some insights into the ranges of costs for some common cleanup and restoration projects.
"A good insurance policy and a professional disaster recovery team can greatly reduce out-of-pocket costs to you. So you can focus on getting your family or business back to normal."
Start with your insurance company
First, I’ll tell you straight: properly cleaning up and restoring disaster-damaged property is expensive.
You may cut some costs by doing part of the job yourself, but you then run the risk of failing to properly complete the job, not to mention sustaining personal injury or even incurring legal liability in your business. All this can be exacerbated by cleanup and construction expenses.
So the first thing you need to know about recovery costs is that you should make sure that you’re adequately insured and that you get the full value from your insurance policies.
Start by making sure you understand the details of your policies, deductibles, what’s covered and how to contact the insurance company in the unfortunate case of a potential claim. Keep policy documents in a secure place, preferably a fireproof safe or safe-deposit box. It goes without saying that you want to work with a restoration company that has experience in working with insurance companies, as well as ongoing relationships with them.
To eliminate uncertainty, we use Xactimate® software to provide you with industry standard pricing. This software is used by every insurance carrier in the nation, is industry approved and preferred for seamlessly resolving claims. With detailed accounting of work, room by room, you will never be left surprised or left guessing about the cost of restoration. A good insurance policy and a professional disaster recovery team can greatly reduce out-of-pocket costs to you, so you can focus on getting your family or business back to normal.
Fire recovery costs
Fire damage includes water damage from fire-fighting efforts, on top of smoke damage. Even small fires that don’t result in a structure’s destruction often result in damage requiring extensive repairs and construction.
Studies of actual fire restoration projects indicate that many run from $6,000 to more than $9,500, with the average running just under $8,000. Bear in mind that this data includes modest and larger homes. Where a project falls within this range (or outside it) depends upon the extent of the damage and the value of the property.
The takeaway here is, again, that you want to make sure you’re adequately protected with insurance.
Flood recovery costs
Flood recovery costs include costs for removing standing water, as well as those for repair of water damage. Cleaning up after floods can be further complicated by the presence of chemical and biological contaminants in the water, which pose significant health risks. Toxic mold can also result from flooding, posing significant obstacles to recovery.
Homeowners spend between $2,500 and $3,500 for water removal and an added $2,000-$3,000 to repair water damage. So the cost of recovering from a flooded basement could run between $4,500 and $6,500, if everything goes just right and not including abatement and remediation costs if mold sets in. And remember, these costs can vary greatly. This just gives you a picture of how costs can mount from even a modest water incursion.
"Know this: If you experience a disaster that significantly damages your home or business, it will cost a lot to recover. You’ll need all the help you can get. Make sure your insurance is in good order."
Mold remediation costs
Mold spores can cause respiratory and other health issues, especially to people with vulnerable immune systems or breathing disorders. Because mold hides in dark, moist places, it can be difficult to completely find and eradicate the threatening fungus. So it’s difficult to find mold in a structure, remove it completely and certify its eradication. And costly.
Depending on the scale of infestation and type of mold, it can cost up to $30,000 to completely eradicate a moderate mold infestation. Think of mold creeping its way through the ducts in your home or business after establishing itself in attic corner with an unnoticed leak. It becomes a big problem, fast. Even a small infestation will likely cost more than $1,000 to eradicate.
Finish with your insurance company
It bears repeating: Know your insurance policies, make sure you adequately protect your property in case of fire, flood and other hazards, and make sure you keep insurance documents and contact information in a safe place.
If you experience a disaster that significantly damages your home or business, it will cost a lot to recover. You’ll need all the help you can get. Make sure your insurance is in good order. A professional disaster restoration company will systematically gather loss information, diagram the scope of the job, identify related project costs, verify the accuracy of the cost estimate and bill by the job, not by the hour.
If you have questions related to disaster cleanup and restoration or commercial services, we want you to ask Abbotts. Our knowledgeable team members are at your service 24 / 7. Call us at 303-975-4000.