How Much do Cleaners Charge for Flood Cleanup?

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If your home has just been caught in flooding, our condolences. We know it's heartbreaking to face the damage left behind by a major storm, and you're probably dreading the process of wading through your possessions to find out what you can salvage and what you'll have to throw away. It's also time to start thinking about flood cleanup, because the sooner you get a skilled cleaning team in to get to work, the less likely the probability of permanent problems like mold, mildew, and rot in your home.

Effects of floodwater

When your house floods, it can cause a cascading series of problems. Floodwater is often heavily contaminated and may corrode electrical wiring in addition to depositing biohazards around the house along with mold spores and a gross coating of muck. Your home needs to be meticulously cleaned not just on the surface to take care of aesthetic problems, but inside your walls, floors, and possibly ceiling to get all the water out.

What does professional flood cleaning include?

Professional flood recovery cleaning includes a thorough evaluation of your home followed by extraction of any standing water, meticulous flushing with clean water if necessary, and then the painstaking process of drying your home out and cleaning it room by room. It may be necessary to replace walls and carpeting along with damaged furniture. Your flood crew will be especially attentive when it comes to the electrical system (keep in mind that an electrician needs to separately inspect and approve the system before it's powered up again!) and making sure the whole house is nice and dry when they're finished, because they don't want mold and mildew creeping in after they leave.

Cost of flood cleanup

So, how much do cleaners charge for cleanup? You can expect to pay around $3.75-7.00 per square foot in 2018 for flood cleanup, and that number may shift depending several key factors.

The first is the severity of the flood damage. If the flood was mild, you may get away with paying less because the cleaning company won't need to spend as many hours at the site. As with other contracting work, the real cost for flood cleanup is in the labor more than the materials. Conversely, if your home has severe damage or the crew wasn't able to get in for several weeks or even months, you could be facing a much higher bill.

Your location also matters. Regional pricing for contracting services can vary, and in flood-prone regions, you may have multiple firms competing for business, which can result in low prices for you. On the other hand, in the wake of a major storm, you might find that prices are driven up by the demand, and in addition, there could be a waiting list for flood cleanup services.

Deciphering an estimate for flood cleanup

When you look at a cleaner's estimate for flood cleanup, determine what is covered. Pay attention to whether it includes hauling away ruined furniture and construction materials along with replacement of damaged components. Use a bonded and insured firm to make sure the work will be backed by a guarantee and that you will not be liable for any accidents on the job. In addition, remember that contractors need licenses to work on projects like tearing out walls and replacing wiring.

Insurance coverage for flooding

You should also be aware that many homeowners insurance plans explicitly exclude flooding. If you're concerned about potential flood damage, read through your policy carefully and talk to your insurance agent about getting flood coverage, if necessary.

Katie Marks writes for

Updated July 5, 2018.

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