How much does it cost to restore water damage?


Restoration of water damage by removal of affected building material may be necessary to assure a healthy environment and an attractive property. Water presence can lead to a mold contamination health risk for persons and must be treated accordingly.

You will find that the cost to restore water damage in an average home depends upon eliminating the source of moisture, the extent of damage, the amount of affected material, the difficulty of material cleaning or removal, the construction details of the home, and the labor rate.

In the following table the Labor Cost figures are what the able DIY person should expect to save by performing the corresponding tasks.

Water damage restoration: bathroom of 80 sq.ft. for complete restoration; remove and dispose of all damaged drywall on ceiling and walls and strip vinyl floor to underlayment; replace sub-flooring, deluxe vinyl flooring, drywall, and paint.

Item Unit Cost Quantity Line Cost
1. Remove ceiling, walls, flooring material, and fixtures: 360 sq.ft.; remove all damaged material for disposal and fixtures to re-use; prepare waste for dump transport. $0.25 per sq.ft. 360 $91
2. Replace ceiling and walls: 280 sq.ft.; replace all with 1/2″ water resistant sheetrock ready for paint; including waste. $1.03 per sq.ft. 322 $332
3. Paint: 280 sq.ft.; latex antimicrobial paint; primer coat and finish coat; including waste. $0.22 per sq.ft. 322 $70
4. Replace flooring and fixtures: 80 sq.ft. plywood subfloor and vinyl tile flooring, re-install 1 toilet and 1 lavatory in cabinet. $2.76 per sq.ft. 92 $254
5. Disposal: 3 cubic yards to the dump; transport and fees. $45 per CY 3 $135
Fees and Material Cost $11.03 per sq.ft. 80 $882
6. + Labor Cost (removal and cleaning) $28 per hour 8 $224
7. + Labor Cost (sheetrock + flooring) $32 per hour 18 $576
8. + Labor Cost (painting) $32 per hour 6 $192
Total Cost $23.43 per sq.ft. 80 $1,874

Other considerations and costs

  • These costs do not include any special measures regarding hazard containment, ventilation, or disposal. If necessary, those items will increase cost accordingly.
  • The moisture problem must be corrected to prevent recurrence.
  • These prices are for service in the immediate service area of the provider.
  • Taxes and permit fees are not included.
  • The work area must be free of all objects including furniture, rugs, and etcetera.

DIY considerations

  • This activity requires no professional certification and may be suitable for DIY.
  • Flooring and sheetrock installation may not be DIY suitable.


  • Craftsman Estimator Costbook, complete series year 2015.
  • Latest prices found on Home Depot and other vendor Web sites.
  • Literature review of DIY Web sites.