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Carpet Water Damage: What Determines Repair Cost?

Carpet Water Damage

After a flood in your home, one of the first things you are likely to consider is the carpet water damage repair cost. However, the specifics of such a repair are hard to quantify since every home, flood or leak is different and specific to your situation.

Therefore, instead of laying out specific costs, it is better to look into the factors that assist in the determining of repair or replacement costs for carpeting that has been damaged in a flood of any kind. Consequently, there are at least six contributing factors to the final cleaning or replacement cost.

Presence of Water

The first thing to consider is the presence of water. If water is still standing in the affected space, then it will cost to have it removed and the area dried out. Thankfully, there are situations where it is more prudent for you to remove the water yourself. However, before you attempt this, it is crucial that you know both the source of the water and how long it has been standing in the room.

If you know that the leak or flood stems from a clean source and it has been sitting for less than 24 or 48 hours, then it is likely safe for you to remove and save some money. You can use shop vacs or water pumps to evacuate the water. Although, if you have any suspicion that the water has been compromised and is contaminated, then it is safer to trust the removal to a professional.

Type of Water

As touched on above, some water is OK for you to remove on your own, but not all. Gray water and black water should be left to professionals. While gray water can probably be safely removed from carpeting and the material restored to pre-flood conditions, black water is usually contaminated with biological elements and other hazardous chemicals and bacteria.

When a flood is caused by black water, like sewage or natural flooding, it is best to remove and dispose of any porous materials. Therefore, clean water is the least expensive and damaging water source. Gray water can be more costly to clean, but you can still salvage your carpet. Black water is the most expensive water to remove and the most damaging because of the high level of contamination and health risks.

Size of Affected Area

Another factor that contributes to the expense of repairing carpet water damage is the size of the affected area. Obviously, the square footage will have to do a lot with the expense, but you also need to consider the cost of replacing baseboards, drywall, padding, insulation, subfloor, etc. Depending on the depth and level of contamination, the repair cost can reach well into the thousands.


Once you figure out the square footage and the foundational elements that must be replaced, you need to consider the material you will install. Berber carpet is less expensive than more plush options. Also, you will need to consider the thickness of the underlayment or padding. A bare-bones option is using a Berber carpet without padding over a concrete or plywood subfloor, but that, while economical, will not be the most comfortable for home installations.


The last factor to consider when determining the cost of repairing or replacing your carpeting after water damage is your location. Unfortunately, repair services tend to base their prices on zip code rather than materials, meaning that someone in California will probably pay more than a person in Michigan for the same repair job.

Presence of Mold

Beyond the cost of carpet replacement, cleaning or installation, you should also consider the potential hazards that must be removed before moving forward with repairs. For instance, mold is a common side effect of flooding, especially when floodwaters have been left to sit for more than 24 hours. Mold thrives in cool, damp areas and mold spores are present everywhere. Therefore, when you have a burst pipe or other leak that has been left alone, the spores cling to damp materials and colonize.

Mold can spread within 24 to 48 hours, and it likes to hide deep within porous surfaces, like carpeting. After experiencing any significant carpet water damage, it is wise to hire a remediation service to test for mold before cleaning or replacing anything. Regardless of cost, you need to repair or replace contaminated carpeting. Therefore, call a reputable restoration company, like United Water Restoration Group and schedule an appointment.

Check out the video below for some more information on mold damage.

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