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How Long Does Water Damage Restoration Take? A Quick Guide


Water is the source of life—until it enters your property and begins to damage everything it comes into contact with. Unfortunately, water damage can destroy your belongings and cause significant structural problems. 

Remediation and restoration are critical to reducing further damage and returning your property to its pre-loss condition. In this guide, we’ll reveal how long water damage restoration takes and factors that might impact the process. 


What is water damage?

Water damage is characterized by water intruding where it isn’t wanted. In most cases, this occurs inside a property, through the roof or windows, and in basements. 

Unfortunately, water can penetrate various materials, including wood, furniture, and carpets, resulting in severe damage and extensive losses. 

Properties in New York City have a higher risk of flooding due to the area’s coastal storms (NYC Planning). 

However, there are other causes of water damage, and knowing what they are can prevent them. 

They include:

  • Faulty plumbing: Plumbing problems can occur due to faulty pipes, appliance malfunctions, or clogged drains. Avoiding water damage due to plumbing issues requires common sense and maintenance, but they’re sometimes unavoidable. 
  • Leaks: Any gaps in your roof or windows can allow water to seep into the property. Severe storms might cause these gaps, but checking the roof and windows regularly will help you notice them. 
  • Condensation: Many people don’t realize that condensation can cause serious issues – especially when it comes to mold growth. HVAC systems are vast contributors to condensation. 
  • Sewage backups: Sewer systems that experience damage can cause backups in the basement, a serious issue you should never ignore. 

Why is immediate water damage restoration important?

When water damage impacts your property, it’s easy to bury your head in the sand and avoid spending money on repairs. However, addressing the problem immediately is the best way to protect the building and its contents. 

Leaving water in your property results in the following scenarios: 

  • Structural damage: Once water seeps into the structural elements of your building, it can cause significant stability issues, resulting in expensive repairs. 
  • Mold growth: Where there’s moisture, there’s mold. However, drying the property prevents spores from growing and multiplying. 
  • Significant losses: Water can also damage your personal belongings. In many cases, they’re salvageable, but only if we can treat them rapidly. 
  • Health issues: Mold can cause health problems, including breathing difficulties and allergic reactions. 
  • Insurance denials: Most insurance providers want you to take action immediately. Failing to do this could mean your claim is denied. 

So… how long does water damage restoration take?

Now you know more about how water damage occurs and why it’s essential, it’s time to answer how long it takes. Unfortunately, there’s no straight answer here because it depends on numerous factors. 

In this section, we’ll reveal some factors that influence the duration of water damage restoration. 

The category of water damage 

Understanding the category of water damage enables us to tailor the treatment to your property and ensure the best results. The IICRC lists three categories of water damage and the contaminants it contains. 

Category 1: Clean/Sanitary water 

Category 1 water is from sanitary sources with no contaminants. For example, rain, melting snow and ice, supply lines, and toilet water from the tank or bowl (clean). Simply put, water from these sources doesn’t contain any significant risk. 

That doesn’t mean it can’t cause damage, but it’s the easiest form to treat. 

Category 2: Significantly contaminated water

Category 2 water – also known as grey water – can pose a significant health risk if it comes into contact with humans and animals. In most cases, water from the following sources can cause sickness and stomach upsets: 

  • Toilet water with urine 
  • Dishwasher water 
  • Waterbed punctures 
  • Hydrostatic water seepage 
  • Aquarium leaks 

Category 3: Grossly contaminated water 

Also known as black water, category three water is the most severe form of damage. The sources it comes from include: 

  • Sewage and waste line water 
  • Rising water (streams and rivers) 
  • Wind-driven rainwater 
  • Seawater 

Black water can cause severe illness and infections due to the bacteria and pathogens it contains. That’s why you should never attempt to deal with this water alone. 

The affected areas 

As you probably know, the extent of water damage defines how long it will take us to remediate it. For example, a sewage backup confined to a small basement will be harder to treat than rainwater in the attic. 

The main reason for this is that black water requires intensive sanitization. However, if your property suffers water damage in numerous rooms, we’ll need longer to treat and repair it. 

Impacted materials 

The timeframe for successful water damage restoration also depends on the materials in your property, as some are easier to dry than others: 

  • Carpets: It will come as no surprise that carpets can absorb a lot of water. Depending on the thickness of your carpet, drying it can take between one to three days. In serious cases, we might need to remove it altogether. 
  • Drywall: As a porous material, drywall absorbs water quickly and will take up to three days to dry. We might also need to replace sections. 
  • Wood: Wood takes the longest to dry, especially when dealing with hardwood. In general, it can take up to seven days. 

The company you choose and available resources 

The restoration company you choose also defines the water restoration process, as busy companies with limited technicians might be unable to offer a dedicated service. 

With an extensive network of technicians, our restoration company treats any damage quickly and efficiently. 

However, if we need to order materials, it depends on the availability of resources. 

Building codes and permits 

When performing restoration and repairs, we must follow relevant building codes and permits. Failing to comply with them can result in legal repercussions and fines. 

Some local authorities have laws on permits, which means we’ll need to secure one before repairing your property. You can see New York’s building codes and regulations on the NYC Buildings website. 

Insurance claim processing 

If you’ve ever dealt with an insurance company, you’ll know it can turn into a jumping-through-hoops situation. The insurance adjuster will review your claim and decide how much money you receive, which can take some time. 

Our technicians meet the adjuster on site and explain the extent of your damage. We do our best to secure the award you deserve quickly. 

Understanding the water damage restoration process: 

Stage 1: Emergency measures 

When you contact iFlooded Restoration, we’ll visit your property immediately and assess the damage. With a 24/7 emergency line, we’ll be there day and night, ready to prevent further issues and begin to extract any standing water. 

Stage 2: Drying 

Once we remove standing water, we’ll use specialist equipment, including HEPA vacuums, to dry each room thoroughly. As mentioned, the time it takes to dry everything depends on your damage and the number of rooms affected. 

Stage 3: Cleaning and sanitization  

Mold spores can grow and multiply quickly, but our expert technicians know how to identify potential growth hotspots and treat them immediately. We use high-grade cleaning and sanitizing equipment to remove all signs of bacteria and protect the property. 

Stage 4: Repairs and reconstruction 

Once your property is fully dry and sanitized, we’ll perform vital repairs to prevent the issue from happening again. With access to a network of contractors, our restoration company will also handle any reconstruction work, giving you peace of mind. 

Learn more about the water damage restoration process

Estimated timelines for water damage restoration, remediation, and reconstruction 

There’s no set timeline for water damage remediation as each property differs. However, the general estimates are: 

  • Minor Damage: Category 1 water damage confined to small areas typically takes one to three days. 
  • Moderate Damage: Category 1 and 2 water damage in large areas of your property will take between one and two weeks on average. 
  • Major Damage: Category 2 and 3 damage that’s considered extensive can take up to four weeks. 

Please remember these timelines are estimates only, and there’s no way to say how long the process will take until a professional visits your property and witnesses the damage themselves. 

The best way to know how long your restoration project will take is by contacting a professional remediation service. 

Top tips for rapid water damage restoration 

Unfortunately, water damage is one of those things that you can’t rush because the drying and sanitization processes are defined by all of the factors we mentioned previously. However, there are things you can do to ensure the damage doesn’t worsen. 

Intervene immediately 

If it’s safe to do so, you should intervene to prevent further damage. For example, if water damage occurs due to a leak, it’s best to turn off your water supply. In cases like sewage backups, it’s best to vacate the property to protect inhabitants. 

Contact a restoration company 

Contacting a restoration company immediately gives you every opportunity to recover the property and its contents. It also means the cost of your repairs will be lower, as we can address any damage before it worsens. 

Maintain communication 

The best way for any restoration service to understand your damage is by hearing it from you. Sure, we can assess the property, but knowing which belongings are most important means we can prevent as many losses as possible. 

Patience is key 

Remember, water damage restoration is an intensive process that includes numerous components. While some companies might rush a project, we aim to completely restore the property and ensure it doesn’t happen again. 

Final thoughts 

Water damage can be devastating, but a professional restoration company will help you tackle any issues and return the property to its pre-loss condition. 

Regardless of the timeframe, trying to speed up the process often means cutting corners, which results in potential mold growth, structural issues, and higher chances of water damage in the future. 

If you’re dealing with a leak, storm damage, or sewage backup, iFlooded Restoration is here to help. Our dedicated technicians will visit your property immediately, providing unparalleled support. 

Please feel free to contact us today. 

A professional water damage restoration company will assess your property, look for the underlying cause, and treat the entire area. Specialist technicians can also identify potential problem areas for mold that might not be visible to the human eye. 

Most importantly, certified experts know how to use specialist equipment that will thoroughly dry and sanitize the property.

It depends on the extent of your damage and the work we need to perform. Once you contact our team, we’ll assess your property and provide a no-obligation quote covering all aspects of restoring and repairing it.

Even a tiny amount of water can cause damage – especially if it seeps into materials. Moisture accumulating over time can also cause mold, leading to health hazards.

If you’d like to learn about water damage restoration, please contact our team. With certified experts available to answer any questions, we aim to make your experience with us stress-free.