Common Costs of Apartment Flooding and How to Avoid Them

Costs of apartment flooding when property managers have to repair apartment leaks

Common Costs of Apartment Flooding & How to Avoid Them

When it comes to running a successful multifamily community, avoiding disasters like apartment flooding is key to success.

Yet property managers (PMs) face major difficulties in being everywhere at one time.

What is needed is a more streamlined approach. 

Here is how you can avoid apartment flooding disasters along with the financial incentive(s) you have for doing so. 

What are the Common Costs of Apartment Flooding? 

The common costs of apartment flooding depend on many factors including the type of water damage that occurs. 

Types of Water Damage 

The different types of water damage include grey water, black water, and white water and each category comes with its own price tag. 

Grey Water Damage

Grey water is water that has been used for washing dishes and clothes as well as bathing. 

The cost of damage due to grey water (which can harbor dangerous bacteria and viruses) is an average of $3,000, according to fixr.com. 

While the cost of grey water damage can hurt the wallet of PMs, the average cost of black water damages—which are also more harmful to our health— hurts even more.  

Black Water Damage

Black water is waste water that comes from the toilets of multi-family homes. 

Since exposure to black water leads to diseases and infections like hepatitis and gastroenteritis, black water home flooding must be avoided at all costs. 

In addition to the health hazards that black water poses, this type also comes with a steep financial cost— upwards of $8,000 per occurrence. 

White Water Damage

In contrast to the two types of categories of water contamination above, white water extraction is relatively inexpensive.  

An example of white water extraction would be the drying of a kitchen area that has been flooded with “clean” water. 

However, even though it is the least expensive of the three, white water extraction can cost upwards of $1,000 each occurrence. 

Other Factors That Determine Cost of Water Damage

The Extent of the Water Damage 

Besides the type of water, the extent of the apartment flooding is another factor that determines how much you pay. 

Water damage like apartment flooding comes in four different levels. 

  • Little water absorption, small evaporation
  • Mid-range water absorption and evaporation
  • Highest water absorption and evaporation
  • Serious water absorption (unmoving water)

The cost of clean up and repairs within these four levels depends on material and labor rates. 

Price of Labor and Materials

Here is an outline of expected labor and materials costs.  (Note that these costs may be more expensive in areas where the costs of specific items and labor run higher). 

  • Replacing damaged drywall (demolition/ reconstruction phase): $1.40/sq.ft.
  • Repairing damaged plaster walls (demolition/ reconstruction phase): $6.25 – $18.75/sq.ft.
  • Refinishing hardwood floors (restoration phase): $10.45/sq.ft.
  • Replacing carpets (restoration phase): $4.70 – $5.50/sq.ft.
  • Woodwork (reconstruction phase): $70 an hour for carpentry work
  • Mold remediation (cleaning phase): $5/sq.ft.

Mold Remediation

The cost of mold remediation is another major concern when apartment units get flooded.

Mold remediation refers to the removal and cleaning of mold from surfaces inside a unit after damaging events like flooding take place.  

When these events do occur, there’s no getting around the need for remediation. 

Average costs for mold remediation can run upwards of $3,500. 

Moreover, these costs can quickly multiply, as upstairs units that are flooded can quickly damage the unit(s) below.  

Things can turn from bad to worse when you consider how most renters insurance policies do not cover water damage as it applies to liability coverage.  

How to Avoid the Common Costs of Apartment Flooding

The key to conserving your maintenance and repair monies would be to never have to pay them out in the first place. 

While a long list of preventative inspections may seem like a logical answer, this would-be solution poses its own large set of problems. 

Residents are inconvenienced (and even get annoyed) with these types of invasive inspections and they also require excessive time and attention from maintenance and management personnel. 

This is where smart property automation comes in. 

Related: How IoT and Smart Home Technology are Improving Multi-Family Housing

Arize’s smart water detection system provides real-time response to property managers when moisture is detected inside their community’s apartments. 

This early warning system enables PMs to potentially avoid some of the quickly spiraling flooding costs listed above. 

With Arize’s smart water detection units installed in your community, your maintenance and repair budget is able to stay on track.

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