The Best Water Damage Restoration Services of 2022

A backed-up septic system or long-term exposure to excessive humidity can cause severe damage to your home if it isn’t handled quickly. If water damage strikes, it’s time to hire one of the best water damage restoration services.

By Timothy Dale | Updated May 10, 2022 5:54 PM

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The Best Water Damage Restoration Services Options

Photo: istockphoto.com

One of the main reasons people construct homes is to have a place that is safeguarded against rain, snow, sleet, and extreme temperature changes. But when the foundation has cracks or the septic system backs up, your home can quickly flood, damaging the flooring, walls, and furniture. Water damage can even affect the structural integrity of the home.

To prevent further damage, a homeowner has about 24 to 48 hours to clean up the water, dry the space, sanitize to prevent mold and mildew growth, and remove any items or material beyond saving. An experienced DIYer can usually handle cases of minor flooding. Still, when the water damage is too severe to manage independently, it’s a good idea to hire one of the best water damage restoration services. This list of top-quality water damage restoration companies is a great place to start. Homeowners will also find additional information about what these companies offer and what to look for in a top-tier restoration service.

  1. BEST OVERALL: ServiceMaster Restore
  2. RUNNER-UP: SERVPRO
  3. FASTEST DRY TIME: PuroClean
  4. ALSO CONSIDER: AdvantaClean
The Best Water Damage Restoration Services Options

Photo: istockphoto.com

What to Consider When Choosing One of the Best Water Damage Restoration Services

It’s prudent to learn more about the critical factors that could impact deciding which water damage restoration service is the most suitable for a homeowner’s needs. Consider the specified service area and damages that each company handles. Also, take a look at each company’s availability, scheduling, customer service, certification, and any additional services offered. It’s also important to make sure the company carries liability insurance.

Service Area

A homeowner can quickly locate a water damage restoration service in their area by searching for the “best water damage restoration company near me” or looking for a list of local companies online. However, given that this company will be responsible for working in the home for a few days to several weeks, depending on the severity of the damage, it’s important to take a look at how broad the service area is and if the company charges additional fees to customers who fall outside that area.

If the damage restoration company services a very broad area but only has a single address of operation, then it’s likely that emergency response times will be slow. When discussing the problem with the customer service representative, a homeowner should ask about the approximate time it will take for the crew to arrive and if there are any additional fees. If the timeline will result in further damage to the home or an expensive travel charge, then it may be better to look for a company that is closer to home.

Availability and Scheduling

One of the most important factors to look for in a water damage restoration company is 24/7 availability and prompt emergency response time. A home stands the best chance at surviving flooding, leaks, or any other water damage if the flow of water is stopped, the water is cleaned up, and the space is dried out quickly, so a company that can be at a home within the hour is typically a better choice than a company that will take a day to dispatch a crew.

The process of cleaning up, sanitizing, and restoring the home can take several weeks, which means that it’s also necessary to consider how a company schedules the water damage restoration crews beyond the initial emergency call. Clear communication, 24/7 availability, and cooperative customer coordination are key for a successful, low-stress restoration and repair.

Damage Cause and Type

How the damage was caused and the type of water damage are often overlooked before many people start looking for a water damage restoration service. However, it’s important to know what caused the damage and what type of damage it is so that the restoration crew can take appropriate action to mitigate the damage and prevent further problems.

  • Sewer back-ups are typically caused by the municipal wastewater system flooding or the septic system becoming clogged. This forces wastewater from the main drain line back into the home, where it does black water damage (see below) to any affected surfaces. A homeowner can prevent sewer back-ups by installing a backflow valve on the main waste pipe.
  • Groundwater infiltration is often the result of cracks in the home’s foundation. The water seeps through the cracks and may also leak through the base of the foundation, doing black or gray water damage (see below) to any flooded areas. Weeping tiles and a sump pump can help prevent further flooding, but it’s best to have the foundation’s structural integrity assessed and repaired.
  • Roof leaks are usually the result of worn-out and rotting roofing shingles. If the shingles are not replaced regularly, they can crack, tear, and break down over time, leading to leaks, black or gray water damage, mold, mildew, and rot.
  • Water heater leaks and corrosion can cause severe flooding in a home, which is why it’s recommended to have the water heater inspected and serviced once per year. Keep in mind that while a water heater only causes clean water damage (see below) to an area, the water is scalding and should not be touched directly.
  • Sinks and faucets can overflow or leak resulting in clean water damage. These occurrences are typically the easiest to clean up, sanitize, and repair.

The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification (IICRC) lists three types of water damage, including clean water damage, gray water damage, and black water damage.

  • Clean water damage is also referred to as category 1 water damage because it consists of usually sewage- and toxin-free water. This damage is typically caused by plumbing fixtures that control the flow and access to clean water, like a faucet or a water heater.
  • Gray water damage, or category 2 water damage, is caused when an appliance like a sump pump, toilet, or washing machine backs up and overflows. The water isn’t clean because it can contain soap, disinfectants, or other chemicals, but it isn’t likely to be immediately harmful to humans.
  • Black water damage, or category 3 water damage, can result from the wastewater lines or septic lines backing up. The water contains components that can create immediate health risks, so calling in an experienced restoration team is necessary to clean up and sanitize as soon as possible. Black water damage can also include sewage, rising floodwater, seawater, river water, and contaminated groundwater.

Additional Services

Top-tier water damage restoration companies often offer services beyond standard cleanup and water damage restoration. Some options include mold remediation services, fire damage restoration, air duct cleaning, and basement waterproofing. If a homeowner thinks they may need help with more than just water cleanup and restoration, it’s good to find a company that can handle all requests. Otherwise, the homeowner will likely have to coordinate the cleanup and repair process with multiple companies, which can get confusing and frustrating. Additionally, coordinating access to the property with two crews will likely slow down the repair and restoration process significantly and may increase the overall cost of the repairs.

Certification and Insurance

A crucial question to ask your water damage restoration technicians is whether they are certified and insured. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification (IICRC) is primarily responsible for certifying water damage restoration companies. Individuals and companies can receive certifications in cleaning, inspection, and restoration categories, which can be further broken down into specific categories, including applied structural drying technician, senior carpet inspector, carpet repair and reinstallation technician, and even odor control technician.

When a homeowner needs help dealing with severe water damage, they should contact a water damage restoration service with experienced, certified technicians. It’s also advisable to ask if the company insures the work it completes. Most companies will guarantee the work for a specified period so that a homeowner can have peace of mind knowing that if there are any problems with the work, the water damage restoration service should handle it. A homeowner should make sure to get it in writing to guarantee that they are covered in the event of any problems.

Customer Service Availability

Customer service is integral to any service-based business. People like to know what is happening, how long it will take, how much it costs, and what they can do, especially when it is as serious as severe water damage. For this reason, it’s necessary to find a water damage restoration service with a dedicated customer service department that can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Ideally, the customer service representatives are knowledgeable about the field and can convey clear, concise information with little room for misunderstandings. Water damage restoration services may also work with a homeowner and their insurance company to help communicate the extent of the damage, provide updates, and file claims. Straightforward, reliable communication is one of the most valuable things a company can offer.

Our Top Picks

When flooding occurs, it’s important to hire one of the best damage restoration services available to ensure that a home can be cleaned up and returned to its former state in a timely manner. Consider this list of top water damage restoration companies for high-quality work, effective customer communication, and rapid emergency response time.

Best Overall

Photo: servicemasterrestore.com

Why It Made the Cut: With decades of experience, the reliability of ServiceMaster Restore cannot be questioned, making this water damage restoration service a long-standing leader in the industry.

Established over 90 years ago in 1929 by Marion E. Wade, ServiceMaster Restore has a long history in this business, offering decades of experience to homeowners who need support in the middle of an emergency. The water damage restoration service is available throughout all 50 states; Canada; and Washington, D.C. It also provides potential customers with a detailed online FAQ section to help answer any questions expeditiously. The company’s range of services is somewhat limited compared to others in the industry, but the quality and care that ServiceMaster Restore offers is above and beyond.

ServiceMaster stands out from competitors due to its 4-hour response time, 24/7 customer service support, and direct communication with the homeowner’s insurance company to help address costs and determine how to proceed with the repairs. Representatives reach out to the homeowner’s insurance company within 24 hours to ensure that all claims are handled promptly. The company also has a live online chat option to help facilitate communication, though scheduling is handled over the phone.

Specs

  • Service area: 50 states; Washington, D.C.; and Canada
  • Availability: 24/7
  • Scheduling: Phone
  • Additional services: Fire damage restoration, mold remediation
  • Customer service: Phone, live chat

Pros

  • Technicians arrive within 4 hours
  • Company representatives contact homeowner’s insurance company within 24 hours
  • Live chat customer support option
  • Comprehensive online FAQ section

Cons

  • Relatively limited range of additional services

Runner-Up

The Best Water Damage Restoration Service Option: SERVPRO
Photo: servpro.com

Why It Made the Cut: Get help recovering and restoring important documents, preventing mold growth, and more with the wide range of additional services offered by SERVPRO.

SERVPRO started in 1967 as a painting business, but it has expanded significantly over the years to include cleanup and restoration services. The water damage restoration company also offers a wide range of additional services, including fire damage restoration, mold remediation, air duct cleaning, carpet and upholstery cleaning, blinds and drapes cleaning, and even document restoration, which is of significant use to anyone with a flooded office. It’s advised to verify which certifications are held at the local SERVPRO location before booking, as technicians’ credentials may vary. However, with SERVPRO’s reputation and the IICRC-certified continuing education that all technicians receive, customers can be assured that a skilled professional will handle their restoration project.

SERVPRO covers all 50 states; Washington, D.C.; and Canada, with 1,900 locations across North America. Contact the customer service department 24/7 and schedule an appointment over the phone.

Specs

  • Service area: 50 states; Washington, D.C.; and Canada
  • Availability: 24/7
  • Scheduling: Phone
  • Additional services: Fire damage restoration, mold remediation, specialty and general cleaning
  • Customer service: Phone

Pros

  • 1,900 locations in 50 states; Washington, D.C.; and Canada
  • Wide range of additional specialty cleaning services
  • Technicians receive IICRC-certified continuing education

Cons

  • Certifications vary by location

Fastest Dry Time

The Best Water Damage Restoration Service Option: PuroClean
Photo: puroclean.com

Why It Made the Cut: PuroClean specializes in reducing drying time, allowing homeowners to feel safe and comfortable in their homes as soon as possible.

Despite being a relatively new water damage restoration service, founded just over two decades ago in 2001, PuroClean expanded quickly, allowing the company to service 44 states; Washington, D.C.; and Canada. This water damage restoration service uses EPA-registered products to sanitize the space and prevent mold growth efficiently. Interested customers can browse the comprehensive online FAQ section for help answering a wide range of different questions about the company, the services offered, and the restoration process.

PuroClean really stands out with its proprietary QuickDry system that helps reduce the overall drying time and prevent further damage from occurring. Customers can schedule over the phone, and the customer service line is available 24/7, though service appointments that fall outside of standard business hours may require an additional fee. Homeowners can avoid this by asking when making an appointment or limiting appointments to business hours. Reconstruction services may also be limited depending on the location. But for a homeowner who wants their water damage restoration project done as quickly as possible, PuroClean can deliver.

Specs

  • Service area: 44 states; Washington, D.C.; and Canada
  • Availability: 24/7
  • Scheduling: Phone
  • Additional services: Fire damage restoration, mold removal, biohazard cleanup
  • Customer service: Phone

Pros

  • Proprietary QuickDry system reduces drying time for a lower cost than traditional systems
  • EPA-registered products minimize spread of pathogens
  • Comprehensive online FAQ section

Cons

  • Some locations may not offer reconstruction services
  • Reports of fees incurred for service outside regular business hours

Also Consider

The Best Water Damage Restoration Service Option: AdvantaClean
Photo: advantaclean.com

Why It Made the Cut: Allow AdvantaClean to handle water damage in the home, then discuss any questions or concerns during the post-appointment customer satisfaction follow-up call.

With a desire to help disaster victims rebuild after Hurricane Andrew, AdvantaClean was established in 1994 as a water damage restoration service, though the company also offers mold remediation, moisture control, fire damage restoration, air duct cleaning, and radon mitigation. Customers concerned about on-site service can rest easy knowing that AdvantaClean performs post-service satisfaction checks to ensure technicians are polite and professional and that the job is completed to the customer’s satisfaction

The service area covers 31 states and Washington, D.C. While not every location has the same certifications, each AdvantaClean branch clearly lists its certifications on its web page so customers can feel confident in the company’s transparency. Reconstruction services may also be relatively limited, but AdvantaClean offers preventive measures like moisture control and basement waterproofing. A homeowner can use these services after water damage restoration to ensure the problem doesn’t happen again. AdvantaClean offers email scheduling, which is excellent for individuals who may not have time to wait on the phone, though 24/7 phone scheduling is also available.

Specs

  • Service area: 31 states and Washington, D.C.
  • Availability: 24/7
  • Scheduling: Phone, email
  • Additional services: Mold remediation, moisture control, fire damage restoration, air duct cleaning, radon mitigation
  • Customer service: Phone

Pros

  • Services include preventive measures like moisture control
  • Customer satisfaction checks performed after service
  • Transparent certification standards for technicians

Cons

  • Reconstruction services may be limited
  • Certifications vary by location

Our Verdict

Fast, effective water damage restoration is available 24/7 by making a call to ServiceMaster Restore. If a homeowner needs help with niche services like restoring important documents, SERVPRO is an excellent choice.

How We Chose the Best Water Damage Restoration Services

Experience in plumbing and home restoration, as well as extensive research into each water damage restoration service, helped to form the basis for selection. Important considerations included the service area, availability, scheduling, customer service quality, certifications, and any additional services offered.

Companies with a broad service area, many different locations, and 24/7 availability were preferred over less convenient options because emergencies can happen anytime. Water damage restoration services that also communicated with the customer’s insurance company stood out among competitors with more basic customer service offerings. Also, any specialized certifications or additional services, like document restoration and fire restoration, helped increase the company’s value.

Before You Hire One of the Best Water Damage Restoration Services

A minor flood may be able to be managed by an experienced DIYer, so before calling a water damage restoration service, it’s a good idea to consider the severity of the problem and whether you are capable of quickly and efficiently cleaning, drying, and sanitizing the area. If the water damage exceeds your abilities, it’s recommended to look into local water damage restoration services to find a company that can handle cleanup, drying, sanitization, and restoration of the home.

Discuss the fees, standard pricing, and any included services, like a free inspection, before hiring the water damage restoration service. This will ensure that you have all the information you need to choose the best option for your home. Keep in mind that speed is of the essence to help mitigate damage, so choose a company within a short driving distance and don’t hesitate to call anytime, day or night, in the event of an emergency.

Cost of Hiring One of the Best Water Damage Restoration Services

While it’s a good idea to look for affordable water damage restoration services, time is a factor because the longer a surface remains saturated, the further the damage can spread until you are dealing with a rotten subfloor instead of only needing to dry the carpet. With this in mind, the average cost of hiring a water damage restoration company for emergency water removal and restoration is about $3,000.

Though the cost of water damage repairs ranges widely, minor repairs may only cost about $150, while damage from significant flooding can cost up to $20,000 to clean up and repair. The average hourly rate for water damage restoration services ranges from about $40 to $130, depending on the work that needs to be completed. Some companies may also charge for safety equipment rentals, which can exceed $200.

The Advantages of Using One of the Best Water Damage Restoration Services

When you need help to clean, dry, sanitize, and restore your home, it’s important to find an experienced water damage restoration service that is capable of implementing mold remediation, water damage restoration, and other services safely and effectively. Trained professionals use appropriate safety gear and follow preplanned safe work practices to ensure that the job is completed without incident. Additionally, professional technicians can provide expert assessment and take the most appropriate action to prevent further damage to your property.

Some of the best water damage restoration services have comprehensive FAQs to help answer any questions you may have, while the customer service departments are trained to communicate with your insurance company and help with filing insurance claims.

  • Experienced technicians can safely manage mold remediation and other services.
  • Top water damage restoration services can help with insurance claims.
  • An expert assessment and clear guidance helps to resolve problems quickly.

FAQs

To learn more about water damage restoration services and how hiring one of these professional companies can help restore your home and prevent future problems, take a look at some of the most frequently asked questions below.

Q. What is included in water damage restoration?

The best water damage restoration services can include water removal, drying items and structures, sanitizing, moving items back into position, and even upgrades to the existing home to help prevent flooding in the future. However, it’s important to note that not all companies offer the same range of water removal services or flood damage restoration services. Look for a company that can handle the severity of the problem based on the extent of the water damage.

Q. How much does it cost for water damage repair?

The cost of emergency water damage repairs, water cleanup, and water mitigation services depends heavily on the severity of the water damage. On average, you can expect to pay about $3,000 for emergency water removal and to restore water damage throughout the home. Though the cost of water damage repairs ranges widely, minor repairs may cost only about $150, while significant flooding can cost up to $20,000 to clean up and repair.

Q. How long does it take to repair water damage?

The process of cleaning up and repairing water damage can take several weeks. The first few days are spent cleaning up the water and drying out the home and any furnishings that could be salvaged. Deconstruction takes place at this point to remove any carpeting, drywall, or other materials that were damaged beyond repair. Once the damaged materials are cleared out and the space is dry, reconstruction can begin, typically taking about 1 to 2 weeks.

Q. When should I use a water damage restoration service?

Just because some flooding happens doesn’t mean that you need a water damage restoration service. Consider contacting a water damage restoration service if the problem cannot be mitigated quickly. Signs of progressive damage begin within the first day or two and can include carpet mold, sagging drywall, wood swelling, paint bubbles, loose tiles, and more. If you cannot dry out the area before further damage occurs, it’s best to contact a water damage restoration service.

Q. Does my homeowners insurance cover water damage restoration services?

While many homeowners insurance policies will help cover the cost of water damage repair and restoration, it’s important to check your policy for the amount or percentage that the insurance company will cover. Keep in mind that some policies do not provide coverage for water damage restoration, so if your policy is lacking in this regard, it may be better to switch to a different insurance provider or upgrade your policy.

Q. Is structural damage repair included in a water damage restoration service?

A water damage restoration service can typically assess structural damage caused by flooding, and some companies may offer structural repair services, but it depends on the company. So if this is a concern, make sure to ask this question before agreeing to hire a water damage restoration company.

Q. Do water damage restoration services offer free inspections?

Some, but not all, water damage restoration services offer free inspections. Most companies will give you any pricing and details when you contact them, so it’s important to ask the customer service representative if you have any questions about what is included in the price. They can provide you with a price breakdown and note any bargains or free services the company offers.