Why Do Water Damage Estimates Sometimes Not Match the Final Cost of Repairs?

Water damage estimates are the first step towards getting your water damage repaired. Water damage estimates are the primary way people choose their restoration team. They want to pay less while still getting a great value. When the final bill is significantly different than the original estimate there are probably one (or more) of three main issues behind the change in price.


Fluctuating costs

The first and simplest reason that an estimate may not match the cost of repairs is that materials or labor changed price since the original estimate. It’s rare that materials could fluctuate by enough to dent your bottom line, but it does happen. For example, your city raising the sales tax by 2% could vastly impact the cost of materials. That expense is passed along to you, and your estimate is now at least 2% off.

Additionally, if your job turns out to require more labor, that will drastically increase the cost of repairs. It can be difficult to fully gage either of these factors until after work has already begun. That leads into the other two causes of estimate mismatch.

More damage could be uncovered

Water damage can be difficult to detect. A water damage estimate focuses on the visible effects of the damage and speculates about others. Some forms of damage cannot be seen until the restoration process has begun. Mold is a very common “extra” feature of water damage. Standing water gives mold an opportunity to flourish. It can seep under floors and inside walls. Once mold is present decontamination must begin. This can involve mold treatments, anti-fungal cleansers, and removing under flooring or wall-insulation.

Water damage estimates may not accurate predict rate of worsening

Water damage estimates speculate on hidden damage. They also have to estimate how much worse the water damage will get before cleanup will begin. Unlike other forms of damage, water damage gets worse over time. Contact water damage restoration teams as soon as you notice water damage. Mold, as previously mentioned, is one way that water damage continues to worsen over time. Wet rot can set in to wooden areas of the home, and the quality of the water itself can worsen. This will speed destruction of things in the water-logged area.

The worse the water damage becomes, the more specialized equipment the restoration team will need. More equipment will also raise the cost of repairs. Essentially, to get the lowest price on your water damage restoration, you have to act fast. It’s fine to ask for a few water damage estimates before choosing your restoration team, but don’t drag it out. Every day you wait increases the distance between the estimate and your final price.

Water damage estimates can only attempt to describe the scope of your repair. Factors such as the need for labor, the extent of damage, and the length of time between the estimate and the restoration deeply affect how much you can expect to pay. Water damage only gets worse, so seek repairs as soon as possible.

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