Does Water Damage Decrease Home Value


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Like many other smart home buyers, you probably purchased your home because it is an investment that can be appreciated over the years.

You can pay down your mortgage over time, and eventually, if you choose to, you can sell the home and make a tidy profit. However, you will only make that profit if you keep the home in good condition.

Making sure your home is protected from things like termites is essential. A termite infestation that goes undetected for any time can wreak extremely expensive havoc.

You must keep your roof in good condition and gutters, too. The one thing that can be worse than termites is water damage.

Can Water Damage Decrease Your Home's Resell Value?

Water damage can significantly decrease real estate value due to the potential for structural issues and mold growth.

If these minor water issues are addressed quickly and correctly, they won't cause much damage. If you have a water leak anywhere in the home, getting a qualified plumber is the best way to ensure it is repaired correctly.

Then, there are the very serious water damage issues that can destroy property value and cost a small fortune to repair. Things like flooding basements can cause structural damage to your foundation.

Roof leaks can severely damage the attic space, ceilings, and electric lighting over time. If water accumulates and stands in your home's crawl space, that isn't good either.

When that kind of water damage happens, it can also cause the one word that puts terror in the hearts of any homeowner: mold.

Mold Contamination Can Make It Even Worse

The mold and water stains it leaves behind can destroy the value of your home even if you get the water issue repaired. It can grow quickly when certain conditions are present.

The first requirement is water. It can be from standing water, long-time leaks, even moisture from an attic that sweats because of heat, or air conditioning that causes condensation inside the home.

Any of these things can cause mold. Of course, a natural disaster flooding of the home can cause the most serious cases of mold infestation that can destroy the total value when severe.

In most cases, a home can be saved from mold. The sooner the source that is causing the mold is found, the greater the chance that the mold can be cleaned up and wiped out.

Most of the time a bad mold infestation will require a professional water damage restoration and mold remediation company to get the job done right. If your home is not free of mold and water damage, there is no way you will ever be able to sell it in that condition.

Mold can cause serious illnesses for people and pets, and no one wants to buy a home with that kind if baggage.

You Must Disclose Water Damage & Mold To Potential Buyers

If you even suspect mold somewhere in your home, you must have an inspection done. You can buy mold test kits for homeowners to do limited testing.

The most effective option is to have a professional water damage restoration and mold removal company come in and do it for you. You should do this if you smell musty odors, visually see mold on ceilings, walls, or around baseboards, or know there has been water damage recently.

Having a mold inspection is the best thing for your family and property's health concerns while you are living there, first of all. If you are considering selling your home, you want to be sure there is no more mold or water damage anywhere.

If you sell your home to someone and mold is discovered soon after, the new buyers could sue you.

So, in the case of mold in your home, it is far better to be safe than sorry. You need to protect one of the biggest investments you have ever made from two of the most harmful things that can happen to it: water damage and mold.

How Much Does Water Damage Affect Home Value?

What's the real cost of water damage? Let's dive into the numbers.

On average, water damage repairs can cost homeowners between $1,000 to $4,000, but severe situations like a basement flood can rocket up to $10,000 or more. That's a hefty price tag in itself. But what about your home's value?

Water damage can knock off up to 20% of your property's market value. So, for a house valued at $300,000, that's a potential loss of $60,000. The exact decrease depends on the extent of the damage and whether it's properly repaired.

Why water damage impacts property?

Potential buyers worry about mold, mildew, and structural issues. These headaches can lead to costly repairs, and buyers often prefer turnkey homes.

Now, the extent of the price drop depends on the severity of the water damage. Mild cases may need a quick fix and a few hundred bucks. Yet, severe cases? They can slash the home's value by 10-20%. Ouch!

So, if your house has had a water leak:

  • The buyer may request a lower asking price again.
  • Your home might sit longer on the market.
  • Potential buyers could be scared off entirely.

The bottom line is that if you want to maintain the value of your home, it's essential to handle water damage ASAP. Dry out, clean up, and repair to ensure your home stays at peak value. No one wants to buy a home that comes with a to-do list!

 Classes of Water Damage That Decrease Home Value

When it comes to water damage, it isn't just about quantity. It's also the quality or, more precisely, the “class” of water involved. There are three main classes – clean, grey, and black water. Here's how each affects your home's value:

Clean Water: The least harmful type, it's usually from rain, condensation, flood, or burst pipe. It's not an immediate health risk, but prompt action is necessary. If left untreated, it can cause structural damage and the proliferation of mold in the home, leading to a decrease in real estate value until the water damage and mold remediation is complete.

Grey Water: Slightly more concerning, it comes from appliances like washing machines or dishwashers. It may contain chemicals or contaminants, increasing cleanup costs. The longer it sits, the more potential water damage it has to lower your home's worth.

Black Water: The worst offender. This water is often from flood or sewer backup, flooding from natural disasters. Flood waters are a serious health risk, packed with harmful bacteria and pathogens. Water damage cleanup is costly and extensive, and if not properly repaired, it can severely impact your home's value. It's just as bad as having a home in a known flood zone.

So, when dealing with water damage, remember, it's not just about how much, but what kind. Swift and appropriate response to each class is crucial to maintaining your home's value. Because every drop of water matters when it comes to the full value of your investment. It's always best to move forward with repairs immediately.

What Are the Risks of Leaving Water Damage?

Are you ignoring water damage? It's a gamble you don't want to take. Leaving water damage untreated poses serious risks to your home and health. Here's what can happen:

  1. Structural Deterioration: Soaked drywall, swelling wood, and weakening foundations aren't just cosmetic issues. They compromise your home's integrity, making it unsafe.
  2. Mold Growth: Damp environments are playgrounds to discover mold. These nasty spores can sprout within 48 hours of water exposure, bringing an unnecessary safety risk, health hazards, and more damage.
  3. Electrical Hazards: Water and the electrical system? It's a dangerous mix. Dampness can cause shorts and lead to fire hazards, creating a double threat for your home property value.
  4. Decreased Property Value: Persistent water damage tells buyers your home is a liability, not an asset. It can drastically slash your property's market value.
  5. Health Risks: The health risks associated with water damage are diverse and significant from allergies to respiratory issues.

To sum it up, the costs of repairing water damage now far outweigh the potential risks of leaving it untreated. Better safe than sorry!

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