Christine Ditzler

Christine is the Business Development Manager for Restoration 1.

The Effect of Water Damage on Your Property’s Value in 2023

When selling a home with water damage, the first thing new property owners consider are the effects of previous catastrophic events like floods and hurricanes and how the property will fare if disaster strikes in the near future. However, while the idea of your possessions floating around in your living room is indeed devastating, the reality is that the average homeowner isn’t likely to encounter this kind of disastrous water damage event.

Moreover, the more common sources of water damage involve fixtures, systems and appliances you use every day:

  • Pipes can leak or burst due to freezing.
  • Water heaters, dishwashers, or washing machines can break down or leak due to wear and tear.
  • Septic tanks can back up or toilets can overflow.
  • Gutters that clog and eventually cause water to collect in the basement.

With all of that said, any water damage can impact your home’s value and make a sale challenging to close. However, the good news is that with prompt detection and professional water damage restoration, it’s still possible to minimize property damage and get the most out of the transaction.

Water Damage Effects on Resale Values

During the negotiation process, interested buyers bring in experts at different stages to inspect your home and look for significant issues to make an offer below your asking price. If they discover unaddressed water damage on your residential property, you usually have two options to ensure you keep the buyer engaged and eventually close the sale:

  • Keep the market value unaffected by covering the cost of the repairs yourself.
  • Reduce your home’s market value by the overall expenses it takes to cover the repairs.

On that note, it helps to remember that severe water damage can be expensive to repair. According to HomeAdvisor, removing standing water and repairing water damage cost homeowners more than $6,700 in 2022.

Mold removal is another expensive problem to fix after a water damage event. Professionals usually charge $10 and $25 per square foot, so treating a 100-square-foot area can cost around $1,000 to $2,500.

Getting help from water damage restoration professionals right after a plumbing leak, toilet overflow, or flood may reduce some of these overwhelming expenses and, most importantly, sell your home with less hassle.

Types of Water Damage That Decrease a Home’s Value

Water damage effects on resale values of properties vary depending on the issues present. Here are some of the most common problems that can significantly hurt your home’s market price:

Warped Ceilings and Walls

Sagging or wrinkled ceilings and walls are among the most obvious signs of water damage on a residential property. Besides spoiling the look and feel of your home for sale, they can also indicate underlying water issues that may be costly to repair, therefore turning off potential buyers.

Soaked Carpeting and Flooring 

Any damp carpeting or buckled wood flooring can make buyers think twice about purchasing a home, as it could indicate unresolved water or moisture issues in your property. If you have recently experienced a flood, plumbing emergency, or roof leak, it’s best to have your house professionally cleaned and dried as soon as possible.

Structural Damage 

If you are selling a home with water damage, it’s always a good idea to have professionals inspect it for seepage inside walls, wood structures, concrete framing, and even the foundation as soon as possible. If not addressed immediately, these issues can introduce secondary complications that further decrease your home’s value.


Lingering moisture after a water damage event can promote microbial growth inside your house. What’s worse is that mold will continue to grow and spread to the other parts of your home unless the contamination is contained and the moisture problem is addressed.

If you suspect or have discovered mold in your home, it’s best to hire a professional mold remediation company before putting your property on the market.

How to Check Your Home for Water Damage

Plumbing emergencies like burst pipes, leaks, and overflows can happen to even the most prepared property owners. With that said, watching out for these signs can help you minimize damage, prevent further issues, and preserve your property’s market value.

Musty Odor That Doesn’t Go Away

Continuous leaks create humid environments that promote microbial growth, especially in areas and surfaces hidden from view. Molds that grow undisturbed release compounds with strong, musty odors, creating a lingering smell.

If you’ve been noticing an earthy scent in damp areas of the home, like the basement or bathroom, you may have mold hiding out.

Discoloration on Walls and Ceilings 

Yellow or brown stains on your walls and ceilings could result from water seeping through the drywall and must be checked immediately. Bubbles and flakes on your painted walls can also indicate underlying water damage.

Dripping Sounds

Water damage can also present audible signs. Some leaks run along wall studs and stay completely silent, but others can be occasionally heard. The dripping sounds can help you locate where the water is coming from.

Other noises you’ll want to watch out for are the sounds of gushing or falling water, as they can indicate a pipe burst.

Enlist Prompt Water Damage Restoration To Get the Most Out of Your Sale

Water damage effects on resale values can hurt your potential earnings, but only if you don’t take a proactive approach to keep your home in the best condition.

If you are keen on selling your house in the near future, it’s always a good idea to watch out for common signs of water damage. Staying attentive to these clues helps you identify issues as early as possible and allows you to hire cleanup and restoration services before costly problems occur.

Need help restoring your home to its pre-damaged condition? Restoration 1 offers various services, from burst pipes, ceiling, and wall water cleanup to flooded basement restoration and storm recovery to address any water damage you may have. Let us help you prep your house for your upcoming transaction. Contact us today to get started!

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