Water Damage Statistics Every Homeowner Should Know in 2024

By BSMT Waterproofing •  Updated: 02/15/24 •  10 min read

There is a common misconception that the presence of water in a basement is a temporary problem.  Water removal using a pump or other means hastens the recovery process yet there is the potential for mold to form.  In addition, water that moves into the basement or other parts of the home is also likely to cause significant and costly damage.

Statistics of water damage in the United States

Water Damage By The Numbers (2024)

The average homeowner who finds his or her basement laden with water pumps it out, opens the windows and runs fans for drying.  However, it is the aftermath of water damage that most homeowners overlook, oftentimes assuming a thorough drying of the basement will suffice.

The numerical truths of basement water damage are unsettling.  The statistics reveal even a slight leak that sends water into the basement or another part of the home has the potential to increase the average home’s water bill by a surprisingly high 10%.

Water is becoming more expensive as time progresses, with some going as far as referring to it as the new version of oil.  The last thing you need after a crushing flood of water into the basement is a higher water bill that busts your budget.

If the increase in your home’s water bill isn’t enough to strike fear into your heart, consider the cost of the ensuing home insurance claim.  The average cost of a home insurance claim following water damage is nearly $11,1000.  The little-known truth is that 98% of all homes endure water damage at one point or another.

The rise of extreme weather including storms, floods and worse makes flooding all the more likely, regardless of your home’s location.  At the moment, experts insist 14.6 million homes throughout the United States are at risk for flooding.  This figure is likely to increase as the years progress and weather becomes even more extreme in response to increasing temperatures.

Here’s another shocking home water damage statistic that will give every homeowner and prospective homeowner pause: on any given day, water damage to a home has the potential to impact 14,000 people.  The aggregate cost of nationwide home water damage equates to $20 billion per year.

Learn what basement waterproofing is and how it can protect your home from water damage as discussed in this article.

The Shocking Specifics of Household Water Damage

Let’s break down the individual costs of home water damage:

The dollar amounts listed above are inclusive of all wastage, repairs and replacement.

Homeowners will also find it interesting that water damage and water freezing as a cumulative category are the second-most commonly filed home insurance claim in the nation.  Only damage from hail and wind is more common than that of water damage.

Water damage statistics you should know

Water Waste Statistics

Household water leaks result in the waste of a trillion gallons of water throughout the nation in any given year.  Such waste is the equivalent of providing water to 11 million homes in a single year.

Though few homeowners are aware of it, merely one faucet leak has the potential to waste a whopping 3,000 gallons of water in a year.  It is also shocking that 10% of houses with water leaks waste 90 gallons of water on a daily basis.

Businesses, farms and even some lavish homes are equipped with irrigation systems.  One leak in an irrigation system has the potential to waste more than 6,000 gallons of water in a year.  However, a single pipe, faucet or other leak in a regular house has the potential to waste 10,000 gallons of water per year.

Such water waste equals the same amount of water used for the following:

These statistics make it perfectly clear that the average homeowner cannot afford the financial burden of a water leak, especially if it goes unnoticed for more than a day’s time.

Water waste and flood damage statistics

The Numbers of Flood Damage

Did you know nearly all counties throughout the United States were impacted by a flood in recent years?  Only 1% of the nation’s counties did not suffer a flooding event in the preceding two decades.  Moreover, damage from flooding has quadrupled since 2000.

The National Flood Insurance Program reports the average financial payout from the typical flood claim is an incredible $52,000.  A single inch of floodwater has the potential to result in a financial loss of $25,000.

Houses located on floodplains tend to be overvalued by more than $11,000 yet homes are in short supply and demand is ever-rising.  As a result, more homeowners are taking out flood insurance policies.  However, such policies run an average of $700 per year.

Health Risks Resulting From Water Damage

Mold and mildew are present in every building yet so small and scattered that they rarely accumulate to the point that they can be seen by the visible eye.  Though mold and mildew might not be visible, they are legitimate threats to home occupants’ well-being.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has chimed in on the topic, highlighting how mildew and mold are legitimate health risks for people and animals of all ages.  Mold and mildew generate toxic substances, irritants and allergens.

The worst thing you can do after finding a flooded basement or other part of the home is use an item that functions with electricity.  Water conducts electricity, meaning it has the potential to electrocute.  There is also the chance of a slip and fall when walking on water-laden basement floors.

The emergence of water in a basement is also problematic when it carries toxic chemicals.  Such nasty chemicals are more likely to be present after flooding or natural disasters.  As a result, the Environmental Protection Agency has gone out of its way to communicate that homeowners are to regularly examine their property for leaks.

The EPA notes that the typical family of four uses less than 12,000 gallons of water in a month, meaning a water bill that shows more than this level of use is an indication that a leak might be present.

The cost to clean up a water-damaged basement is partially determined by the level of contamination:

Homeowners should assume that floodwater in their basement is black water and proceed with caution. It takes merely two days for grey water to morph into black water, meaning seemingly clean water has the potential to quickly become toxic.

Why It’s a Grave Mistake to Neglect a Water-damaged Basement

Most homeowners are understandably tempted to allow their home to deteriorate after water damage, simply because doing so conserves money and is more convenient than being proactive.  However, if water damage is neglected, it will eventually cause the home to deteriorate.  If water is allowed to sit or if a water-damaged part of the home is neglected, the unseen portions below the floor surface will become saturated with moisture.

Water that accumulates around furniture is likely to cause staining.  Furniture also has the potential to swell after contact with water.  If you have wood items in the home or a wood floor subjected to water, it will absorb that moisture and eventually warp.  Cabinets have the potential to weaken or even distort to the point that they eventually crumble.

There is also an unquantifiable cost in the form of damaged invaluable family mementos such as:

Add in the fact that the presence of water creates humidity that creates a nasty odor in the house and there is all the more reason to take immediate action if you even suspect the presence of water in your living space.  Though it might take several days or a week, mold and fungi will eventually accumulate to the point that it is visible to the naked eye.

The presence of water has the potential to cause blistering on painted walls, causing wall paper to gradually peel.  The home’s framing, consisting of structural wood, will eventually swell to the point that it splits.

There is also the potential for drywall inside the home’s walls to crumble to the point that walls protrude or collapse.  Such an outcome ultimately compromises the home’s structural integrity.  Though a home with a water-damaged foundation and compromised drywall might be salvageable, it will require extensive work.  Such a deeply-damaged home might have to be thoroughly gutted and rebuilt from the studs up.

If neglected for weeks, the home’s water damage has the potential to become hazardous to occupants’ health, necessitating evacuation.  Neglect of such damage might prevent the property owner from receiving financial compensation from an insurance claim.  The worst possible outcome is a water-damaged foundation and walls that results in an unsalvageable home.

Water damaged basement statistics

The Importance of Basement Waterproofing

Preparation is the best way to prevent water damage.  Have an expert waterproof your home today and you’ll protect its value, habitability and structural integrity across the long haul.  Even if your property hasn’t suffered water damage in years, it is in your interest to assume it is vulnerable to a flood.

Implement the necessary precaution of waterproofing today and you’ll sidestep the nightmare scenario: the $4,250 average water damage restoration cost.

If you are still on the fence as to whether waterproofing is a good idea, consider the fact that two-thirds of the average homeowner’s wealth is tied up in their home.  It merely takes one basement flood to eliminate savings.  Moreover, water damage repair costs have the potential to run upwards of $6,000+.

Why take the risk of depleting your financial nest egg when you can prevent such an outcome with preventative basement waterproofing?  Keep in mind, structural damage following basement flooding hikes restoration costs by a multiple of 100 or even more.

The moral of the story is leaving your home vulnerable to water damage is a financial risk no homeowner should ever take.

Schedule Your Basement Waterproofing Today

If you are a homeowner, it is imperative that your basement is waterproofed.  The weather is becoming increasingly predictable, bringing unexpectedly harsh storms including torrential downpours.  Our BSTM Waterproofing team is here to help.

The low one-time cost of waterproofing has the potential to save you thousands, tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in the long run.

Contact us today to get a quote for your home’s basement waterproofing.

Basement waterproofing statistics

Download the Water Damage Statistics 2024 PDF file here.

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