Selling a House with Water Damage & Using a Restoration Service

Each day 14,000 Americans face water damage to their home due to a variety of causes. Between broken pipes, leaky windows, bad roofs and malfunctioning appliances the scope of the damage can vary greatly, but either way it means a big, soggy, potentially moldy, mess.

If you are dealing with a home damaged by water and are wondering about selling a house with water damage or considering using a restoration service to help with the problem, read on for some options to consider.

man holding bucket under dripping pipe
Common Sources of Water Damage in a House

Common Sources of Damage Done by Water

There are two main categories of water damage. The first is plumbing or appliance problems. Less common, but just as damaging is weather-related such as rain, snow or burst pipes from a freeze. With 98% of basements experiencing water damage in their lifetime, it’s a problem you’re likely to experience during home ownership in Utah.

Type of Water Damage

The possibility of selling a house with water damage depends in part on what type of water damage you’re dealing with. There are three categories of water that can harm your home:

  • Category 1: White Water This type of problem can still cause a lot of damage but is generally easier to address because the problem stems from a hygienic source like a broken pipe, rainwater or melting snow.
  • Category 2: Gray Water This type of damage can be more costly and happens when the water damaging your home has been exposed to contaminants. This could mean bath water or a leaking washing machine or dishwasher.
  • Category 3: Black Water The most expensive and potentially dangerous, this type of water damage may contain pathogenic or toxic contaminants from sewage. This happens from toilet backflows and sea, river or lake water.

Keep in mind that within days, clean or even gray water can turn into black water by becoming toxic by what it comes in contact with so it’s crucial that homeowners take quick action when water damage is spotted. Quick action is the key when faced with water damage, to prevent toxicity, mold and irreparable damage.

How Bad Is It?

selling a house with water damage in Utah

Determining if you can sell your house with water damage also depends on how extensive the damage is. The Institute of International Cleaning and Restoration Certification has determined 4 classes of water damage:

  • Class 1: Minimal amount of water to a mostly non-porous area (i.e. tile floors). It’s easy to remove the moisture and it can dry out.
  • Class 2: Significant amount of water. Areas with carpet or other medium to high porous materials got wet.
  • Class 3: A great amount of water absorption. This includes carpet, wall and ceiling boards.
  • Class 4: Most damaging with the majority of moisture trapped in the building materials. This level may require long drying times, specialized methods or new construction.

Challenges of Selling a House with Water Damage

The severity of the water damage will determine how likely it will be to able to sell your home as-is. These are some factors to consider as the seller and a potential house buyer:

Less Money

Any type of home facing damage is going to be looking at a lower selling price. Because you are selling a home as-is you are putting the risk and cost of the water damage in the hands of the new owners and they will expect a lower selling price to offset that liability. This is an option if the water damage isn’t too extensive or if you have no cash to pay to repair the home before selling.

Possibility of Electrical Damage

When water leaks through a roof in particular you are looking at a potential for electricity issues to crop up. This added potential for issues in the home is another reason why it could be more challenging to attract buyers to a home with water damage.

Possibility of Health Concerns

Water problems can quickly turn into mold problems. Within days of a water leak fungi and mold and musty odors can become present. Mold can trigger allergies and health issues from the microbial organisms.

Possibility of Future Damage

If you are living in a flood zone or you have a pipe or appliance problem that hasn’t been properly addressed then there is always a potential for future damage. Knowing a home has water damage will cause any potential home buyer to be more cautious considering that those problems could occur again.

Using a Home Restoration Service

If you have the cash to put towards using a home restoration service then you’ll have the peace of mind that the problem is addressed properly and that peace of mind will transfer to potential house buyers as well.

A home restoration service can provide 24/7 emergency response so you can address the problem in that small window of time before it has a chance to do more damage. These types of companies often offer free damage estimates and are willing to work with your homeowners insurance. They are prepared to deal with the water extraction, removal, cleanup and even damage repair so all the in’s and out’s of the problem will be addressed by a professional. A home restoration service is a quick and efficient solution to dealing with a water problem, especially if you are hoping to put your home on the market.

Selling to a House Buying Company

If you don’t want to deal with the hassle or aren’t having any luck selling your home to a traditional buyer or you don’t have the funds to repair your home before selling you reach out to us and we’ll give you fair cash offer. Gary Buys Houses is your local, trusted house buying company. We are used to dealing with homes in less-than optimal condition and will make you a fair cash offer on your home as-is. Working with a house buying company allows you to sell your home without the time, stress and cash needed to make the repairs yourself.


I was a part owner in an electrical contracting firm in the late 1990’s and started to get interested in real estate around 2001. My business partner and I bought our first rental property in 2002. From there we did several real estate transactions until we decided to close the electrical business and part ways. In 2009 I started Gary Buys Houses which is owned by my wife, Eileen, and I. I felt like I could offer one on one personal service to people that wanted to sell their house quickly or not worry about repairs and such. Today, I have built a reputation of being fair and honest with people no matter their situation, so the business continues to help people and be successful. I have been married for 34 years, and have one son, two step sons and 4 grandchildren. I like to travel and spend time in Southern Utah exploring.

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