House fires are scary and can be devastating, and the cleanup after the fact can be daunting. Homeowners pay, on average, $20,470 for fire and smoke damage restoration, though in many cases, the costs range from $2,900 for a small fire to $38,325. The absolute lowest you could expect to pay is approximately $200 for minor fire damage restoration cost, while on the highest end, you may see a cost of around $42,665.
This cost guide covers:
- Average Cost
- Cost Estimator by Size
- Other Factors that Affect Cost
- Related Impacts
- Cost Estimator by Location
Average Cost of Fire and Smoke Damage Restoration in 2023
|National Average Cost||$20,470|
|Typical Price Range||$2,900 – $38,325|
|Extreme Low-End Cost||$200|
|Extreme High-End Cost||$42,665|
A fire does not have to mean the end of your home. Restoration services specialize in helping you recover, but it’s not cheap. The national average cost for these services is $20,470. However, because every home isn’t the same, multiple factors can raise or lower this price. These factors include the size of your home, the type of work required for the restoration, the extent of the damage, and the type of damage.
It stands to reason: If your stove catches fire and leaves your kitchen charred, you’ll spend less on restoration efforts than you would if your entire house burned. At the lowest end of the spectrum, you can expect to pay about $200 to clean up from minimal fire damage. But, if you live in a large house that sustains significant damage from a fire, the restoration costs could balloon as high as $42,665.
Estimating Fire and Smoke Damage Restoration by Home Size
Before quoting a price, a fire and smoke restoration professional will ask about the square footage of your home. The average fire and smoke damage restoration cost per square foot is $4.25 to $6.50. Those numbers give us an idea of the restoration service cost for small, medium, and large homes.
|Square Footage of Homes||Average Restoration Costs|
|1,000 sq. ft.||$4,250 – $6,500|
|2,500 sq. ft.||$10,625 – $16,250|
|4,000 sq. ft.||$17,000 – $26,000|
These costs are based on the total square footage of a house affected by fire or smoke. You would pay less if only a small area or a single room saw significant damage from a fire. And much larger houses would cost more for the extra square footage, especially if a larger number of rooms are affected by fire or smoke damage.
Other Factors That Affect Cost
A home’s square footage isn’t the only thing that can affect the price of restoration.
Smoke Damage Restoration
Fires generate a lot of smoke. That’s obvious. What you may not know is that smoke from a house fire can cause lasting damage. The acrid smell of smoke can cling to surfaces long after the fire has been extinguished. Even parts of the house that are untouched by fire can be affected by the lingering scent of smoke.
Professional smoke damage restoration can cost $200 to $1,135. Remediation of smoke-damaged rooms requires thorough furniture and textile deodorization, which comes in two forms.
- Thermal Fogging: This technique uses a special chemical agent to absorb smoke particles in the air and on surfaces, eliminating the odor. The average price for thermal fogging odor removal is around $200 – $585.
- Ozone Treatment: During ozone treatment, professionals use high oxygen levels to break down bacteria and airborne odor molecules. Ozone is similar to the oxygen we breathe, except it contains three oxygen atoms rather than two. You can expect to pay about $235 – $465 for this smoke removal service.
Water Damage Restoration
It takes a huge volume of water to put out house fires, and that water can damage walls, flooring, furniture, electronics and just about everything else in the house. Water damage restoration efforts could cost around $1,270 to $5,375 depending on the extent of the damage. These prices include the cost of removing excess water, dehumidification, and removal of water-damaged materials like drywall, carpet, and insulation.
Like fire damage restoration, water damage restoration has a price that also depends on the square footage of the affected area. The price also goes up or down depending on the type of water damage being cleaned. Water damage falls into one of three categories, each with its own cost.
Category 1: Clean Water
Clean water comes straight from sources such as hoses, faucets, or overflow from sinks and toilets. On average, clean water costs $3.30 – $4.05 per square foot to remediate.
Category 2: Gray Water
Gray water has come into contact with harmful contaminants like detergents or household chemicals. Because of the increased health risk, cleaning gray water damage costs around $4.10 – $7 per square foot.
Category 3: Black Water
Black water is the most harmful and difficult to clean up. This category encompasses water that has been contaminated by sewage. It’s rare, but if a fire damages your plumbing, you could require black water remediation, which costs about $7 to $7.50 per square foot.
|Type of Water Damage||Average Cost of Cleanup|
|Clean Water||$3.30 – $4.05|
|Gray Water||$4.10 – $7|
|Black Water||$7 – $7.50|
Soot Removal and Cleanup
Removing soot involves getting rid of the ash left behind after a fire. This ash can linger on walls, carpets, furniture, and personal property to create a potentially toxic hazard. The cost of cleaning soot damage can range from $400 to $1,700 depending on whether you’re dealing with dry soot or oily soot.
Cleaning dry soot sits on the lower end of the price range, where homeowners typically pay $400 to $700 for removal. Oily soot, on the other hand, is a byproduct of grease and oil fires. Because it tends to smear, oily soot cleanup costs $1,000 or more.
Types of Fires
House fires can begin for a variety of reasons and involve multiple different materials. According to the Fire Equipment Manufacturers Association, there are five different classifications of fire based on the materials that ignite.
- Class A Fires involve ordinary combustible materials, such as wood, paper, cloth, and plastic.
- Class B Fires occur due to the ignition of flammable liquids. Gasoline, tars, petroleum grease, and alcohol fall under this category.
- Class C Fires are electrical fires that start with energized equipment like computers, motors, appliances, and power transformers. Note that if you cut electricity to these sources, the fire’s classification changes to one of the other four.
- Class K Fires involve cooking oils and grease, such as butter, olive oil, and animal fats.
- Class D Fires are the rarest fires to encounter and occur with combustible metals, such as magnesium, titanium, potassium, and sodium.
Each classification of fire has a cost associated with it. For a standard 2,500-square-foot home, these are the average price ranges you could expect to pay for each fire classification.
|Fire Classification||Average Price Range|
|Class A Fire||$8,665 – $13,665|
|Class B Fire||$13,335 – $19,335|
|Class C Fire||$11,335 – $22,000|
|Class D Fire||$15,665 – $24,335|
|Class K Fire||$11,665 – $18,665|
Fire and smoke damage restoration is only one part of the process of recovering from a home fire. There are other services you may need to enlist to make your home whole again, and it’s just as important to understand what they are and how much they may cost.
An HVAC system or ductwork will absorb a large amount of smoke and soot from a fire, significantly affecting your air quality. So, it may be necessary to hire a professional to clean the lingering smoke odors out of your ducts.
This service may include cleaning your air ducts, including the drip pans, register, fans, and motor. Air duct cleaning typically costs $275 to $490, with most homeowners paying around $375 for cleaning a standard air duct system.
If a fire rages long enough or begins in the upper reaches of your house, it will eventually damage or destroy your soffits, fascia, or roof trusses. In these cases, you would need to call a professional to make roof repairs.
Most homeowners pay around $348 to $1,186, with the average cost sitting at about $767. However, many factors could easily raise or lower the price. For smaller jobs that take only an hour or two, you might pay as little as $140, while more significant structural repairs could run as much as $4,380.
After a fire, replacing any damaged drywall is a priority. These are the typical costs of professional drywall repair services.
|Typical Range||$250 – $605|
|Extreme Low-End Cost||$80|
|Extreme High-End Cost||$1,800|
While repairing small holes and cracks in drywall is fine for a DIY project, major fire or water damage requires a professional contractor to fix due to the possibility of structural damage and the extent of the repair.
Though modern fiberglass insulation is fire-resistant, it may melt at high enough temperatures. It also isn’t resistant to mold or water damage from, say, a fire hose or sprinkler system. If your drywall sustains a significant amount of water damage, you will potentially need to replace the insulation behind it as well.
The average cost of insulation replacement is around $3,020, with a typical price range of between $2,130 – $6,700. The cost varies depending on materials and the size of your repair project. You must also consider the square footage of insulation needed for the repair, with labor costs averaging around $1 – $5.65 per square foot.
Cost of Fire and Smoke Damage Restoration by Location
Another factor to consider when facing the costs of fire and smoke damage restoration is the location of your home. Costs will vary by region of the United State for materials, labor, local taxes, and permit fees.
In addition, homes are built to different standards depending on where they are located. A house in a metropolitan area may be larger or more complex than a home in a more rural area. The more square footage a house has, the further fire and smoke damage can spread. And as the restoration job grows, so does the cost.
Before hiring a company for your fire and smoke damage restoration, be sure to ask for a price quote.
Typically, the first step in fire and smoke damage restoration is an assessment and repair of any water damage from firefighting efforts. If excess moisture isn’t removed, your home could be at risk for mold damage and rot.
Your homeowner’s insurance company may cover some of the costs of fire and smoke damage restoration. However, the amount and services covered depend on the terms of your insurance policy. Be sure to familiarize yourself with your insurance to understand what it will and will not pay for.
Fire damage restoration and smoke remediation should be left to professionals. Even after being put out, fire can still present multiple health hazards within the debris. There are also pollutants and potentially toxic fumes in the air from burning materials and chemicals. In addition, attempting structural repairs in a DIY fashion will void your home insurance and create a hazardous situation if done incorrectly.
A house fire can be a devastating event, but you can recover from it without necessarily losing your home. Professional fire damage restoration companies provide their services at costs that sit at an average of $20,470, with a range of about $2,900 – $38,325, though you may pay more or less depending on your circumstances.
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