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Selling a House With Water Damage in Knoxville, TN

From burst pipes to floodwaters, water damage can be hard to find. The signs may not be apparent right away - which can lead to thousands of dollars in repairs! If you're planning on selling a house with water damage, you have three options: see if your insurance will cover it, make necessary repairs and list, or sell your home as-is with a professional home buyer.

Here's how to sell a house with water damage in Knoxville, Tennessee.

What Causes Water Damage?

Whether it's a minor leak or a major flood, all kinds of sources can lead to water damage in your home. Ceilings are susceptible to water damage and need to be replaced when ruined. Water damage can also occur deep inside the subfloor and rafters, leading to structural damage.

Water sources are broken into three categories, including:

  • Category 1: White water - white water comes from hygienic sources, such as broken pipes, bathtubs or sinks overflowing, or rain.
  • Category 2: Gray water - when water is exposed to contaminants, it's considered gray water. Gray water damage is typically caused by leaking washing machines, dishwashers, or toilets.
  • Category 3: Black water - black water is dangerous, as it contains pathogenic or toxigenic contaminants from sewage backup and flood water. Most items contaminated by black water can't be recovered.

It can take 48 hours, or less, for white or gray water to become black water. Both gray and black water have levels of contaminants that could be dangerous.

How Is Water Damage Measured?

Water damage, or intrusion, is measured by the amount of water, the items affected, and an area's level of absorption. The four classes of water intrusion include

  • Class 1 there's minimal water flow in an area that's largely porous, such as a tile floor. After the water has been removed, only evaporation is needed to finish the drying process. Water damage restoration services will likely be needed, but only for small repairs.
  • Class 2 a considerable amount of water flow in an area with materials of medium to high absorbency (carpet or wallboards). Water damage is confined to one space, however, this can result in lasting damage to the structure of the building.
  • Class 3 walls, ceilings, carpet, and insulation are saturated with water. Water damage, on walls, reaches up to 24 inches.
  • Class 4 materials with low absorbency (hardwood, concrete, plaster, etc.) have deep pockets of water. These areas often take longer to dry and may need specific measures to be repaired.

What to Do if Your House Has Water Damage

Call Your Insurance Company

If you find water damage in your home, the first step is to call your insurance company. You should take photos of the damage (inside and outside) and consult with your representative about your restoration options. The earlier you report, the more likely you are to receive aid from your insurance company. The only exception to this is natural disasters. If you have regular homeowners insurance, it likely won't cover the damage from flooding.

What Will Homeowner Insurance Cover?
Insurance will not cover gradual damage. For instance, your insurance company won't pay for water damage that's advanced overtime or as a result of negligence. So, if your pipes are leaking, and you're just now seeing mold in your home ‒ you might not receive coverage.

Gradual damage that typically isn't covered by insurance includes:

    • Floor, wall, and ceiling damage caused by plumbing leaks
    • Leaks coming from the foundation or exterior of the house
    • Crumbling roof shingles or tiles that have caused water damage
    • Mold, corrosion, or rotted wood

Hire a Restoration Specialist

If water damage isn't covered by your insurance, you still have options. A restoration specialist will help repair damaged property while restoring your home. However, according to a 2020 study, water damage restoration expenses can reach $4,250, depending on the type of water and the amount of damage done to the house. The cost of water damage is determined by several factors, including:

  • Extent of damage - The extent of damage will affect the cost of restoration considerably. If the water has damaged drywall, baseboards, ceilings, or floors, those will likely need to be removed and/or replaced.
  • Mold remediation - Any mold that's grown, as a result of water damage, will need to be cleaned by a professional mold removal company.
  • Painting & replacing fixtures - If you're preparing to list, you may want to repaint and/or replace fixtures.
  • Square footage - The size of the affected area will also factor into the cost of repairs. The larger an area is, the more time-consuming (and costly) the process will be.

The most common water damage repairs include replacing walls and ceilings, as well as carpet cleaning.

If you're planning on listing, but you don't want to make repairs, don't hide your home's water damage. In general, you should disclose all effects to potential buyers. Plus, if you've lived in a house any time over the past three years, you're legally obligated to do so!

Sell to a Home Buyer

On the other hand, if your house isn't up to listing conditions, your other option is to sell to a home buyer. Working with a home buyer, like Reliant Home Buyers of TN, ensures there's no prepping, repairing, or upgrading needed. Our home buyers will buy your house with cash, regardless of its water-damaged condition.

We Buy Water Damaged Houses

If you need to sell a house with water damage, but you don't want to make renovations, Reliant Home Buyers of TN will make sure you receive cash for your property, even if you're selling a house that needs expensive repairs.

With the help of our extended network of contractors, we're able to make repairs for a fraction of the regular cost. This means you're likely to receive the same amount of money (or more!) as if you repaired problems and listed your house.

With over 18 years of experience, our homebuyers in Knoxville, Tennessee will buy your home as-is. Here's why you should sell with us instead of other local home buyers:

  • There's no obligation. If now isn't the right time to sell, let us know! There's no obligation to sell even after we make you a proposal.
  • Sell your house as-is. With us, you can forget the long list of repairs. Working with Reliant Home Buyers of TN ensures there are no open houses, real estate agents, or price negotiations. We make fair cash offers for houses in as-is condition.
  • You're selling to a reliable buyer. When you work with us, we'll provide you with a list of necessary updates. Our WIN-WIN proposals are based on the status of your house, its location, and other for-sale homes in the area.

Need to Sell a Water Damaged House?

We buy houses in Knoxville, TN and surrounding areas, including Knox, Blount, Anderson, Loudon, Roane, Sevier, Campbell, Cumberland, Grainger, Hamblen, McMinn, and Monroe counties. For more information on selling a house with water damage, contact or call us at 865-567-6391. We'll do our best to answer your questions.


Serving Knox, Blount, Loudon, Anderson, Roane, Sevier, Union, Jefferson, Hamblen, Cumberland, Monroe, and McMinn Counties.

Reliant Home Buyers Of TN, Real Estate, Knoxville, TN