Following the floods that hit Quebec and Ontario in the last few weeks, owners who sustained damage to their homes are gradually returning to their houses to assess the damage. A lot of work needs to be done before you can go back to your old routine.
If you want to return to your home without a hitch, you will need to take a few essential steps. The following tips will help you make sure you do things properly when you return home.
1. Return to your home during the day
During the day, you can see where you’re stepping and assess potential problems and hazards.
2. Go with a loved one
Since you still don’t know the full extent of the damage caused by the flooding, you shouldn’t be alone when you return for the first time. A loved one can support you in this difficult time.
3. Take photos
If your home sustained significant damage, you may need to turn to government financial assistance. Before doing anything else, take photos of your property and the damage caused to your home. You will then be able to use them as proof when you apply for financial assistance from the government.
4. Empty the water from your home
If there is still water on your floors, pumps can be very useful. Make sure the water is drained completely before touching any source of electricity. We recommend calling an electrician to turn the power back on.
5. Prevent or eliminate mould
Open the walls and remove drywall and insulation to at least 2 feet above the high-water line. If certain objects or surfaces sustained damage, follow these steps to clean effectively and safely, and make sure you wear the necessary protective equipment (mask, rubber gloves and boots).
There may already be signs of mould in your home. Mould can cause serious health problems. So make sure you eliminate mould by following these tips.
6. Cleaning your yard
Don’t touch any downed power lines or electrical installations that are on the ground. Contact Hydro-Québec and ask them to remove any downed power lines. Also contact your municipality to find out how you should dispose of sandbags, if applicable.
For more tips on returning to your home after a flood, visit the Urgence Québec website.