Santé Montréal


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Going home after a flood

Retour à domicile suite aux inondations - Nettoyage et prévention des moisissures

Cleaning up and preventing mould

Are you moving back into your home after a flood? It’s important to eliminate risks of mould quickly and safely.

After a flood, it’s important to get rid of mould in your home to protect your health and that of your family. If there is visible or possible mould (greenish or blackish stains, smell of mould) or contamination from chemical products such as heating oil, hire a decontamination specialist.


Flood waters are contaminated. It’s important to avoid direct contact with flood water and objects that have been in contact with this water. Contact with flood water can cause skin irritations or infections, and gastroenteritis. Always wear rubber gloves, rubber boots and protective eyewear when handling soiled objects or when you’re in places where flood water is still standing. Inside homes, use an N95 protective mask. These masks are sold in hardware stores and pharmacies.


Mould develops on all porous materials (wood, gyprock, fabrics, rugs, sofas, mattresses, etc.) that have been in contact with flood water for more than 48 hours. Therefore, it’s important to remove these items quickly to prevent mould from spreading. If you can see mould or you suspect mould, call a specialist. Mould emits irritants and allergens that can trigger allergies or respiratory problems.


If you cut yourself with a soiled object or if you have a wound that comes into contact with contaminated water or soil, there is the risk of tetanus infection. Check if your tetanus vaccination is up to date; it is recommended to get one dose every 10 years. To update your vaccines, make an appointment with your local CLSC.

In case of injury

Clean cuts or wounds, even minor ones, right away with soap and clean water. Cover wounds with airtight bandages. For serious wounds, call Info-Santé 8-1-1 or see a doctor in a medical clinic.

Psychosocial support

Are you having a hard time or feeling distressed? You can get help from a social worker by calling 8-1-1 (Info-Social). It's free, confidential and accessible 24/7.

Other tips See Advice and prevention – Flood, where you’ll find recommendations from Montréal’s regional public health department.

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Public, Prevention, News, Direction de santé publique

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Last Update : 04 April 2020