After a flood, it’s important to restore your home to good order as soon as possible to protect your health and prevent further damage to property and belongings. Whether you do the work yourself or hire a contractor, this handy checklist will help you organize the clean up. Immediate action is important. Your house and furnishings are less likely to grow mould if contents are dried within 48 hours.
Homeowners Checklist – Flood Recovery
Before you begin
- Put your own safety first. Avoid electrical shock. If you are experiencing flooding and need your electricity source disconnected or reconnected, please call NB Power at 1-800-663-6272.
- Record details of damage, with photos or video if possible. Contact your insurance agent immediately and register your flood damages.
- Set up a step-by-step action plan to remove all water, mud and other debris; dispose of contaminated household goods, and rinse away contamination inside the home. Detailed information is available online from the N.B. Department of Health
- Be prepared to make difficult decisions about what to keep and what to throw out. Make sure the building is structurally safe. Look for buckled walls or floors. Watch for holes in the floor, broken glass and other potentially dangerous debris. If in doubt, contact a professional.
Private water supplies affected by flooding should not be used until they have been disinfected and tested. Until tests indicate a safe water supply, water for drinking and personal use should be brought to a rolling boil for at least 1 minute and then stored in clean covered containers. Communicate with your local Public Health Office for information on how to proceed to have your water tested.
Free well-testing kits
The provincial government is providing free bacterial testing of water for the owners of private wells who have been directly affected by recent flooding.
Water sampling kits can be picked up at designated Service New Brunswick centres.
Water samples will be sent to the Research and Productivity Council laboratory for testing and results will be made available to the owners of the private wells.
Since flooding has been occurring at various locations and at different times, owners of private wells are reminded they must wait 10 days after the flood water has receded from the well area before beginning the chlorination and sampling process. For further information, consult the department’s document on Well Chlorination and Water Testing.
Do not heat your home to more than four degrees Celsius (about 40 degrees Fahrenheit) until all water is removed.
If you use pumps or heaters powered by gasoline, kerosene or propane, buy and install a carbon-monoxide sensor. Combustion devices can produce large amounts of lethal carbon monoxide when they are not tuned-up or are improperly ventilated.
REMINDER: Anything that stays wet long enough will grow mould; mould can make people sick. Dry everything quickly to avoid future health problems.