Ottawa

How to deal with mould in flooded homes

Health Canada is warning of the dangers of mould in homes and cottages hit by this year's spring flooding.

Throw out everything that's been exposed to floodwater and can't dry: Health Canada

David Proulx walks through his flooded home in Masson-Angers in eastern Gatineau April 30, 2019. (David Richard/CBC)

Health Canada is warning of the dangers of mould in homes and cottages hit by this year's spring flooding.

Federal biologist Francis Lavoie said it's important to dry wet walls and belongings within 48 hours, but that's not often possible in the case of flooding.

He says cushions, carpet, drywall, mattresses, box springs, stuffed toys, insulation material — everything that has been exposed to water and cannot be dried — needs to be thrown away or discarded.

Lavoie said often by the time people can get back into their homes, mould is already growing.

An automobile is submerged in flood waters in the Montreal suburb of Sainte-Marthe-sur-le-Lac, Quebec, Canada, April 29, 2019. (Sebastien St-Jean/AFP/Getty Images)

He says people in homes with mould are more likely to have eye, nose and throat irritations, coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath.

Information and other resources can be found on the Health Canada website, and the Canadian Red Cross is distributing free clean-up kits to homeowners affected by the flooding.

now