Water Damage Clean-Up and Mold Prevention

Many Ottawa-area residents have experienced water damage over the wet season, so we developed these guidelines to help you the next time you need remediation of mold growth by taking quick action before growth starts (within 48 hours).

Depending on the size of the areas involved and resources available, professional assistance may be needed to dry an area quickly and thoroughly.

Books and Papers

  • For non-valuable items, discard books and papers
  • Photocopy valuable/important items, discard originals
  • Freeze (in frost-free freezer or meat locker) or freeze-dry

Carpet and Backing - Dry within 24-48 hours

  • Remove water with water extraction vacuum
  • Reduce ambient humidity levels with dehumidifier
  • Accelerate drying process with fans

Ceiling Tiles

  • Discard and replace

Cellulose Insulation

  • Discard and replace

Concrete or Cinder Block Surfaces

  • Remove water with water extraction vacuum
  • Accelerate drying process with dehumidifiers, fans, and/or heaters

Fibreglass Insulation

  • Discard and replace

Hard Surface, Porous Flooring (linoleum, ceramic tile, vinyl)

  • Vacuum or damp wipe with water and mild detergent and allow to dry; scrub if necessary
  • Check to make sure under-flooring is dry; dry under-flooring if necessary

Non-Porous, Hard Surfaces (plastics, metals)

  • Vacuum or damp wipe with water and mild detergent and allow to dry; scrub if necessary

Upholstered Furniture

  • Remove water with water extraction vacuum
  • Accelerate drying process with dehumidifiers, fans, and/or heaters
  • May be difficult to completely dry within 48 hours. If the piece is valuable, you may wish to consult a restoration/water damage professional who specializes in furniture

Wallboard (drywall and gypsum board)

  • May be dried in place if there is no obvious swelling and the seams are intact. If not, remove, discard, and replace
  • Ventilate the wall cavity, if possible

Window Drapes

  • Follow laundering or cleaning instructions recommended by the manufacturer

Wood Surfaces

  • Remove moisture immediately and use dehumidifiers, gentle heat, and fans for drying. Use caution when applying heat to hardwood floors
  • Treated or finished wood surfaces may be cleaned with mild detergent and clean water and allowed to dry
  • Wet panelling should be pried away from wall for drying