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Residents must use caution when cleaning flood-damaged homes

(Fort McMurray, AB – May 3, 2020) – There are many things to consider during this time, but your health and safety should be your top priority. Two areas of concern in flood-affected zones are asbestos and mould.

Asbestos 
Homeowners need to be aware that houses built before the mid-1980s may contain asbestos materials.

These materials include drywall mud, ceiling tiles, insulation and floor tiles. Remember that in many older homes, materials may have been replaced over the years and may be newer than the mid-1980s. New materials are not likely to contain asbestos.

To lessen your risk of asbestos exposure, please take the following actions:
Avoid breaking materials that may contain asbestos.
Keep materials wet. Dry materials are more likely to emit particles into the air.
Immediately place the materials in a thick plastic bag and seal it.

For more information, please follow AHS guidelines.  

Mould
Mould growth is common in water-damaged homes and buildings. Because exposure to indoor mould growth can result in various health hazards (including difficulty breathing, skin rashes and nose, eye and throat irritation), it’s important to remove mould-damaged materials and repair mould damaged-areas quickly and safely.

To protect yourself from mould exposure, please take the following actions:
Avoid disturbing mouldy surfaces and materials to decrease the spread of mould spores through the area.
Immediately place all waste with mould in a thick plastic bag and seal it.
Scrub surfaces with cleaning agents (e.g., soap and water).

For more information, Alberta Health Services provides additional Steps for Mould Remediation In Private Homes.

Additional recovery resources
For more information and resources on flood recovery, visit rmwb.ca/recovery.

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Media inquiries:
media@rmwb.ca

FLOOD RECOVERY: Information and resources