If your home or property was damaged in a flood, the Town of Innisfil has collected a variety of tips and resources to help you respond and reduce the amount of damage.

Contact your insurance company

The first thing you should do after a flood is contact your insurance company. Make sure to report any damage caused by the flooding. Your insurance company will often advise you on how to proceed. In some instances, you may be eligible to make a flood claim through the Town.

Initial safety precautions

Flooding can affect your health and safety. Take the following precautions to prevent illness and avoid injury:

  • If you evacuated your home, consult local media (TV/radio) or keep an eye on the Town's social media feeds to find out more information for a safe return
  • InnServices will issue notices to the public if municipal drinking water is considered unsafe to drink
  • Don't drive or walk through floodwaters
  • Stay away from power lines that have fallen in the area
  • Assume that everything touched by the floodwater is contaminated and needs to be property cleaned
  • Keep children and pets away from flooded areas and contaminated items

Before you enter your house

When you decide to return to your home, we recommend that you have someone else with you, as well as a phone to call for help. Here are some tips to follow before you re-enter your house:

  • Check for foundational or structural damage
  • Make sure that all porch roofs and overhangs are supported
  • If you're unsure about the safety of your home, do not go inside. Contact a qualified home inspector or structural engineer for advice.
  • Don't attempt to reconnect the electricity, natural gas, telephone or television cable. Call your service provider for help

Cleaning up

Cleaning up after a flood can be time-consuming and, in some instances, dangerous. Review these tips for information on how to clean up safely.

Before cleaning

Flood waters can contain sewage, chemicals and debris, such as broken glass. Be sure to wear clothing that covers your skin as well as personal protective equipment, such as:

  • Hard hats
  • Gloves
  • N-95 mask (or an equivalent)
  • Protective eyewear
  • Rubber boots

If it is safe, you should turn off the electricity at the main breaker or fuse box. If it isn't safe, do not enter the space and contact your hydro company for help. Here are some additional tips:

  • Don't use electrical appliances that are wet or may have been affected by flood water until a qualified electrician has inspected them
  • Don't use anything requiring water until the flood water from your house has been removed (i.e., toilets, showers, washing machines, sinks)
  • You may want to contact a qualified flood damage restoration company to help you clean

Preventing further damage

Follow these steps to prevent further damage to your home and belongings:

  • Remove standing water with pumps or pails, a dry vacuum or rags and towels
  • Remove as much can from the room that was flooded as quickly as possible to prevent further damage and mould
  • Remove soaked and dirty building materials, including wet insulation and drywall
  • Quickly and thoroughly dry and dehumidify your home
  • Ventilate the area with outdoor air and fans

Surface cleaning

Here are some tips to help with surface cleaning after a flood:

  • Clean all surfaces and belongings
  • Wipe or scrub away dirt and debris
  • Disinfect all surfaces and belongings using a household bleach

Food safety

You should throw out the following food items if it comes in contact with flood water:

  • Any food stored in boxes, bags, paper or plastic wrap
  • Food and drinks in bottles, plastic containers and jars
  • Fresh foods such as meats, fruits, vegetables and eggs

Commercially canned food without dents, leaks and bulges are considered safe if cleaned and disinfected. Make sure to clean and disinfect any dishes, utensils and food contact surfaces with non-toxic disinfectants that are safe for food contact surfaces.

What do I do if we lose power for an extended period of time?

If you have been without power, food in your fridge and freezer may be at risk. Follow these tips to reduce the risk of food-borne illness:

  • Avoid opening the fridge and freezer doors (a full freezer can typically keep food cold for two days and a half freezer can keep food cold for one day)
  • Add bags of ice or ice packs to help keep the food cooler for a longer period of time
  • Consider using coolers or ice chests with a supply of ice for food storage
  • Throw out perishable foods such as meat, fish, poultry, eggs and leftovers that been at temperatures above 4˚C for more than two hours
  • Throw out food that has come in contact with raw meat juice


Mould can grow on wet surfaces within 48 hours and any growth over time indicates a continuing moisture problem. If you notice mould growth anywhere in your home after the flood, it is important to remove the source of moisture and clean the affected area. Exposure to mould doesn't always have negative health effects, but some individuals may be more sensitive.

Getting rid of mould

If the area with mould is small (no more than 1 m²), you can clean the mould yourself. If the area is large (more than 1 m²), you should hire a professional to clean the mould.

How to protect yourself while cleaning mould

Here are some tips to protect yourself and others while cleaning mould:

  • Wear disposable particulate masks (e.g. N95 masks or equivalent)
  • Consider isolating the room to protect those at high risk (e.g. infants, pregnant women, elderly or those with underlying respiratory disease or weakened immune systems)
  • Use an exhaust fan that is blowing to the outside to prevent contamination of other areas of the house and to provide ventilation

Discarding materials

Visit the County of Simcoe for information about waste management and how to safely discard materials that have been in contact with flood water.