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Searching for a contractor or a licence number: consult the Licence holders' repertory.

According to our language policy​​​​​​​, only certain contents may be translated. Visit the French version to obtain all the information.

Complete and printable version of the kit

This page contains all the information of the information kit.

The Régie du bâtiment du Québec (RBQ) provides this information kit to you. It gathers information that will help you with the work to carry out following the spring flood.

You can also follow the RBQ’s Twitter feedThis link open an external website of the Régie du bâtiment du Québec in a new window. or LinkedIn accountThis link open an external website of the Régie du bâtiment du Québec in a new window..

Other departments and agencies share information to support the citizens:

  • Urgence Québec provides instructions and recommendations in its FloodingThis link open an external website of the Régie du bâtiment du Québec in a new window. section.
  • The Barreau du Québec (bar association) puts together information on flood victims’ rights, available remedies and legal aspects to consider in such situations in its publication entitled Québec’s floods: legal aspects [Fr]This link open an external website of the Régie du bâtiment du Québec in a new window..

Click on the topic that interests you.

Safety advice and checklists

In order to return home safely, consult safety advice and checklists following a flood by clicking on the links below:

Electricity

Caution! Electrical work must always be carried out exclusively by a contractor holding the licence subclass 16.0 – Electrical contractor. Therefore, an owner cannot carry out work relating to electrical installations in their residence (e.g. install or replace outlets, switches, lights, electric baseboard heating, wiring, etc.).

Here are a few safety precautions to observe:

  • Never turn off the main service switch or any other electrical device while you stand in the water.
  • Before powering up electrical installations, have every piece of electrical equipment that was immersed in water or reached by the water verified by an electrical contractor and by a duly authorized manufacturer’s representative, if necessary.

Checklist following a flood

Consult the Checklist following a flood - Electricity [Fr]This link open an external website of the Régie du bâtiment du Québec in a new window. of the Corporation des maîtres électriciens du Québec.

Gas

Propane gas is a useful and safe source of energy when observing certain basic safety rules. If you use it recklessly, propane gas can become a time bomb, as it poses risks of asphyxia and explosion.

Many heating apparatus can give off carbon monoxide (CO): generators, heaters, barbecues, propane-powered refrigerators, etc. CO is a treacherous gas since it is invisible, colourless, odourless and non-irritating. It can cause light to severe intoxication as well as deadly poisoning.

Here’s what to do to avoid intoxication:

  • Make sure your propane-powered apparatus are in good condition, and observe maintenance and safety rules of the instruction manual.
  • Make sure there’s a permanent air vent for any propane-powered apparatus, and that combustion products are exhausting outside.
  • Install residential generators outside the house.

Construction radiators

Using construction radiators powered by propane to dry off your building requires great caution and is subject to regulatory requirements, the most important being listed below:

  • The building must at no time be inhabited during the use of such heaters, so as to avoid carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.
  • The storage of propane cylinders inside the building is strictly prohibited, since gas leaks could cause an explosion.
  • The heater must be installed on a base which is level, solid and non-combustible.
  • The clearances of the heater to any combustible material nearby must be as indicated on the appliance instruction plate.
  • Sufficient and adequate air must be supplied (see instruction plate of appliance).
  • If a hose is used to supply propane to the apparatus, this hose must be at least 4.6 m (15 ft) in length, but no more than 24 m (75 ft).

Barbecue

A propane-fired barbecue, as any outdoor apparatus, should always be used outdoors. Never store a propane cylinder inside.

To avoid fire risks, keep the barbecue away from walls, windows, patio doors, trees and shrubs. Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions to learn about the clearance to maintain between your appliance and any combustible material.

When water retreats

If you own a propane-powered apparatus, make sure the valve is closed.

When you enter a building, if it smells like rotten eggs or boiled cabbage, it might be the sign of a gas leak. Notify immediately the fire department.

Never store your propane cylinder indoor. If propane cylinders are inside the building during a flood or for the ones you own, make sure the valve is tightly closed and take them outside. Put them in an upright position, at least 3 metres for the building. If propane-powered apparatus, equipment or propane tanks have been flooded, they must be verified by a contractor specialized in gas before reusing them. Gas suppliers who carry out repair or installation work on apparatus or tanks must hold the appropriate RBQ licence.

Checklists following a flood

Consult the Checklists following a disaster of the Corporation des maîtres électriciens du Québec (CMMTQ):

Heating system

Here is some advice concerning heating systems:

  • It is strongly recommended not to use heating apparatus or systems that have been flooded to dry off your house.
  • It is mandatory that the system or apparatus be verified, that its air ducts or lines be cleaned and decontaminated, and that its insulated parts be replaced.

Checklists following a flood

Consult the Checklists following a disaster of the Corporation des maîtres électriciens du Québec (CMMTQ):

Plumbing

Before using your plumbing fixtures, contact your municipality to make sure the municipal sewer system is functional. If you own a septic system, consult Urgence Québec’s advice [Fr]This link open an external website of the Régie du bâtiment du Québec in a new window.. After, several actions are recommended:

  • Clean all the valve openings (clean or replace faucet aerators, hose bibbs, shower heads and hoses).
  • Check and clean, if necessary, all the outlets of the plumbing fixtures and make sure they work properly (including the inside of the toilet tank and overflows for sinks and bathtubs).
  • Clean the sump pits and check if the sump pump works.
  • Locate, check and clean floor drains and backwater valves (sewer backup protection).
  • Have the backflow preventers checked by a certified tester.
  • Drain, clean and replace filters of water softeners.

Checklist following a flood

Consult the Checklists following a disaster – Plumbing [Fr]This link open an external website of the Régie du bâtiment du Québec in a new window. of the Corporation des maîtres électriciens du Québec (CMMTQ).

Elevators and other elevating devices

If your building is equipped with an elevator or elevating devices for disabled persons, read the following advice:

  • Record information about the flood to help maintenance companies, inspectors and insurance agents who will be required to get the apparatus back in service. Recording information might also help owners ensure a rapid settlement with insurers.
  • Even though an elevator might still work during a flood under certain conditions, deactivation is necessary. The elevator car should normally be positioned in the middle of the elevator shaft.
  • The owner must plan for the inspection or the testing of the components quickly in order to prevent deterioration of materials caused by rust. Moreover, inspection is mandatory. The necessary work must be carried out before reusing the apparatus by a contractor holding a licence delivered by the RBQ (14.1 and 14.2). This contractor must be aware of the risks to the user safety, and from damages caused by water. He will be able to evaluate the condition of the equipment by:
    • verifying the deterioration of the mechanical components, engines, control circuits and electrical circuits
    • checking for water in the tanks and in the hydraulic system
    • checking for water in shock absorbers
    • replacing damaged materials
    • inspecting lifting cables, etc.

Petroleum equipment installations

If you own a fuel oil tank used in a single-family house, the RBQ recommends that you have its integrity verified by a specialized contractor before reusing your installation.

Notice to owners and operators

Many service stations and other petroleum equipment installations (fuel oil tank of a heating system, marina, user outlet, etc.) can be found in areas that are currently flooded. There are high risks that the integrity of these installations be jeopardized.

In order to avoid fire risks and contamination of soil, groundwater and bodies of water, the RBQ reminds you that as an owner or operator of these installations, you must have your equipment verified by a qualified person before reusing it. 

Under chapter VI of the Safety Code, holders of a permit for the use of petroleum equipment must inform the RBQ of a disaster involving petroleum equipment installations within 24 hours after its discovery.

Petroleum spills

If you witness a petroleum spill, you must contact the ministère de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiquesThis link open an external website of the Régie du bâtiment du Québec in a new window.. It is responsible for implementing environmental measures in the event of soil contamination resulting from leakage or spilling of petroleum products. It also manages all aspects related to any other dangerous “residual” materials, such as used oil.

Building structure and interior finishing

In order to ensure building safety, many precautions must be taken concerning the building’s structure, exterior and interior claddings as well as any installation, before, during and after repairing work.

Information about the precautions to observe, and about the available help can be found on the following webpages:

Who does the work?

Once the house and the materials have dried off, it’s time to rebuild. You can do it by yourself or hire a specialized and licenced contractor. Whether you carry out the rebuilding work by yourself or hire a contractor, make sure to follow the different regulations. 

If you do the work by yourself

You can do some of the work yourself. However, work related to electricity, gas and petroleum equipment must be entrusted to specialized contractors holding valid licences in the appropriate subclasses. 

If you hire a contractor

Only contractors holding a building contractor’s licence are authorized to carry out construction work and offer financial guarantees. When you hire a licenced contractor, you are eligible for licence security, which ensures compensation for damages as a result of faulty performance or non-performance of construction work.

Make sure your contractor holds a valid licence in the appropriate subclass for the work you wish to carry out. To do so, consult the Licence holders’ repertoryThis link open an external website of the Régie du bâtiment du Québec in a new window., or call us at this toll-free number: 1-800-361-0761.

Moreover, if your contractor must hire subcontractors, they must also hold the appropriate licence for the work they carry out. Do not hesitate to ask your contractor for the list of subcontractors he intends on hiring for your rebuilding work. Similarly, you can check whether they hold a valid licence in the appropriate subclass by consulting the Licence holders’ repertoryThis link open an external website of the Régie du bâtiment du Québec in a new window., or by calling us at this toll-free number: 1-800-361-0761.

Finding a contractor at a fair price

There are contractors who committed to offer their services to flood victims at a fair price. Consult the appropriate list according to the work you wish to have carried out:

Other lists will be continuously provided to you.

Printable commitment letter

Contractors may sign the commitment letter [Fr] – PDF (17 KB) provided by the RBQ, pledging that they will carry out work at a fair price. Flood victims may invite their contractor to sign the letter.

Hourly rates recommended by the Corporation des maîtres mécaniciens en tuyauterie du Québec (CMMTQ)

The hourly rates required by a contractor are largely fixed by collective agreements applicable in the construction industry according to specific areas of activities:

  • Plumbing
  • Pulsed air and hydronic (hot water) heating systems, including natural gas and oil burners
  • Refrigeration
  • Fire protection
  • Ventilation and instrumentation
  • Control systems and regulation

Consult the CMMTQ’s basic hourly rates for pipe fitters, refrigeration mechanics, tinsmiths and fire-protection mechanics [Fr]This link open an external website of the Régie du bâtiment du Québec in a new window..

Hourly rates recommended by the CMEQ

The CMEQ calculated how much an electrical contractor should charge, taking into account how much it costs him to serve his customers. The price for materials and furniture as well as taxes must be added to hourly rates.

Consult the CMEQ’s hourly rates recommended for construction electricians [Fr]This link open an external website of the Régie du bâtiment du Québec in a new window..

Note that an electrical contractor does not have to follow these recommendations, and may therefore charge a different rate.

Quotation and contract

Before hiring a contractor or a disaster recovery specialist to carry out work, a few steps are necessary.

1. Make sure they hold a building contractor licence

Make sure your contractor you intend to hire holds a valid licence that is appropriate for the work to carry out. To do so, consult the Licence holders’ repertory, or contact the RBQ at the toll-free number: 1-800-361-0761.

You can also consult the following webpages:

If a contractor comes to your house and solicits you, check if they hold an itinerant merchant’s permit by consulting the Office de la protection du consommateur’s [Fr]This link open an external website of the Régie du bâtiment du Québec in a new window. website or by calling 1-888-672-2556.

2. Get more than one written quotation

Before signing the contract, demand a written and detailed quotation for the price of the work. The contractor also has the obligation to provide you with any relevant information regarding the nature of the work they plan to carry out and the materials and time necessary to carry them.

The contractor should list, in the quotation, details of the work to carry out, in which you distinguish the work eligible for the financial assistance program.

A complete quotation should include, among others, the following information:

  • The detailed list of the work to be done (workforce and materials) in which you distinguish the work eligible for the financial assistance program
  • Costs of the work, materials sold and taxes
  • Basic hourly rate, and the hourly rate charged for additional work, if any
  • Approximate duration of the work
  • Nature and duration of the guarantee related to materials and workforce
  • the licence number of the contractor and, if need be, of the subcontractor
  • any one-time expenses that could be charged to you (trip, transportation, etc.).

By getting quotations from different contractors, you will be able to evaluate the cost of the work and make comparisons beforehand.

3. Demand a written contract

Once you have selected a quotation, demand that a written contract be established with the contractor. There are two main types of contract of enterprise.

Lump sum contract (fixed price)

The first type is a lump sum contract. It fixes a total and global price for the whole work planned with the client. 

Hour or time and material contracts

The second type of contract is the hour or time and material contracts. The client must pay the contractor at an hourly rate fixed in advance, and pay the material bought to carry out the work.

To include in the contract

A complete quotation should include, among others, the following information:

  • The detailed list of the work to be done (workforce and materials) in which you distinguish the work eligible for the financial assistance program
  • Costs of the work, materials sold and taxes
  • Work schedule
  • Permit fees and declaration of work
  • Total price for a lump sum contract
  • Hourly rate for a time and material contract
  • Hourly rate charged for additional work, if asked
  • Related costs of an application for a connection, if applicable
  • Payment methods and instalments

The scope of financial guarantees provided by the contractor must be indicated in the contract. Relevant documentation concerning the manufacturer’s guarantee must be given to the client.

You can ask to sign the paper testifying of the time and material provided after every workday of the contractor.

Once the work is completed, you can ask the contractor to give you the defective parts that have been replaced.

The RBQ advises you to verify whether the contractor has a valid third party liability insurance and a general insurance that will adequately cover their possessions, materials and equipment. You can ask your contractor for a proof of insurance coverage.

You may check the progress of the work, the quality of the materials used and of the work done, as well as the expenses incurred at any moment.