Updated: Nov 21, 2019
With the recent wildfires which have ravaged Southern California, it is no surprise that along with them comes plumes of black and grey ash. This ash can travel many miles before settling, and can make life unbearable for those of us with asthma and other respiratory issues and diseases.
Right now, fire ash is a key concern for many of our clients, and we can't possibly fill all the requests we are receiving. Fire Ash Cleanup is one of the unique challenges Sparkleyard Outdoor Maids and our clients face in Los Angeles. So whether you have a gathering this weekend and need your outdoor kitchen to look its best, or you have an asthma-sufferer in your household, use our list of must-do's and tips to help you fight the ash that has accumulated in your outdoor spaces.
1. You Must Wear Safety Protection
This cannot be stated enough. Wear gloves, a mask, and goggles. You do not know what sort of combustibles were put into the air, and subsequent ashes that are left, from the fire which affected you. It is of utmost importance to wear safety equipment.
We are particularly fond of the style mask which has the little metal clip to mold to the shape of the bridge of your nose, such as: 3M 8210 Particulate Respirators.
2. Avoid Blowing
NIMBY, or Not In My Back Yard, is not an excuse for blowing more ash into the air. Do not blow fire ash at all. If possible don't even vacuum it either, unless you have a HEPA rated vacuum cleaner.
3. Use Water
The best way to get fire ash up from outdoor surfaces is lightly sweeping it into a pile for disposal and then rinsing or using a damp rag wipe it all up. Often a second pass with a clean rag is needed to keep the smudges at bay.
4. Wash Off Plants and Vegetables
Before consuming any fruits and vegetables from your garden it is wise to give them a good rinse off with your garden hose. You shouldn't need to worry about the ashy water affecting your plants, as the soil acts as a nice natural filter.
For more information on cleaning up ash after a California wildfire, consult the link HERE.