After the fire season, your home needs a good wash down.

After Fire Season, Clean The Exterior of Your Home.

Wildfires are eminently dangerous for the residents living within their reach—like those currently in the Prince George Fire District—due to high temperatures and lack of any significant precipitation.

When wildfires rage near you, smoke and ash can reach your community, according to the BC WildFire Service. It can collect on any and every available surface, including your car, home, driveway, yard, and patio. Smoke and ash can also build up inside your home, even when windows and doors are secured shut.

After the acute danger in your region has passed, you’ll likely need to give your home and yard a deep clean.

In the unfortunate case that a wildfire has caused extensive destruction to your house, it is best to talk with your insurance provider before making any clean-up decisions.

When to start the cleanup process

MJ Jacobson, the owner at PACE Property Pros, a full property maintenance company, says, “The sooner you can do it, the better.” The longer you leave soot, ash, and other debris sitting, the more likely it’ll be difficult to clean off. Settled debris can also cause long-lasting damage to particular materials.

MJ explains, “Smoke can have an acidic residue, and if it sits too long, it can etch metal.” Porous materials, like some plastics, can also suffer damage from ash, and if it’s left stagnant for too long, it becomes nearly impossible to clean, which means you’ll have to dispose of those items.

Before beginning a clean-up project, you need to consider your health and safety. In other words, be prepared with the proper personal protective equipment. Without it, cleaning up ash and soot from a wildfire event can be hazardous. Ash contains both large and small particles of dust, dirt, and soot. It is extremely irritating when it touches skin and to the lungs when inhaled.  When you’re cleaning up, ash particles can easily be swept up into the air, making them easy to accidentally inhale.

How to clean the exterior of your house.

Your home structure is likely the largest item you’ll need to tackle.

Start by cleaning away ash that may cover your exterior walls or siding. MJ recommends using a pressure washer to safely remove any stubborn soot or debris. If you don’t have a pressure washer on hand, you can buy a pressure nozzle to attach to a garden hose, and that should work just as well. For windows and windows sills, you can start by using a gentle dish soap, like Dawn and water mixture. Use a microfiber towel to clean effectively, and make sure you carefully separate clean towels from the dirty ones you’ve already used in order to avoid continuously rubbing around ash and soot.

“One of the best cleaning tips for homeowners is to have two buckets of water: One that you can put clean towels into, and [another for] those towels get dirty and saturated with soot,” says MJ.


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Pace Realty’s Maintenance Team can help you with your yard and other home maintenance & renovation jobs. Call 250-562-6671 or email us at today for a free, no-hassle quote.

Mary-Jean (MJ) Jacobson loves to talk real estate! She is passionate about helping clients increase the value of the assets. She is a Professional Property Manager, Strata Manager, Real Estate Sales Agent and Licensed Managing Broker. She writes a series of articles blogs and whitepapers about the real estate and property management industry at ASK MJ

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Mary-Jean Jacobson

Mary-Jean Jacobson

MJ is the Managing Broker & Owner of Pace Realty Corporation.

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