Fire Clean Up – Thomas Fire Aftermath

By December 14, 2017August 22nd, 2019No Comments

The Thomas fire has stunned our community and the country with it’s ferocity and has transformed Santa Barbara and Ventura for many months to come.  The plumes of smoke still rise above Santa Barbara as our valiant and heroic firefighters from all over the country work tirelessly to get the fires contained and protect our beloved homes and community.

The phones calls and emails have started coming in from our clients:  How do we clean up this mess and do we do fire cleanup work?  We do!  We diligently served dozens of clients with fire and ash remediation during the famed Jesusita and Tea fires and are preparing now to serve our clients and community in that capacity once the Thomas Fire has been contained.  Our teams are familiar with working with insurance companies to come up with a plan to remediate the ash and smoke from your homes—inside and out.  For now, it is a waiting game, but there are some things you can do in the meantime if the ash has gotten overwhelming.


Some things you can do

  • As long as ash continues to fall, it is recommended you wait to do exterior cleaning or any other significant cleanup until fire has been contained and ash is no longer falling
  • Do not use shop vacs or leaf blowers. It is important to not introduce the ash back into the air as much as possible.  Shop vacuums and other common vacuum cleaners do not filter out small particles, but rather blow them out the exhaust into the air where you can breathe them
  • If you need to do some minor ash/dust remediation inside to improve living conditions, wear gloves and avoid contacting skin with ash. Ash can contain metals, asbestos and chemicals. Wash your skin if it comes in contact.
  • Use damp micro fiber rags with detergent (dish soap) to lightly wipe surfaces
  • Gentle sweeping of indoor and outdoor hard surfaces followed by wet mopping is the best procedure to remediate high traffic areas

Once the fires have been contained and it is time for cleanup, give Master Clean USA Inc. a call for your fire cleanup and ash cleanup needs.  We will get with you and your insurance company to set a plan of action to remediate the ash, soot, smoke damage you may have sustained.

The Thomas Fire behind Los Arroyos in Montecito

What is the fire cleaning and fire remediation process (after the fires are out and there is no more ash and particulate)?

  • Pressure wash/wash/machine wash, scrub or disinfect all exterior surfaces including walls, walks, drives, decks, window and deck screens, etc.
  • Wash and disinfect all interior walls and hard surfaces with mild soap or other appropriate cleaning solutions or products, and rinse thoroughly. This includes inside cabinets, drawers and closets.
  • Launder or dry clean all clothing.
  • Wash, dust or otherwise clean all household items, including knick-knacks.
  • Disinfect and deodorize all carpets, window coverings, upholstered furniture and mattresses with steam or other appropriate equipment.
  • Upholstery, fabric window treatments, etc. can be spray-treated with deodorizing products available at most supermarkets, but do not use odor-masking sprays.
  • Have heating, ventilating and air-conditioning units and all ductwork professionally cleaned to remove soot, ash and smoke residue. Change filters when you first return to the premises and at least once a month for the first year.
  • If aerial fire retardant or firefighting foam residue is present on the house and/or automobiles, use a mild detergent and brushes to scrub and dilute the dried residue and flush it from the surfaces; rinse with clean water. A follow-up with pressure washing may be beneficial but will not replace scrubbing to remove the residue.
  • Ash and soot on the ground and vegetation in the vicinity will continue to generate smoke odors and airborne particles when disturbed by air movement. Until the ash and soot are diluted and absorbed by the environment, indoor mechanical air filtration may help minimize the uncomfortable and potentially health-threatening impact of these pollutants.

This is a worrisome, trying and very difficult and emotional time for all of us here in Santa Barbara and the surrounding areas that have been so impacted by the Thomas Fire.  Your family’s lives have been impacted in their routines, health, loss of property and so much more.  If it is time to contact us, please click on the link below or give the office a call at 805-681-0950!  We are here for you!

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