Emergency Status
Jul 13

Cleaning fire retardant chemical off of structures

There have been questions about cleaning the fire retardant off of structures. Below are some tips (if you watched the 1 p.m. meeting you will see that the Sheriff’s thoughts on power washing won’t be a great idea!)
• The red color of retardants comes from iron oxide (rust), which can be difficult to remove.
• Wash retardant off as soon as possible. Some of these products may discolor metal.
• Dampening a stained surface with water, and then scrubbing it with a wet, stiff-bristled brush dipped in borax has been effective.
• Power washers may drive the red colorant into the surface of the wood and should generally be avoided.
• Restrict water use to prevent puddles that may be attractive to pets.
• Avoid leaving standing puddles of water by using absorbent materials, such as sand, soil, or other materials.

More info available here: Safe Cleanup after a Fire

Boulder Office of Emergency Management's photo.