Fire Ash
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Thread: Fire Ash

  1. #1
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    Unhappy Fire Ash

    Hi Guys, this is my first post however have been browsing the boards for several months and have learned a lot of invaluable information.

    The problem is, the other night (whilst i was fast asleep) there was a fire near my house and when i came out the next morning there was ash all over my car. Running late for work i quickly hosed it off, thinking nothing of it... that i would wash properly that afternoon. However... when i did so it looks like the ash has etched into the paint a little, and in some places alot. gave it a quick hit with ScratchX howver wanted to know if anyone else has had a similar problem and any remedies for this! Thanks in advance.
    It will never be clean enough!

  2. #2
    Registered Member Teak's Avatar
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    Did the scratch X have any effect on the etching?
    Try washing the car a couple more times, as the initial rinse with just water started a chemical reaction, which caused the paint damage.

    This has been discussed on a couple of other detailiing boards so check those boards out for info.

    Eric
    Talk it over folks. Communication is the key.

    --Jerry Springer

  3. #3
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    I Rinsed and Washed the area after i noticed the slight etching. Would it be chemicals in the ash, and if so would say 15hrs be enough for this to occur? unfortunately do not have access to a camera but etchings range from mild to fairly harsh. ScratchX did seem to have some effect however where large pieces of ash had sat seemed to be worse. I will try a couple of washes tomorrow. Just didnt want to make matters worse before i asked
    It will never be clean enough!

  4. #4
    Registered Member Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    I think ashes from fire are high on the alkaline scale and if they land on your car's finish and their is moisture present such as dew, the potential is there for alkaline etching.

    One of our chemists told me about this as it was a problem here in SoCal a few years ago when we had a number of large fires and this created a lot of ash in the air.

    I remember some days it would look like a light snow had fallen as everything would be covered with ash.

    At this point the only remedy would be to wash the car thoroughly to remove the ash and then deal with the problem. It's likely that the defect you're see now is an etching, or below surface defect so the remedy by hand will be a paint clean like ScratchX.

    Type 1 & Type 2 Water Spots
    Mike Phillips
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  5. #5
    Who? Me? the other pc's Avatar
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    I live at the edge of town where scrub brush begins. We get a lot of brush fires and I usually get a dose of "hot snow" at least once a year. Not only is fire ash chemically aggressive, it's very gritty too. As pointed out earlier, simply rinsing the car kicks the chemical attack into high gear and glues the crud to your finish.

    When it happens you should wash the car with soap (I use Gold Class) ASAP and try not to rub the fallout into your paint while you're doing it.

    Then you should immediately clay the car. Your clay bar will pick up a nasty collection of gunk (better in the clay than on your paint).

    If it has actually etched you'll want to polish it out with a cutting cleaner like ScratchX.

    Your best defense is a good coat of wax before and after.


    PC.

  6. #6
    Registered Member Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Originally posted by the other pc
    Not only is fire ash chemically aggressive, it's very gritty too.
    Very good point Paul, thanks for pointing this out, accumulated ash is somewhat gritty and using a high lubricity car wash and acting fast before any of the ash can accumulate to the finish is vital.

    To help avoid rubbing the ash against the finish use a strong stream of water to rinse off as much as you can before washing and then use good technique while washing the finish and a high quality washing mitt or brush.
    [/B][/QUOTE]
    Mike Phillips
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    "Find something you like and use it often"

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    I live in Fallbrook, CA.

    Last year we had the major San Diego Fires. My car got hit with a lot of ash luckily it came off.

    I think I was waxed at the time. Waxing is one of the best things you can do. After all, it would be better if the ash etched into the wax than the clear coat of the paint.

  8. #8
    aka 2hotford Tim Lingor's Avatar
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    Hey,

    Having lived through the worst forest/city fire in history in my area 2 years ago, I understand the ash issue. I came back to town ( I was away on a fishing trip) to find that 1/3 of the city(30K of a 100K population) was either being evacuated or on the brink of evacuation. My wife's 3 month old car was covered with ash and burnt pine needles!! I used my air compressor to blow off the ash and pine needles, then I washed the car with Meg's #62 Car Wash Shampoo. This became a daily routine as the fire remained out of control for over a month. As long as you are diligent in keeping it clean, you will be fine!

    Just remember, do not wax the car outdoors during this time. The ash is really gritty as PC mentioned, and you will grind it into the finish! Wax the car in a garage, after you have thoroughly washed the paint!

    Tim

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    Thanks for all the help guys. Finally after 8 hrs work, i am pretty happy with the results!

    Washed, Clayed, Scratch X (ash problems) , DC2, NXT, GC Trim, No Smear Windows, Cloth and Trim Cleaner, Shine, Endurance. All by hand i might add!

    Still minor problems on the roof but something i guess i will have to live with. Afterall it is a daily driver and lives outside (unfortunately). I was originally just going to clay roof and hood which is where the problem was, however even only claying it 5 weeks ago, it was surprising the difference it made, so did it all.

    Thanks again guys, much appreciated
    It will never be clean enough!

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