Preparing a Building for Ashfall

Volcanic ash can easily penetrate buildings. Once inside, contamination of building interiors may lead to: risk of health hazards for building occupants; damage to sensitive equipment or furnishings; and abrasion damage to flooring. During and after ashfall, keeping ash out of buildings and homes will significantly reduce cleanup costs and prevent damage to surfaces, electronics, appliances, floors, and other equipment.

  • Seal entrances and openings (doors, windows, dampers, air intakes).
    • Select an entry point which can be used as an 'ash lock'. Two sets of doors separated by a few meters are ideal. Ash-covered clothing and footwear should be left in this area.
    • Place damp towels at the bottom of external doors - Close and seal (e.g. with duct tape) non-essential doors, windows, vents and other gaps.
    • Use ash foot baths (cleans ash off shoes to avoid ingress).
    • Stockpile cleaning supplies, duct tape, disposal containers, vacuum cleaner bags and filters.
  • Cover/close external air intakes. Where this is not possible, install extra (and heavier) filters.
  • Restrict access to a building or home to the most protected entrance to reduce the potential for ash to get inside.
  • Establish an entry room or cleaning and decontamination rooms for people entering the building. Provide vacuum cleaners and brushes for people to remove as much ash as possible from clothing; provide shoe covers and disposable caps as appropriate. Remove outdoor clothing before entering a building as appropriate.
  • Establish any necessary, extra cleaning procedures to protect the interior environment.

See Also:
Buildings > Cleaning Up > Exterior
Equipment & Communications > Heating & Air Conditioning
Cleanup, Disposal & Reuse > Buildings & Households
Buildings > Cleaning Up > Interior