Will a Fire Extinguisher Damage House Paint?

A house on fire, or a fire next to a house or structure will likely need a fire extinguisher to put out. If you are in the fire extinguisher business, or own rental property, this makes sense.

Most homes have ABC multi-purpose fire extinguishers that spray powder or foam. When a fire extinguisher is used indoors, it will get on the painted walls.

Will Fire Extinguisher Spray Damage House Paint?

A recently painted house, indoors or outdoors will likely not be damaged by a fire extinguisher. The fire itself should be a bigger worry.

However, if the paint is already flaking, a fire extinguisher blast could cause more pieces to break away. If the fire extinguisher is sprayed up close, it could cause paint to crack, even if it is fairly new paint. However, saving your home from fire damage is worth it, compared to the time and cost of patching up the walls of a house.

Types of House Paint

There are many different types of house paint that can be damaged or stained by a fire extinguisher.

These include:

  • Interior and Exterior
  • Oil-based
  • Water-based
  • Latex
  • Enamel
  • Acrylic

However, most modern types of house paint are stain resistant. Even water-based paint, which is the most common type of paint, is durable and can last more than a decade. Some specialty paints include fire retardants that keep them from igniting during a fire. These are well-suited to kitchens and workshops where fire risk is the highest.

House Paint Fire Extinguisher

Chemicals That Can Damage House Paint

  • Paint
  • Paint remover
  • Gasoline
  • Coffee
  • Soda
  • Juice
  • Vinegar

How To Wash Fire Extinguisher Spray Off Your House

During a fire, spraying fire extinguisher will likely get some particles onto the surface of the walls. This can be either during an indoor or outdoor fire. Cleaning the walls is not difficult, but you must make sure to get all of the spray off because it can pose a health risk.

Steps to clean fire extinguisher spray from painted walls are:

  1. Move aside any furniture and take down any wall mounted pictures or painting. You will want to clean these later.
  2. Mix dish detergent or paint-friendly soap with 1/2 gallons of water in a bucket.
  3. Use a sponge or small rag and dip it into the solution
  4. Wring out the spong or rag thorougly so it does not drip down the walls as you wipe.
  5. Wipe up and down, left to right until all the fire extinguisher spray is wiped off.
  6. Let the wall air dry before moving back any furniture or wall hangings.

In Closing

Spraying a fire extinguisher is a messy business, whether indoors or outdoors. If a fire is near the walls of a house, then using a fire extinguisher means spray will get onto the paint. This means it needs to be cleaned up. Regardless, putting out the fire is more important than any minor damage to house paint that may need repairs later.

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Nick Klamecki, Author
About Nick Klamecki, Author

Nick Klamecki is a certified Fire and Workplace Safety expert with 15 years experience in product research and testing. He has a degree from U.C. Davis, is an active outdoorsman and spent years ensuring the safety of special needs children. Nick researches and tests workplace, industrial and safety products and provides advice on their safe use. Learn more about Nick here or connect with him on LinkedIn | Medium