Leaked brake fluid on lawn


#1

Contractor repairing exterior of my house had his truck pulled onto my front yard. His brake line broke and leaked brake fluid on the ground. Should I thoroughly hose that down with water, do something else or leave it alone? Truthfully, little grass to kill at present.


#2

@ Marnet
I Think There’s Not Much You Can Do. Brake System Don’t Have A Very High Volume Of Fluid, Anyhow.

At our Country Club Golf Course, every once in a while, a mower will blow a hydraulic line and spew hydraulic fluid. This kills the grass and leaves a distinct line on a fairway or sometimes the manicured, rather expensive greens. The Greens Keeper will usually sprinkle sand on the fluid trail when it’s on the short grass of a green.

The damage looks awful, but “heals” before you know it. I would thing the volume of hydraulic fluid from one of these large diesel-powered mowers is quite a bit larger than what you’re dealing with on your lawn.

CSA


#3

Okay. Thank you. It is a very small amount. And as I said, my lawn is mostly dead weeds at the moment. But knowing I was going to have a bunch of exterior work done I didn’t bother with watering and fertilizer this year. I will put down autumn weed/seed/feed appications after all the mess is finished in another week’s time.


#4

Just don’t want to poison critters. Except maybe the verdamt squirrels that did massive damage to the soffits.


#5

@Marnet
"Just don’t want to poison critters. Except maybe the verdamt squirrels that did massive damage to the soffits."

I feel your pain.

For Homeowner’s it’s just one %^#& thing after another…
I’m under attack by beavers right now. My home sits on the shore of a 10,000 acre rural lake out in forest area. The lake is in front and along one side and the back of our property is a canal that is usually still water. During spring when snow is melting and the rain begins, it turns into a small river.

The beavers (several and friends) have decided that a dam would look real nice just outside of our dining room. The dam will become problematic come spring. Being nocturnal they work on it all night, every night. However, the beavers must get building materials somewhere. Lowes and Home Depot are too far for them so they help themselves to our trees and those belonging to neighbors. You can step outside at night and hear trees falling.

These are Super-Beavers. The other night they chewed the side out of a tree near my dining room that is a foot in diameter! I had it protected with wire mesh, but I hadn’t checked it for a couple (okay, many) years. As the tree grew it expanded beyond the diameter of the mesh, exposing a side.

Did you ever try taking a beaver dam apart from a rowboat? These little guys are engineers. The dams don’t just fall apart.

Then, in spring sometimes, we can get rammed by lake ice and it tears up the front yard just like a bulldozer would…
For Homeowner’s it’s just one %^#& thing after another…
CSA


#6

OMG. I officially stop whining about the squirrel damage now. At least they weren’t beavers – the best dam builders. :wink:


#7

I forget what show, but they used dynamite to blow up the dam. Story goes up at the lake somebody built their cabin on a trail the bears used to get to the lake, first year bear went straight through the doors of the cabin (withour using the knobs) to get a drink, lakewater that is,


#8

We Had A Neighbor On Our Road Who Was A Road Commissioner. He Used Dynamite (Provided By Tax Payers) On Beaver Dams, But He’s No Longer With Us.

The County Road Commission actually does have an interest in the canal and the beavers because if water stops draining through a very large culvert under the highway then the highway is in danger. They employ trappers and I understand they’re very busy this fall.

CSA


#9

Explosives require a license to buy and use. I suppose someone could make their own, but the local police might not take kindly to that. It would be hard to say that someone else blew up the beaver dam behind @“common sense answer”'s house.


#10

I’d dig the affected soil up and put the contaminated dirt in the garbage can. Then I’d put a couple handfuls of vermiculite (inexpensive version of kitty litter) into the hole and let it soak up any remaining brake fluid for a few days, after which I’d toss that into the garbage can too. Then fill in the hole with replacement soil.


#11

Thanks George. That will be easy! It is only a very small spot. And since I have both cat litter and a small bag of soil on hand, voila. :slight_smile: I will ask that no more trucks go on the yard. I don’t need wheel ruts, thank uou very much.


#12

Yeah I think George’s method is best but I’d probably just spade it a little, add some fresh soil and put some seeds down. Its too late here for anything until spring again.

As far as animals, I came home the other day and heard some cooing that sounded like it was in the garage. I looked outside and saw a couple pigeons on the peak of my roof. I’m afraid those suckers are building a next in my furnace exhaust like they did once before. Guess that decides whether to have the furnace serviced or not. I’d try shooting the suckers but hard telling what I’d hit.


#13

It seems that waste oil, transmission fluid and brake fluid will be digested by some organism in a relatively short time if left out in the weather. I have a much greater problem keeping grass and weeds from growing where I don’t want them compared to spilled oil, etc, killing grass. Over the years I have spilled quite a bit of hazardous waste(oil, etc) at my shop door and the grass just keeps coming back.


#14

I’ve occasionally spilled small amounts of oil on grass when transferring it from my drain pan to a bottle. It doesn’t seem to affect the grass at all.

Marnet, I commend your concern for animal life, but


#15

I’ve occasionally spilled small amounts of oil on grass when transferring it from my drain pan to a bottle. It doesn’t seem to affect the grass at all.

Marnet, I commend your concern for animal life. Brake fluid does contain glycols and is toxic, but not to the extent that ethylene glycol (antifreeze) is. Soil being as porous as it is, it’s probably already gone down into the soil. You could always loosen the soil in that spot and soak it down well with a citrus-based cleaner and water of it helps you feel better. The cleaner will break the oil down and the water will help it soak into the loosened soil.


#16

Thanks Mountainbike! You have clearly addressed my concern over the specific chemical properties and toxicity. My neighbors walk dogs, several pet cats roam, and lots of wildlife.


#17

I don’t believe that animals like brake fluid. The smell should put them off. Anti-freeze tastes sweet and smells sweet too. Brake fluid should be lousy tasting in addition to smelling bad.

I can clearly see the picture of the cat now.

One comment about brake lines. We could make them from stainless if we favored reliability. We used to make rust-off exhaust systems before stainless was standard.


#18

I had a house in Northern NH that suffered repeated damage from a pileated woodpecker. For some reason the exterior wood trim, which was redwood, drove this woodpecker crazy, and he attacked it repeatedly. First time this occurred, I thought a bear was responsible, large wood splinters all over the deck and ground.

After several repairs and attacks, I just nailed some pine 1x3s over the redwood, and this stopped the attacks. After a while, the bird disappeared, and I removed the pine.


#19

@BillRussell
"I had a house in Northern NH that suffered repeated damage from a pileated woodpecker."

Been there, done that, too. Those are large, pretty birds (crow-sized) that can do quite a bit of damage in a short amount of time. One attacked a particular cedar in my front yard this summer trying to get at bugs. She jack-hammered many deep holes over a wide portion of the trunk. The amount of fairly large wood chips on the ground was really almost unbelievable. It remains to be seen whether the tree will survive. I could see mistaking the damage with that of a much larger animal or a human with power tools. Too bad they don’t feast on beavers.
CSA


#20

yes, but to attack a house? That can’t be common.