How to Clean up Your Home After a Major RenovationPlanning for a major renovation is not easy. From hiring the right contractor to hiring a skip bin to take the trash afterwards, you are going to be busy as heck! Among a mashup of electrical wires and allocating labour, lingers the question of cleaning up the house or apartment building after a major renovation. Here is a detailed guide on how to prepare for a clean up of your home after major renovation.
Seal off the site
Renovating the entire structure is easy in the sense that all the tenants are going to leave the premises so workers can knock down walls in peace. However, if you have decided to renovate only a section of the house or a single apartment in the building, then the job and the subsequent cleanup are going to be that much harder.
First and foremost, you have to section off the construction site and leave it as such until all of the construction waste had been disposed of. The most convenient way to cordon off the cleanup areas is to hang thick, heavy-duty tarp from the ceiling all the way to the floor.
If you need to cover a large area using a tarp, then add tension rods to help hold heavier pieces of tarp. No matter how well you seal the holes in the tarp, fine dust particles are going to get through, so consider adding and adhesive zipper to the tarp to make it airtight. Another tip is to double the tarp with an extra layer near areas that will experience sandblasting.
Protecting everything from the floors to the windows
Once you establish the perimeter of the renovation zone, it is time to protect all the sensitive parts of the house, such as hardwood floors and the windows. You can clean the windows easily but it’s expensive to replace a broken window. The same goes for floors, as mopping the kitchen floor is better than replacing tiles damaged due to heavy objects falling on them.
As far as the flooring is concerned, cover it using construction paper and make it a double layer to make sure the first layer doesn’t tear off. The aforementioned tarp is ideal for covering windows unless you wish to remove the panes entirely. Heavy appliances, such as the washing machine or the fridge, can also be protected by a tarp and removed as far away from the reno zone as possible.
In fact, a tarp is going to be your best friend when it comes to preventing extensive damage. Laying large, continuous sections of tarp or cardboard across high traffic areas will additionally protect the flooring. Once the resonation is over, you will have less dirt and mud to clean off the floors.
Clearing the air
As might have noticed by now, airborne dust particles are going to be your biggest cleanup enemies. For this reason, it is important to keep the air inside the house or apartment as clean as possible throughout the reconstruction process.
The best way to keep the air clear is to use HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filters and vacuum pumps at the end of each workday. These vacuums don’t come cheap but you can rent them out, just as you would rent out a power saw or a skip bin. HEPA vacuums possess the ability to trap tiny dust particles; something that regular vacuums cannot.
Furthermore, there are HEPA air purifiers that should be turned on 24/7. In addition, you need to clean and wash the filters whenever needed. Be prepared to wash air filters every couple of days because a typical renovation sends a lot of dirt and dust flying in the air.
Finally, you can use the oldest trick in the book to help keep the air clean: open the windows. This simple action will allow fresh air to circulate through the residence, allowing the light breeze to take the dust away from your home.
A deep cleanup is your responsibility, not the contractor’s
Before we give advice on carrying out a clean up of your home after major renovation, there is one thing you need to know. Contractors aren’t obliged to clean the place after they are done. Many homeowners and building owners think that the contract they have signed probably lists the contractor’s duty to clean the place up but in residential structures, this is rarely the case.
It is up to you to make the new bathroom or nursery spotless! Expect the contractor to use a simple broom to sweep large piles of sawdust and to pick up the trash behind them but that’s all. In buildings, don’t expect them to do even light cleaning of hallways and newly-installed elevators.
Do I need to hire professional cleaners?
Once you realize what a mess the contractors have left behind, you start to wonder whether you’ll be up for the task. Many homeowners decide to call in professional cleaners and this is perfectly fine if they e unable to carry out the cleaning themselves. However, before you start browsing the Internet for professional cleaners, be sure to go through the following questions:
How long will the whole cleanup take (hours, days, weeks)?
Do you have that much time to spare and are you willing to clean the residence on your own?
Is there any money left from renovation to hire professional cleaners?
Once you answer these 3 simple questions, you will have a better idea of whether you need professional help or you can complete the cleanup process on your own. As you have already seen, this dilemma has two main aspects: the time/effort factor and the financial aspect.
Using the power of water for cleaning
If you decide to clean the house or apartment on your own, then be sure to use the power of water to your advantage. Namely, a high pressure washer makes cleaning easy and helps clean large areas fast. This is exactly what you need if the walls, the ceiling, and the floor need cleaning at once.
The power of water under pressure is especially useful for outdoor cleanups. Cleaning the fence or patio floor tiles is finished within minutes if you have a “spray wand” in hand. Powerful water pressure supplants the need to scrub the floors or walls by hand.
Taking care of health hazards
Using pressurized water to clean the house comes with an extra perk: you can do it from several meters away. This is rather useful when you think about all the health hazards a typical cleanup comes with. During a typical renovation, all sorts of particles end up in the air. Besides dust, you have including mould spores, toxins, and silicates, that all pose a grave danger to your respiratory system.
Every chemical product used during the renovation, such as freshly applied paint, a lacquer, and a primer gives out toxic fumes. These linger for days and are often still present by the time you start cleaning the site. Therefore, wear a respirator mask (Type N95 is quite popular nowadays) and work in a well-aired room.
Vacuuming carpets and upholstery
The areas where it will be the hardest to excise dust particles from are curtains, upholstery, and carpets. Dust and dirt particles get embedded in the fabric so it is virtually impossible to get them out by dusting the carpet on the balcony.
Vacuuming these soft surfaces will yield much better results. Be sure to use a narrow opening on the vacuum cleaner and go across ever surface twice. This includes mats, cushions, and sides of sofas as well.
Wiping hard surfaces from the top down
Cleaning your house like a pro involves dusting everything from the top down. The same principle applies to clean a house or an apartment after a thorough reconstruction, with a couple of notable exceptions.
Normally, you wouldn’t have to dust the walls but fine dust particles settle even on vertical surfaces so clean those too, especially if you have wallpaper. A wet cloth might seem like the logical first choice but dry dusting is more effective, as it ensures the wallpaper doesn’t get damaged in the process.
Once you’re done dusting walls, it is time to make your way to the highest vertical surfaces in the house: top of wardrobes, kitchen cabinets, and bookshelves. You can use a duster because of the sheer scale of the undertaking.
Working your way downwards involves opening cabinet and wardrobe doors and dusting from the inside as well. Dust finds its way through the tiniest of cracks. Once you wipe off and dust the countertops, you are finally ready to mop the floors from wall to wall. Remember, if you place tarp across walkways during the construction, you’ll have less mopping to do.
The devil’s in the detail
If you like to collect knickknacks and display them on shelves, then you know that dusting such figurines is no easy task. Cleaning after a home renovation is made harder because there are countless tiny surfaces inside the house or apartment.
You shouldn’t disregard these small surfaces because the (cleaning) devil’s in the detail. Surfaces homeowners often skip during the cleanup are the fan blades on the ceiling fan (in the kitchen or in the bathroom), light fixtures (from a single light bulb in the basement to the dining room chandelier), lampshades, miscellaneous electronics, and decorative items such as vases, flowerpots, and statutes.
Using microfiber cloths
Mops, various pads, and cloths used for cleaning around the house should be made from a single material: microfiber. The synthetic fibres that make microfiber are minuscule (less than 10 micrometres in diameter), making microfiber cloths non-abrasive and superlight.
Moreover, microfiber is a material that picks up residue dust and hair quickly, rendering it ideal for a post-renovation cleanup. Other fortes of microfiber include softness, electrostatics, a high filtering capability, water repellency, toughness, absorption, etc.
We hope that you now have a clearer picture (pun intended) of what cleaning after a major home renovation implies. From using a tarp to protect everything inside the home and ease the cleanup afterwards, to selecting the right materials for the cloth used for cleaning, these are all efficient methods to clean up your home after redecorating it to your liking.