What is post-construction cleaning?
Post-construction cleaning is done after remodelling, renovation, commercial construction or residential project to prepare the property for its new residents оr for further interior touches. Post-construction cleaning can be done for all kinds of buildings, such as restaurants, hotels, education, government and manufacturing facilities.
Post-construction cleaning is done by a team of professionals that carefully inspect the property and clear out anything left from the construction process. Here is a handy post-renovation cleaning checklist to help you sort through the mess and get your house looking great again.
Why is post-construction cleaning important?
Post-construction cleaning is done mostly for safety. Construction dust contains toxins and carcinogens that can be dangerous to the new residents of the building.Also, there might be nails, sawdust and broken glass and other material leftovers waiting to poke someone’s feet. If you’re not well equipped, if you lack the knowledge and the experience needed, better don’t try to tackle this job alone. Being unaware of the risk and hazards from a poorly-handled construction cleanup can be very dangerous.
Relax in Your Renovated Home Faster with These Post Construction Cleaning Tips
Before you can relax in your newly redesigned home, there are some steps you need to take to finish off your remodel to perfection.
Remember: if you have sensitive lungs or respiratory problems, consider wearing a mask for the cleaning process. This will prevent you from discomfort caused by breathing in dust and chemicals.
1. Open the Windows
Even if it’s the middle of winter, open your windows. This will create an airflow to draw out dust, reduce smells from cleaning products, and minimize the strange odors of plaster dust and sawn wood.
2. Sweep First
It’s tempting to dust surfaces as the first step of cleaning, but don’t. Instead, sweep the floors first.
Sweeping often causes dust to settle on surfaces. Unless you want to get stuck in an endless cycle of dust, sweep, repeat, try sweeping first to minimize the additional dust clouds.
3. Dust Everything (We Mean It. Everything.)
Get out the microfiber cloths and wipe down everything in sight. Old rags won’t do the job properly: you want to use proper dusting cloths designed to attract dust particles.
Remember to clean between blinds, window ledges, the tops of door frames, shelving units, cupboards, and any other surface. Start in one corner of the room near the exit and work your way back around to the same doorway.
4. Leave the Room
You can put your feet up for a few minutes. Leave any dust particles that have been caught in the air to settle down again.
If you have other rooms that need cleaning, now’s the time to start sweeping and dusting. If your remodel was only for the one area, sit back and relax for half an hour.
5. Now It’s Vacuum Time
Start with the carpets and migrate to the nooks with the additional vacuum tools after that.
Run the vacuum cleaner over your carpets slowly. It’s tempting to go at full speed to get the job done more quickly, but a slow approach will ensure you pick up all of the dust. If you miss a spot or don’t clean thoroughly enough, dust will continue to fluff out of the carpet when you walk on it.
6. Check Your Air Vents
Often forgotten during a post-remodel clean, air vents are a magnet for dust.
Make sure you dust and vacuum inside your vents as well as the external grills. This will prevent any clogging in your air conditioning or heating system, and stop any dust from recirculating back into the room you’ve spent ages cleaning.
7. Wipe Hard Surfaces (and Dry Them, Too)
Wipe down any hard surfaces like kitchen counters with disinfectant to make sure your home is as clean as possible.
Prevent any musty smells or mold problems in your newly remodeled home by drying off all areas that you’ve cleaned, too. Remember to leave cupboards open to dry out, for example, otherwise you risk some less-than-pleasant damp smells.
8. Vacuum Again
When you think you’re all done, run the vacuum around the area again. A lot of the dust in the air will have settled by now, so a final clean will help to minimize the risk of ongoing dust problems.
Methods for Removing Dust:
Dust needs to be trapped rather than spread into the air or it will just land in a new location. With the high levels of dust produced during construction, it will take several cleanings to remove it all. Here are a couple of methods to get rid of dust for good.
- One of the first lines of defense against dust is the air filters in your home. They trap dust, but they can also add it to the air if they are not cleaned and replaced regularly. Check your air filters first and replace as needed. For more information, see How to Clean Your Homes Air Filter.
- If the dust is still heavy in the air, you can rent an air scrubber from a major hardware store to remove the bulk of the dust. This can be helpful while cleaning as well to remove the dust that you kick up.
- Wearing a face mask is important to prevent inhaling the dust. These can be purchased at a hardware store.
- Vacuuming is the first step for removing the dust. It will remove the most amount of dust and is the easiest to do. Put an upholstery brush on the vacuum wand. Start at the top of a room and work your way down. That means to vacuum the top of the wall first. Work in sections, moving the wand sideways across each section. (If your vacuum has a filter, be sure to monitor it and clean as needed.)
- If there are vents present, remove the covers and vacuum inside of the vents as thoroughly as possible.
- Vacuum the top ledges above window and door frames.
How Contractors Can Keep Your Home Clean During A Remodel
Remodeling can be a dusty and dirty process. Unfortunately, it’s just a part of the undertaking. When it comes to deciding to remodel and choosing a contractor, make sure you pick one that will respect the cleanliness and organization of your home.
Hang Up Plastic Walls
Often times our crew puts up plastic walls to keep the dust in the project area only.
Lay Cardboard On The Floors
Cardboard is put down to protect the floors from tools, fixtures or other items that may inadvertently fall onto the ground.
Covering the intake and exhaust HVAC vents helps prevent the any dust or dirt from circulating in the house and getting into other areas of the home not being worked on.
Put On Shoe Covers
Shoe covers are sometimes necessary when hauling in equipment and products from the outside to the inside of the home to stop unwanted dirt from being tracked into the client’s house.
Watch Out For Pets
For most of us, our pets are part of your family. A remodel can be a disturbance in your pet’s usual day to day habits. Respecting pets and their needs is something we pride ourselves on. We’ll feed them, let them out to go to the bathroom, and keep them out of harm’s way. Choose a contractor that will make sure your pets are a priority and wont’ be lost in the construction around them.
Lead Safe Work Practices
In 2010 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) required remodeling and construction contractors to be certified in order to remove lead-based paint from homes built prior to 1978. The contractors need to discuss lead safe practices with the homeowners before works starts. Be certain to choose an EPA certified contractor.
Clean Up Each Day
A professional contractor will clean up after themselves after each work day ensuring you don’t come home from work to a disorganized and dirty space. The last thing you want to do is spend money on a remodeling project and have to clean up after the crew that you’ve paid to keep things tidy.
POST-CONSTRUCTION CLEANING CHECKLIST
1. Vacuum Carpets & Upholstery
It’s all too easy for dust and dirt particles to embed themselves in curtains, upholstered furniture and carpeted floors. If allowed to settle after construction, the result can not only look filthy, but also cause itchy, irritating reactions for friends, family or guests. Vacuum all soft surfaces, paying close attention to the details. Remove and vacuum each furniture cushion, and the underlying frames. Try vacuuming twice if you feel any residual dust after the first round.
2. Wipe Down Hard Surfaces
Clean surfaces from the top down. Start by wiping the dust off your walls – yes, even your walls collect dust during construction. Dry dusting is the safest way to remove the particles without damaging a wall’s surface, but a damp cloth can also be used depending on your type of paint or wall covering. Refer to the paint or wallpaper manufacturer before using any moisture, and test a small area before proceeding. Moldings and cabinets are another favorite resting spot for dust particles. Take a duster to these areas next. Clean the interior shelves of all cabinets, paying special attention to those hard-to-reach corners. Wipe off countertops and any other flat surfaces before tackling the dirt and debris that’s on or near the floor. Then, sweep out any visible dust, and mop your hard floors from wall to wall.
3. Clean Air Vents & Replace Filters
In a large home renovation project means, dust and debris will mingle with the air itself, making its way to your vents. Even if you only renovated one part of your home, treating the air vents and filters in that space is critical to reduce the amount of dust that can spread through the rest of your home. Remove the vent covers from the surrounding walls and ceilings, clean each one with soap and warm water, and let them dry thoroughly. Replace any exposed air filters with fresh ones before replacing the vent covers. Breathing dusty air can lead to allergies and respiratory issues, so remember not to skip this step!
4. Don’t Forget About the Little Things
Clean any other furniture or items in the renovation zone for a fully dust-free living space. Here’s a quick list of commonly overlooked areas:
- Ceiling fan blades
- Light fixtures
- Lamp shades
- Small appliances
- Decorative items