If you hired a contractor to complete your renovation they should have taken care of cleaning-up along the way. They often bring a dumpster, canvas to cover your furniture and industrial shop-vacs to make light work of a heavy-duty job. If you completed your own remodeling project or if you opted to clean up yourself to save money here are a few helpful tips to get your house back in shape quickly.
Clear the Debris
There is always a lot of trash and debris after any renovation. The first thing you need to do before you can properly clean is to get rid of the solid waste and debris. You can either try to stuff it bit-by-bit into your weekly trash collection or you can hire a rubbish removal service. Sweep any large piles of dust, dirt, and debris into a dustpan and remove it so that you don’t stir it up while cleaning.
Clean or Replace Air Filters
You’ll want to change your air filters and vacuum your return vents. They’re likely clogged and may release a cloud of dust into the room when you pull them out. Having fresh filters with good flow will help to clear it out rather than hoping the clogged filters will do the trick. This may be something you want to do again within a week or two as the cleaning process itself may put more dust back into the air.
Use the Vacuum
Construction dust likes to cling to everything including vertical surfaces not just horizontal ones and fabrics. Use a clean attachment for your vacuum to remove dust from surfaces including walls and ceilings if possible so that it can’t resettle elsewhere. Keeping the vacuum nearby throughout all cleaning steps will help you to clean up larger messes as you come across them even if it’s not the right stage.
Start at the Top
Work your way from the tops of the rooms to the bottom. The best way to do this is to work in a cycle through the rooms allowing any dust you stir off the tops of fans or light fixtures to settle on a lower item before cleaning it. Start in the kitchen, move to the next room, then the next, focusing on one general height a time. By the time you get back to the kitchen any dust you removed from the tops of cabinets and lights should have settled onto lower cabinets or the floor.
Dry-Mop and Dust
Use a terry-towel or dusting cloth to wipe down walls, cabinet fronts and other surfaces. Typical dusters only stir the dust up. Wipe vertical surfaces slowly bringing it all to a pile at the bottom. You want to dry mop first as wet mopping creates more of a drag on the surface and is more likely to cause dirt and other particles to scratch your surfaces. You want to remove as much of the potentially damaging material as possible first.
Wet-Mop and Clean
After you’ve removed the loose dust and dirt it’s time to wipe everything down with a damp cloth. This will remove almost all the residual material that has settled. Pay attention to any trim work or molding. After the last of the construction dust has been wiped off you should go ahead and clean or polish the surface as you normally would to restore and protect it.
Save the Floors for Last
While you may do a quick run with the vacuum earlier in the process to keep potential dust clouds from building up you do want to save the floors for last. Any cleaning you do higher up will only make the floors dirty again so don’t waste too much effort until everything else is done. Once you’ve thoroughly vacuumed, you may need to have any carpets cleaned.
Your home probably needs another cleaning in a few days. Construction dust is notorious for lingering in the air and it may take several rounds of cleaning over a few weeks before you stop seeing the last of it but your space should be livable again after the first cleaning.
Rachel is a mother of 2 beautiful boys. She loves to hike and write about travelling, education and business. She is a Senior Content Manager at NYBizDb – an online resource of relevant business information.