Even when it is written in a contract that the contractor will do the clean up after the project, it is always your job as the homeowner to keep the house as clean as possible. Cleaning up is also not something you should wait to do after the contractors have left. You should strive to keep your house clean even when the contractors are working. But how can you do that? Here are a few tips to help you get started in the right path.
Clear the area
The first thing you need to do is move out as many items from the home improvement area as you can. This is irrespective of how small the renovation/remodel project is. These projects often get really dirty. To be on the safe side, start by removing the light fixtures and all decorations. Light pieces of furniture should also be removed not only to keep them clean but also to create adequate room for the contractors to work. The more items you are able to remove from the room the less cleaning you will have to do during and after the project.
Turn the furnace off
This is yet another very important thing you have to do more so if the work that needs to be done will be extremely dusty. Turning the furnace off prevents dust from the room being worked on from circulating to the entire house. You will also safeguard the life of your furnace when you turn it off because dirt will not be trapped in the filters. You don’t have to turn off the furnace throughout. You can turn it on after the contractors leave for the day.
Cut and finish materials outside
How about limiting the amount of dirt that gets into the house? You can do this by requesting the contractors to cut and finish the required materials outside the house. Most contractors try to save time by cutting the materials in the rooms they are working on. While not every material can be cut and finished outside, the more work they do outside the less work you will have to do during cleanup.
Drape or seal off areas that are being renovated
The best way to keep your home clean when you have contractors is by sealing or draping off the room that is being worked on. By sealing the room, you will keep dirt and dust from moving to other areas. You, however, need to keep in mind that over time the contractors will not be as diligent when it comes to keeping the room sealed. You need to check on them every now and then.
Protect the floors
Considering contractors in work boots will move in and out of your home several times, your floors will certainly suffer significant abuse. You need to protect them early to prevent having broken tiles or bent floorboards. It is recommended to place cardboard over the floors to offer added protection. Place the cardboard over areas where the floors are softer or have a high risk of getting stained.
Once the work is done, you can simply remove the cardboard covers and wipe clean the area. This is opposed to having to scrub dried-in stains or dealing with the ugly sight of damaged floors. In a way, protecting your floors both on the path leading to the room being renovated and in the room itself will keep your house cleaner.
While clearing the room before the renovation work starts is important, you will not be able to remove everything in the room. Larger pieces such as library cabinets, decorations, beds, wardrobes, and mattresses might have to remain in the room while the contractors are working. To keep them from being damaged and dirtied, consider covering them using a plastic covering, sticky mats or corrugated plastic. If you anticipate there to be a lot of dust, you can wrap them in old sheets and then cover them with plastic covers.
Maintain a daily cleaning routine
The worst mistake you can make is waiting until the project is over for you to start cleaning up. Doing this means the dirt will have accumulated and will be harder to clean up. To keep the house clean while the contractors are around, you need to maintain a daily cleaning routine. Minimizing the mess left by the contractors on a daily basis will also keep dirt from spreading to the other parts of the house. Do some cleanup even if it is the work of the contractor to clean up once the work is done.
It is also very important that you don’t forget about cleaning the rest of your house during the project. Simply because the house seems to be in a mess doesn’t mean you give up on cleaning altogether. All the areas that are not being worked on need to be kept clean. If you wait until the renovation is done, you might feel overwhelmed if the entire house is in a mess.
Vacuum before dusting
It will be a lot harder to dust the house while the contractors are still working. The dust is too much. To ensure you don’t create a mess that makes work even harder for you, you must always start by vacuuming before dusting. Vacuuming also keeps your floors and furniture from being scratched. Soft-bristled vacuum attachment should be used when vacuuming wooden floors and furniture.
Have a single entry/exit point
Being able to contain dust is the key to keeping the house clean during a remodel. In addition to switching off the furnace and sealing off the room, you should consider choosing a single entry and exit point for the contractors to use. That way you will be able to contain the dirt effectively.
A little mess is definitely unavoidable during home improvement. The rule of thumb is to never let the dirt/dust accumulate. You should also use every means possible to keep the contractors from being reckless. The aforementioned points will help you get started on the right foot.