How To Clean Up After A Home Remodel
A successful remodel can leave you with an incredible sense of satisfaction. It can also leave you with an unbelievable amount of dust and debris. Cleanup is a natural part of the renovation process, of course, but it's often frustrating if you haven't prepared for all the tiny details involved in tidying up.
Many homeowners tend to underestimate the work they have to do post-project. They're more concerned with the project itself — the granite they want for their kitchen counter tops or the wood for their flooring. While these are critical considerations of a renovation, they are only a partial view of the bigger picture.
More specifically, you'll need to keep things neat and orderly once you've finished your work. It isn't always as simple as it seems, so we'll walk you through everything you need to know about cleaning up your home after a remodel. Follow these five suggestions to manage waste and maintain cleanliness.
1. Vacuum and Mop the Floors
Your vacuum is one of your most valuable assets when cleaning up. If you have carpeting, pass over it several times to ensure you've removed all the dust and particles you possibly can. Wood, tile or linoleum floors will need a quick mopping as well, so make sure to wash them after you've vacuumed.
As for your upholstered furniture, you might have kept it under wraps while you were working — but dust always finds a way. It's essential to vacuum these areas as well, so use the upholstery attachment to get in those hard-to-reach places. Also, attend to any accessories or fabric window treatments.
2. Recycle the Correct Materials
Misplaced items in recycling bins are a frequent problem, with an average contamination rate of approximately 25% for communities and businesses. Far too often, non-recyclables taint recycling batches. Fortunately, a little selectivity with your recycling can help manage the issue.
Recycling practices are distinct in different areas, so you should do a bit of research before you move forward. In general, you're free to recycle cardboard and paper, glass, metal and rigid plastic. But again, look into the details of what you can and can't recycle, as it's somewhat complicated.
3. Clean the Walls of Any Residue
Your walls and molding will also need a good cleaning, but you shouldn't just scrub them down with a damp towel. That method is effective if you're working with old paint, but new paint is far more sensitive. You'll need to dry dust the walls if you've applied a fresh coat during your project.
It's best to use the brush attachment on your vacuum if you're dealing with textured wallpaper or natural materials like grass cloth. Other wallpapers are OK to wipe down with a damp cloth, but spot-check them first. And if you have trouble reaching high places, wrap the towel around an extension duster or broom.
4. Check and Replace Your Air Filters
Painters will sometimes remove filters as they work, and they'll occasionally forget to put them back in. This small oversight can damage your HVAC system, so it's critical to check your filters after the job is complete. You can save yourself a substantial sum of money by taking just a few minutes.
Of course, your air filters deserve attention whether or not your project involves painting. If your filters remained in place during construction, it's advisable to replace them with a new one. With all the dust, particles and residue the average remodel produces, your system may need a new filter to maintain its efficiency.
5. Take a Proactive Approach If Possible
A proactive approach is always preferable to more work. If you haven't started your project yet, you can take steps to streamline the cleanup process. One of the top methods for keeping clean during a renovation is engaging in daily cleanup, managing the mess little by little to reduce your overall workload.
To that end, you should talk to your contractor about their daily cleanups. When you prompt them to tidy up the area after they've finished for the day, it'll eliminate much of the dust and debris that would otherwise circulate through your house. It's a small but effective measure to consider.
Cleaning up After a Home Remodel
As you move forward, follow the five suggestions above. You'll see it's easy to clean up after a remodel, and immensely rewarding when the project is finally over.
Guest Contributor, Holly Welles
Holly Welles is a home improvement writer who believes anyone can make the most of their space. You can find more of her work on her blog, The Estate Update.