Construction Cleaning Offers Fresh Start
This important project step helps remove harmful dust and residue
The debut of a new office is extremely important. A tremendous amount of time, money and effort goes into new builds and remodels, so having them shine, when completed, is critical.
But it isn’t just aesthetics that are important. Post-construction dust can be harmful to the health of the building’s occupants and settles on furnishings, carpet, wall hangings, windows and fittings, sanitary fittings, walls, hard surfaces and tile floors. The residue left after construction is hard to remove, requiring special equipment, products and expertise.
Despite even the best efforts of the contractor, construction dust will make its way into a building’s ductwork, which, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), can exacerbate lung conditions such as asthma. Additionally, materials that contain fibers, such as fiberglass composite materials or insulation, can irritate the skin, eyes and respiratory tract when dispersed in the air. Also, if left untreated, these particulates can have an impact on all building occupants during flu and allergy seasons.
For all of these reasons, contractors usually rely on professionals that offer post-construction cleaning services. Post-construction cleaning professionals will scope the job properly and use the required equipment and products, which typical janitorial staff may not have on hand, to remove the dirt and residue completely and provide a clean and safe environment for the building’s occupants. Post-construction cleaning professionals are also required to carry insurance in case there are any issues.
In most instances cleaning would include high-powered vacuuming with a backpack in order to remove drywall dust from the premise, carpet cleaning, glass cleaning and damp wiping of walls and other surfaces with microfibre clothes. If new vinyl tile was installed, it may need a coat of wax. Therefore, it is important to scope the work properly to ensure that the proper tasks are completed.
A construction environment is one of constantly changing schedules, so it is important that cleaning takes place quickly and efficiently in order to meet critical timelines for the project. In some cases, cleaning is required periodically throughout the project; therefore, coordination or adaptive scheduling with the other trades and quick turn-around service is imperative.
What to expect
Exterior cleaning requirements
Depending on the extent of a renovation project, or with a new build, exterior cleaning services may be required. Walkways, entryways and outside common areas are the first thing that visitors will notice. Sweeping, power washing and wipe downs of all exterior fixtures are essential for creating a great first impression.
Interior cleaning requirements
Construction dust and residue hides in many unknown places. It’s important to find these areas and quickly restore carpets, floors, windows and other surface areas through thorough and detailed cleaning procedures. Tasks should include:
- High-level dusting
- Cleaning and sanitizing air diffusers and ducts, light fixtures, restroom fixtures, windows and fittings, walls and hard-surface areas
- Vacuuming and full restoration cleaning of carpets
- New hard-floor finishing or pre-existing floor refinishing
- Removal of debris and hazardous materials
When the dust settles
Whether an organization is considering an office renovation or is in the middle of one, post-construction cleaning should be a key project consideration. Post-construction cleaners will work with the construction contractor to keep the job site clean throughout the renovation process, or, depending on the extent of the project, they can come in when the trades have completed their work.
Construction and renovation projects can shut down an office or other commercial space for months at a time, which can negatively impact business. A professional cleaning will make a space spotless and improve indoor air quality for employees, tenants and customers as quickly as possible to prevent any further disruption to the operation of a company.
How to Clean Up After a Major Renovation
Renovations are notoriously messy affairs. No one wants to find that ubiquitous construction dust on a high shelf weeks after the fact. Not only is it unpleasant, it might also be harmful to you, as well as any pets and/or tiny humans you have walking around. Prevention is key, so take a look first at our guide to minimizing the mess during your renovation. Then, read on down right here for a look at how to clean up after renovation.
Unless you explicitly build it into your contract, extensive cleaning is typically not part of your contractor’s job. The industry standard is “broom-swept,” which usually involves vacuuming up larger bits of debris and then running a Swiffer across surfaces. Some contractors may also wipe things down with wet rags. Anything beyond this (including cleaning up common spaces such as hallways and elevators) will need to be specifically arranged, and will most likely incur additional costs that you’ll bear as the homeowner.
Whether you moved out or stayed put in your home during the renovation process, you’ll need to arrange for a deep post-construction clean up once that last drawer pull is attached and the final coat of paint applied. Homeowners can undertake the deep clean themselves or outsource it to one of the many companies that focus on this service. Thumbtack shared that the cost of a deep clean isn’t necessarily determined by the size of a space, but rather the level of effort. A 1,400-square foot duplex apartment ranged from $900 to $1,500, while prices ranged from $1,800 to $3,000 for a 2,800-square foot house.
Usually, a post-construction clean up will include the following:
- sweep and vacuum all surfaces, including ceilings, walls
- sweep, mop, and disinfect floors
- vacuum all upholstery
- wipe down doors, knobs, baseboards, moldings, and hardware
- thorough wipe-down and sanitization of bathrooms and kitchens (including appliances, cabinets, and counters)
- dust, vacuum, and wipe-down of all window interiors including sills and frames
- dust all ducts, grates, vents, blinds, ceiling fans, and lighting fixtures
- clean all hardware such as hinges and handles
- clean inside and outside of shelves and cabinets
- clean inside all closets
- removal of all remaining trash and debris (although your contractor should have removed most of this as part of the contract)
Tools, Supplies and Equipment needed
Post construction clean up services requires the appropriate cleaning tools, supplies and equipment in order to provide the customer with the best quality outcome.
This type of cleaning can be tough and exhausting, to say the least. It usually involves long hard hours of demanding physical activity and heavy lifting, all of which require paying close attention to the details. That’s why experience, know how, and a broad selection of the correct tools, supplies and equipment is vital to get the job done as quickly and efficiently as possible.
The post construction cleaning process and completion times can range from a single day to several months, depending on the scope of work. You have probably heard the phrase; “the right tool for the right job”, it’s true when it comes to production and providing quality cleaning.
Make sure you choose quality tools, supplies, and equipment and choose wisely. Having the “right ones” for your cleaning technicians will certainly make their job easier and you will have a more productive crew on site.
Following is a list of some of the tools, supplies, and equipment that may be required to perform post construction cleaning efficiently and effectively:
- heavy duty trash bags
- brooms (preferably both corn broom and push broom)
- dust pans
- shop vacuum, heavy duty vacuum cleaner and/or back pack vacuum
- upholstery cleaning tools
- mop bucket and wringer
- mop heads
- scrub brushes and scrub pads
- rubber gloves
- protective eyewear
- dust masks
- hard hats
- safety signs
- microfiber cloths
- putty knives
- window washing equipment (window bucket, golden glove or strip washer, squeegee, extra rubber blades, scrapers or razor blades, #0000 steel wool, extension poles)
- step ladders
- extension ladders
- ladder bumpers
- tilt truck/utility duty cart (5/8 cubic yard capacity)
- industrial garbage bins
- cleaning chemicals (neutral cleaners, stainless steel cleaner, all-purpose cleaner, wood, metal, stone, window cleaner)
- hard floor and carpet maintenance supplies (floor stripper, floor finish, carpet pre-spray’s, detergents, spotters, protectors, rinses, deodorizers)
Heavy Equipment Requirements
Larger jobs may require the use of heavy duty equipment that you can purchase or rent. This equipment may include:
- scissor lift (for second story/multi-level facilities or high level ceilings and structures)
- pressure washer
- water/sludge extractor
- vapor steam cleaner
- floor machines like auto scrubbers, burnishers and sweepers
- ultrasonic cleaners (for cleaning blinds, chandeliers, artificial plants, fire restoration, or just about anything that will fit in the tank) to name just a few.
As you can see, the list of tools, supplies, and equipment needed deliver on post construction clean up services can be endless, but so too are the opportunities.
Best Way To Remove Construction Dust After Renovation (5 Top Steps)
- Gather Materials
Having the proper materials to remove construction dust is key because it will help you get it done more quickly and it helps to have these materials on hand, so you can clean as you go about the remodel.
- Air filters
- Used dryer sheets
- HEPA vacuum cleaner
- Cleaner meant for your floor type
- Check + Replace Air Filters
One of the first tips on how to clean construction dust is to clean and check air filters around your home. This will allow you to trap dust before it enters the air ducts. Check the filters often and replace them after you are done with the construction project. Doing this will ensure that your home is safe for you and your family. Doing this will also remove any of the trapped dust that has accumulated in the filters. We love using BuildClean, which is an air filter cleaner, but it’s different from the usual dust fans and vacuums. It minimizes the migration of dust throughout a home during remodel by “scrubbing” the air that passes through it.
- Dust Walls
If your question is how to clean construction dust from walls, you will need to wipe your walls with a soft damp towel and then wrap it around the bottom of your broom. Secure it with tape if you have to and then push the towel along your walls to collect dust and to wipe it away. Using a broom handle will help when trying to reach the top of your walls. If your walls were painted recently, then you should avoid using anything moist on them as it may damage the paint itself. Let the walls dry for about 30 days before you are sure you won’t do any damage and then you can use moisture to remove the excess dust.
- Ledges + Baseboards
When it comes to ledges and baseboards, you can make use of used dryer sheets to collect dust. Dryer sheets that have been through the dryer once will still collect dust very well, just wipe them across the baseboards and ledges and toss them in the garbage when you’re done. Ledges and baseboards are on the places where construction dust likes to build up, so even after your remodel is done, continue to wipe them off. Another method that we like to remove the dust from ledges and baseboards is using Norwex dusting rags because they work really well and are very environment friendly.
When it comes to floors, you should vacuum them if your vacuum is HEPA certified with a good filter. Mopping regularly will also help to keep the dust under control when the job is done. This will allow you to handle floor cleaning and general house cleaning as well. Make sure to use a floor cleaner that is compatible with your floors and won’t ruin them or remove the stain. Ask your supplier or installer what cleaning supply they would recommend for your floors.
And there ya have it! Our tips and tricks on how to get rid of construction dust so that your home is clean and safe for your family.
POST CONSTRUCTION & RENOVATION CLEANING: AFTER THE DUST SETTLES
After finishing a home renovation project, you’re ready to sit back and enjoy your new space, right? Not so fast. Before you can kick up your feet, you need to complete a post-construction cleaning marathon. Your primary focus should be removing all the dust that results from construction before it ends up in your air ducts. Almost all home improvement projects produce dust particles that somehow sneak into every nook and cranny of the space you’ve so carefully renovated. Don’t let layers of dust leave your freshly renovated home looking old and dingy. Strap on a protective mask and use this handy post-construction cleaning checklist from ServiceMaster Clean to put the finishing touches on your beautiful new space.
POST-CONSTRUCTION CLEANING CHECKLIST
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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