As anyone who’s ever glanced at a “finished” construction can attest, builders can leave behind a huge mess! There are two ways to deal with this: take on the cleaning yourself, or hire a professional “builders’ clean” service. The following quick guide offers tips for both options to help take the stress out of these (sometimes overwhelming) final cleaning stages.
First and foremost: stay safe. Construction sites can have many hidden dangers, so some familiarity with your surroundings is essential. Take every opportunity to protect yourself, however excessive it seems. Use a protective face mask or painting mask while dusting or working around dust to avoid breathing in sawdust or residue, and take plenty of breaks for fresh air.
The major first step is to clear all rubbish. While this is stating the obvious, it can be surprisingly easy to get distracted and find yourself working around unsightly (sometimes hazardous) clutter. Be sure to hold off any more detailed cleaning tasks until this is done. You’ll find an empty room much less stressful to work with.
Don’t underestimate the amount of junk and debris you might have to clean up. It accumulates rapidly! You may want to rent a large commercial bin – it can and will make your life much easier. It also takes away the stress of having to transport everything off premises, as bin rental companies will generally remove it for you. Either way, you will probably need a wheelbarrow (or similarly easy transportation method) to carry the larger items.
Once the room is cleared, it’s time to dust. (Again, protect yourself: a mask is essential during this stage. Eye protection may also come in handy.) Use a broom or dry duster to thoroughly remove dust from every surface, walls and ceiling included.
With this done, vacuum over the same surfaces, then the floor to collect all the dust you have removed. It is essential to be thorough here, as the residue left behind can be harmful if left unchecked. Leave no windowsill, ledge or corner untouched.
You may find unsightly excess paint, glue or caulking (even stickers – which can generally be safely removed with rubbing alcohol). A wide flat-headed screwdriver is probably the best tool for scraping this off, but as always, it’s important to be very gentle and remain aware of the potential for damage.
It’s now time to polish. Be sure to double-check every cleaning product you use, and in the recommended quantities for the situation. If all due caution is taken, you’ll find this the most satisfying step – the point where your construction site becomes a brand new, finished, sparkling property!
If you decide to take the safer and time-saving (albeit more expensive) path and post-construction cleaner, there are a few pieces of advice you will need to take into consideration.
Different builders’ cleaning services will offer a different range of tasks and services. Be sure to ask plenty of questions so you’re know exactly what you will and won’t get done. Make sure this – and the price – are all established before locking anything in.