A thorough cleanup allows you to present a pristine finished product to your clients. When you review the steps in your cleanup process with a potential client during the bidding process, you’re also more likely to beat out your business competition. Review the following information to learn about the best ways to clean up after a construction job so you can impress your clients with a spotless finished product.
Best Way To Clean up Dust
Depending on the type of construction project you complete, there may be a variety of types of dust present in the air and on surfaces. Addressing each type of dust with the proper tools and procedures ensures the air is clear.
While fine dust is hard to see, it can wreak havoc on the HVAC system and might find its way into electronic components, causing long-term issues. Wipe down all exposed surfaces with a damp microfiber cloth, including floors and walls.
Be sure not to get the cloth too wet before cleaning or the fine dust can easily turn into mud and cake onto surfaces. However, a dry cloth won’t be productive at getting rid of fine dust either. Without dampness on the cloth, it won’t attract the dust and will simply move it around.
Rinse the cloth frequently to remove the dust particles that cling to it. If you’re rinsing the cloth in a bucket of water, change out the water as soon as it begins to look murky. Using dirty water to wipe down these surfaces will simply spread dust particles over other surfaces. Once these surfaces dry, use the brush attachment on a vacuum cleaner to suck up the dust particles that remain.
Drywall and Plaster Dust
Drywall and plaster dust are likely to cover every surface if you’ve just completed a project that required you to move or build walls. When you mix water with plaster dust, you create more plaster, which can harden and ruin your finished project. Therefore, it’s crucial to be careful when cleaning up from drywall and plaster dust.
The best way to prevent the plaster formation in the cleanup process is to create a cleaning solution with about two cups of white vinegar and one gallon of water. Use this solution and a mop, sponge, or cloth to wipe down walls, floors, and other surfaces. As soon as you wipe down a small area, immediately use a dry towel to wipe the solution off, along with the dust.
Be prepared to mix a fresh solution frequently so you don’t recontaminate the surfaces with more dust. You may also need to rinse out your sponge, mop, or cloth frequently to ensure it’s not spreading dust to the surfaces you’re trying to get clean. Be sure you’re only using a dry and clean towel in the last step of the process.
Brick and Mortar Dust
If you had to cut into brick or any other masonry, heavy dust particles may be present in the area. If these dust particles aren’t cleaned up properly, they can scratch hard surfaces and stain soft surfaces. Use a powerful vacuum with an attachment to eliminate as much dust from all surfaces as possible.
Then, mix 1.5 cups of hydrogen peroxide with a gallon of water in a bucket. With clean cotton rags dipped in this solution, wipe down the surfaces that were exposed to this dust.
If there’s carpet, rugs, or other soft surfaces that may have brick dust on them, keep these areas dry. The best way to remove dust from these surfaces is by using a dry scrub brush to loosen the particles. Then, remove them from the surfaces with a high-powered vacuum.
How to Clean Drywall
Whether you’ve installed new drywall or you’ve simply dinged up the existing drywall while working on the project, it’s important to leave it clean when you finish. First, inspect the walls and baseboards for damage and identify the areas that need attention.
Patch and repaint these areas, addressing any discolorations that may have occurred when moving equipment or materials in and out. Once the walls are restored to their original condition, wipe them down to get rid of any dust, dirt, or debris.
You can simply use water, a washcloth, and a towel. For drywall that needs extra attention, mix a bit of dishwasher detergent with water and use a cloth to clean this dirt off. Always dry these areas with a clean and dry towel.
How to Clean Different Surfaces
You likely encountered various materials and surfaces while working on your project. These surfaces should be cleaned differently when you’ve completed your work. Consider cleaning each surface in the following ways:
- Carpet: Use a high-powered vacuum to eliminate wood or debris particles. Depending on how much dirt and dust was tracked into the carpet, you may also need to shampoo or steam clean the area to restore it as well.
- Tile: If you installed new tile, use a damp sponge to scrub off excess spackling and grout. Cover stubborn areas with a damp cloth, allowing them to soak and soften up. You can also use a plastic putty knife to scrape off spackling material, then wipe the tile down thoroughly until clean.
- Wood: Wood is susceptible to water damage, which can cause permanent staining. Try to keep these surfaces dry, even as you’re cleaning them. Wipe down wood with a dry towel or use a small amount of white vinegar or window cleaner if necessary.
Post-Construction Cleaning Tips
It’s crucial to plan and schedule your projects with the time allotted for post-construction cleaning. Ensure you carry the proper contractor insurance in case there’s damage to the area that cleaning simply won’t correct. Once you finish a project, you should also be sure to:
- Keep cleaning supplies, such as buckets, cloths, and solutions fully stocked.
- Remove all equipment and materials from the area.
- Clean and polish smaller details, such as light switches and doorknobs.
Even if you completed a beautiful construction or remodeling job, an area that isn’t spotless may mean your hard work is lost on your client. With a post-construction cleanup plan in place, you’ll attract prospective clients and impress your current customers.