remodeling cleanup after remodel is complete

Tips For Remodeling CleanUp During and After Renovations

Let’s be honest. Construction sites are messy. When you interview contractors, you probably aren’t thinking about remodeling cleanup. However, it’s important to know what you can expect. Here are some questions to ask that can affect your home during and after restoration.

Contractor Site Protection Before Your Remodeling Cleanup

Contractors need to protect your existing space. They are more concerned about avoiding damage than they are about maintaining a clean environment. For example, your flooring may be dusty, streaky, or sticky, but as long as it’s not scarred or dented, they will feel as though they took great care during your job. They will need to clean up your space to some degree. You should discuss your cleaning expectations with contractors before hiring them.

Stay Or Go During Renovations?

remodeling cleanup floors

Preparing the site is essential for homeowners who are only upgrading one room or who intend to live in their homes throughout the duration of a larger renovation project. Dust finds its way into everywhere, including rooms far from the remodel. It is possible that leaving will end up saving you more money than staying put will. Additional time is needed each day for your contractors to set up and break down their equipment. First, crews must lay paper, hang tarps, and install dust dividers. These may need to be pulled down at night so you can use your home.

If you’re upgrading frequently used rooms, like your kitchen and bathrooms, you and your contractor will need to work on an access plan, which is sure to change throughout the process. Additionally, a corridor that connects the rooms being remodeled to the rest of the house will be needed. In a vacant residence, the workers might leave the space in disorder at night. They can continue where they left off the next morning. Whether you leave during the renovation will be factored into your contractor’s project estimate.

Remodeling Cleanup Includes Sealing Up

If you aren’t doing a complete overhaul of the space, you can reduce the amount of disruption and mess caused by doing the following:

Create dust barriers around the renovation area. A tarp with a thickness of 0.8 millimeters should be strung from the ceiling to the floor. Thicker and heavier tarps can be supported by tension rods. Tape openings wherever possible. Particles can pass through even the smallest of gaps. If you need an entry/exit flap, use an adhesive zipper. If there will be a lot of sanding or airborne particles, use two layers.

Take extra precautions to safeguard your belongings. Anything portable and of value should be stored offsite, if possible. Cover floors with construction paper (maybe even a double layer, as insurance against tearing). And, tarp windows and appliances (again, leaving no gaps).

If your renovation zone is in the middle of your home, try closing off other high-traffic areas with paper or tarp. This will help stop dirt from spreading. Cover all furniture with a drop cloth or tarp, especially sofas and beds.

Apply masking tape to closet door-floor gaps. Nothing is more unpleasant than having to wash all your clothes because of construction dust.

remodeling cleanup debris

Prepare for the Dust to Come

Even the tidiest project is going to produce dust that will get everywhere. You can purchase a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) vacuum or discuss getting one with your contractor. HEPA vacuums catch smaller particles than regular vacuums.

If you have a HEPA air purifier, run it on high 24/7 and change or wash the filters often. Consider renting a commercial-grade air scrubber for the restoration.

Ventilate and Circulate Air

Although the costs associated with prevention are relatively low (renting an air scrubber, for example, can run several hundred dollars per day depending on how long you need it), it is essential to recognize and account for these costs in advance so that you and your team are all on the same page. Even with effective containment, you will still need to clean up after the project.

Remodeling Clean Up After A Construction Project

Your contractor won’t do a thorough cleaning unless it’s specifically written into the contract. The term “broom-swept” refers to sweeping the floor after vacuuming up larger debris. Anything beyond this (such as cleaning halls and other rooms) will need to be negotiated and will likely involve additional homeowner charges.

Remodeling Cleanup, After Your Contractor!

During the course of the remodeling project, whether you moved out or remained in the house, you will need a comprehensive post remodeling cleanup that lives up to your expectations. It is extremely unlikely that a contractor will clean to the standards that you require. If you moved out, simply moving back in will cause more dust to be kicked up that they didn’t catch while you were gone. Below is a cleaning guide that you may be able to get your contractor to do. 

remodeling cleanup checklist

Ask yourself these questions before cleaning up after a renovation: how much energy and time do I have, how long would it take me vs a professional, and do I have leftover renovation money for cleaning?

Who cleans and how can be determined by the circumstances, but it must be done completely. During renovations, a number of hazardous substances, including mold spores, silicates, and ultrafine dust are released into the air. Fresh paints, lacquers, and primers emit fumes. A thorough cleaning is worth the expense.


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