Post-construction cleanup can be just as daunting as the construction itself. Whether you have just had a new office block built from the ground up or added an extension to the existing property, there is more to do than just vacuuming.
In this article, let’s break down how to do it, what tools to use, and why working with a professional cleaning company is the way to go in terms of saving you time, money and getting it done right the first time.
The Right Tools for the Job
With the dust and debris generated by construction, it’s not as simple as just grabbing any old rag to wipe down surfaces. Construction debris is some of the hardest debris to clean up, as it seems never-ending. You wipe down a surface and a few days later, there is more dust.
Your specialized cleaning tool kit must contain the following items at the very least to give your new or existing space a chance of surviving the post-construction cleanup.
Microfibre cloths: These help to collect more dust than average cloths.
Professional vacuum with attachments: Professional vacuums are stronger and come with a wider range of attachments.
Trash cans and heavy-duty bags: Construction debris is heavier than normal trash (even dust). Regular bags won’t contain it all, and you risk the bag ripping and redepositing everything that you just cleaned up.
Dusters and mops: Dusters work alongside your microfibre cloths on surfaces to pick up extra dust. Mops make it easier to clean and shine floors.
A range of cleaners: All-purpose cleaners should be on your list, with separate ones for glass and the bathrooms. A degreaser should also be included.
Vinegar and newspaper: Vinegar has a wider range of uses than simply pickling things. Combined with newspaper, it helps to clean your windows and leave them streak-free.
Where to Clean
If you had an entire building built, it makes sense that the dust and debris will be found everywhere. However, if you just had an extension added, or maybe work done to fix a section of the office, would you think of post-construction cleanup on a different floor, bathroom, or kitchen?
Debris and dust travel at an alarming rate, including on people’s clothing, through air vents, or just in the air in general. To ensure that your building is spotless and your staff and clients are impressed with the professional look of the entire building, every area needs attention.
All Interior Spaces
Every office, stairwell, elevator, and anywhere inside the building will need to be cleaned. Aside from regular, routine cleaning, a deeper cleaning is required to ensure all construction dust has been eradicated.
Your main entrance and reception areas are the first things that people see when they enter your building or office space. These spaces make the first and longest-lasting impression on potential clients and returning ones alike. A thin layer of dust everywhere will be noticed.
While the natural elements of mother nature will always be present on the outside of the building and surrounding areas, construction debris will make this normally stunning area dull and lifeless. Keep the radiant beauty alive with a deep clean.
Kitchen and Staff Common Areas
You wouldn’t eat your lunch in a dust-covered room at home, so why should you do so at work? All aspects of the kitchen and common areas need attention. From tables and chairs to the sink and microwave. These are all potential hiding areas for rogue dust.
Bathrooms and Showers
Just like the kitchen and common areas, sanitization is paramount in bathroom and shower facilities, especially after construction. Every area, from the shower heads and toilets to the floors, should be thoroughly deep cleaned.
How to Clean
Post-construction cleaning doesn’t mean you have to dive in and deep clean the entire building in one night. In fact, that would work against you.
Construction dust hangs around in the air and settles for days after the work has finished. So, a deep clean after the construction has finished will need to be done again a few days later and potentially a few more days afterward.
Start by doing a rough clean. This removes all the immediate dirt and grime visible to the naked eye. If construction finishes on a Sunday and you are open for business on Monday, a rough clean allows you to keep up appearances while the dust settles.
A day or two afterward, you can start on the deep clean. More dust will continue to settle, but waiting a short while before you begin allows you to get rid of more in one deep clean than you would do in a deep clean straight off.
Once your deep clean is done, you can move on to “top-up” cleaning. This helps you to continuously remove more dust and debris that makes an appearance.
The Order in Which to Clean
A countertop here, a desk there…don’t try to clean randomly. A system to make sure that all areas are done efficiently is the best strategy. It will also help avoid having to reclean areas you have already done.
Start from the top and work downward. As you clean, gravity will work against you, pulling things down as you wipe off surfaces. Therefore, places like the floor should be done last.
Where possible, open all the windows to get the dusty air out and the clean air in. This flow of air will also help to remove the stuffiness of the room, and let your staff breathe easier.
Wash all the windows, both inside and out. The sunlight flooding in will help illuminate the room, showing hard-to-see areas, such as the tops of cupboards and shelves. This way, you can see where you need to focus a bit more attention.
Post-construction cleaning takes time, professional tools, and equipment. This can even include PPE for certain areas.
Professional cleaners have the safety training required for some cleaning products and methods, depending on the type of construction and mess created. This also helps your budget. You don’t have to pay your staff overtime or for additional training; a cleaning company has all that already taken care of.