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Steps of the Post Construction Cleaning Process

By Luke Armstrong

Post construction cleaning is your first task after the bulding work is over.
You need to ensure your newly built or renovated property is perfectly clean and safe to occupy, before you can furnish and decorate it.

Whether it’s a new building or an extensive renovation project, once construction is over, the fun part begins – you have the perfect layout and you can unleash your designer genius to create the interior décor of your dreams. However, before you can furnish and decorate your new space, you need to make sure it is impeccably clean and safe to occupy. The scuffed-up surfaces, scattered debris, and layers of dust left after the construction work not only make your newly (re)built property look filthy and messy, but may also pose a variety of safety hazards to the occupants of the building.

So, before you can complete your project and set up your new space, you need to have it thoroughly cleaned. If it’s just a small area that needs to be tidied up, you can complete the task yourself. If it is a big job though, it may be better to use professional post construction cleaning services – the experts will ensure the safety and excellent condition of your property in the quickest and most efficient manner possible.

The typical post construction cleaning process includes the following steps:

Rough Cleaning

Post construction cleaning begins with the removal of construction debris and restoration of the scuffed-up interior.

Step 1. Deal with construction leftovers

The first thing to do after the construction workers clear their things out and leave the site is to walk around the property and remove any trash, debris, and left over materials – discarded plastic sheeting, drop cloths, tape strips, hardware parts (such as nails, bolts, and screws), wood splinters, etc.

Step 2. Touch up walls and baseboard

The next step is to ensure that all surfaces are restored to an excellent condition. The extensive foot traffic and use of heavy equipment during the construction process may result in dents, scratches and/or smudges on the walls and baseboard. Patching or repainting may be required to restore such minor damage caused by the construction work before the walls can be given a thorough cleaning – removal of any caulking, paint overspray and adhesives; sprucing up the surfaces with the help of Magic Eraser products; wiping the walls with a mild detergent and water to ensure they’re completely clean and dust-free; etc.

Step 3. Clean the floors

Needless to say, it will be the floors that will be most affected by the construction work. Cleaning them will require a lot of time and elbow grease. You’re advised to:

  • Remove all the dirt and debris from the hard floors in your property and have them properly mopped, waxed, and buffed;
  • Use a heavy duty Shop-Vac to remove ground-in dirt and debris from the carpets. Have them washed or steam-cleaned to get rid of any remaining dust, stains, and lingering construction odors. Make sure the carpets are fully dry before allowing foot traffic to resume.

Good to remember: While cleaning the floors, make sure you inspect them for scuffs or other damage. In some cases, professional assistance may be required to restore the good condition of the flooring.

Step 4. Clean the windows

Cleaning the windows is among the most important items on your post construction cleaning checklist.
Your new space will look brighter and more inviting when you restore the transparency and shine of the windows.

Complete the rough cleaning by taking care of the windows, glass doors, and other glass panels in the property. Use heavy-duty glass cleaning products to fully restore the transparency and shine of the glass surfaces. Work from top to bottom, rinse with clear water, and repeat until you achieve the desired result. When ready, polish with a dry cloth. Make sure not only the glass panels, but the windowsills and ledges are also thoroughly cleaned and free of dust and streaks.

Of course, if you have opted for professional post construction cleaning, the specialists will take care of these laborious tasks for you. They follow a standard cleaning procedure that has proven to yield optimal results, but can also customize their services to accommodate your specific needs and requirements.

Fine Cleaning

Once you (or your hired post construction cleaners) have given the property a good clean over, it’s time to take care of some important, but easy-to-overlook details that will ensure the impressive final result of your cleaning endeavor. All you need to do is follow the expert post construction cleaning tips below and you won’t miss a thing:

Step 5. Take care of the HVAC system

The HVAC system in your property is likely to have accumulated a large amount of airborne dirt and dust during the construction process.  Unless the ducts and vents are thoroughly cleaned after the building work is over, the accumulated dust will be distributed throughout the property, compromising the indoor air quality and posing a threat to the health of the occupants. To ensure the freshness and safety of the air in your new space, you need to replace the dirty air filters, clean the HVAC unit, and take proper care of the ductwork – a job that is better left to the specialists.

Step 6. Take care of the lighting fixtures

A thin layer of dust forms on electric bulbs, lamp shades, fluorescent tubes and other lighting fixtures during building works. It reduces the efficiency of the lights by as much as 30 percent and produces an unpleasant odor, so the fixtures need to be thoroughly cleaned as soon as construction is over – dust them with a soft, dry cloth and don’t forget to wipe the light switches as well.

Good to remember: Make sure the electricity is turned off when cleaning the lights.

Step 7. Clean doors, closets, cabinets, counters and drawers

All surfaces and any furniture pieces in the areas affected by construction work are likely to get very dirty and dusty during the building project. Closed doors and drawers don’t provide protection against the fine dust generated during the construction procedures, so all storage areas and existing surfaces need to be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized after the building work is over. Just make sure the cleaning method and cleaning agents you choose are appropriate for the corresponding materials (wood, metal, natural stone, synthetic materials, etc.). Remember to clean doorframes, doorknobs, undersurfaces, and other inconspicuous or easy-to-overlook areas too.

Step 8. Clean the bathroom(s)

It’s only logical that a new bathroom must be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized before use. But even if the bathroom hasn’t been part of the new construction or renovation project, it has probably seen a lot of use during the building process and gotten very dirty.

Post construction cleaning requires some elbow grease.
Make sure all the surfaces shine with cleanness!

So, once the work is over, it should be deep cleaned and refreshed:

  • The sink, bathtub, shower enclosure, and all other bathroom features must be washed and sanitized;
  • The toilet must be cleaned and sanitized (both inside and out);
  • The windows, glass doors, mirrors, and other glass elements must be cleaned and restored to shine;
  • The walls, shelves, countertops, cabinet fronts and insides, and any other surfaces must be wiped or washed;
  • Doors, doorframes, and doorknobs must be dusted and wiped;
  • Lighting fixtures must be dusted and wiped;
  • Any trash must be removed and the floor – washed.

Step 9. Clean the kitchen (if applicable)

If the kitchen has been affected by the construction process, it needs to be thoroughly sanitized as well:

  • Walls and baseboards must be wiped;
  • The sink and backsplash must be washed;
  • Countertops, shelves, cabinet fronts and insides, and all other surfaces must be dusted and wiped clean;
  • Windows and other glass elements must be properly cleaned;
  • Doors, doorframes, and doorknobs must be dusted and wiped;
  • Lighting fixtures must be dusted and wiped;
  • All appliances must be thoroughly cleaned;
  • Any trash must be removed and the floor vacuumed and/or mopped.

Step 10. Put the final touches

When all the hard work is done, it’s time to put the finishing touches with some detail cleaning:

  • Polish door knobs and other metal fixtures with microfiber cloths;
  • Use soft-bristled paint brushes to dislodge dust from nooks and crannies that a duster cannot reach;
  • Remove any cobwebs from ceilings, walls, vents and light fittings;
  • Clean the floors one more time – vacuum or mop them as needed. (If you hire professional post construction cleaning services, every baseboard and floor will be detailed with utmost care and the type of flooring will be taken into consideration when choosing a cleaning technique to ensure that there is no damage.)

Last but not least: Take care of the exterior

You won’t be able to enjoy your new (or renewed) property unless the exterior is trim and welcoming as well. Construction work usually leaves a great mess around a building, so you’ll have to break some sweat in order to restore the excellent condition of your outdoor area. Make sure that:

Complete the post construction cleaning process by cleaning the exterior.
Your outdoor area needs to be as neat and appealing as the indoor space.
  1. There is no residue or dried concrete on exterior features;
  2. Any marks left by delivery or work trucks are repaired and damaged lawns are replanted;
  3. All driveways and sidewalks are well swept (and power washed, if necessary) and free of trash and construction debris;
  4. Any garages, entry areas and lobbies are free of trash and cleaned of foot prints and other marks;
  5. There are no marks or scuffs on the exterior doors and the handles are clean and well-polished.

With this, your post construction cleaning checklist is complete – all that is left to do now is furnish and decorate your new space, so that you can enjoy it for many years to come.