Tips for Keeping Your Home Clean During a Major Home Renovation


Remodeling your home can generate a lot of dirt, dust, and mess in the process. Dirt and debris from construction can make their way to even the smallest nook and crannies, covering your floors and even entering your drawers and cabinets. Even a simple renovation job like painting the walls can leave a huge mess if you don’t take precautions and clean. Not to mention, it can ruin your furniture if you don’t take precautions.

Whether you like it or not, renovation is necessary if you want to maintain your house and keep it beautiful. Though you will surely need to do more cleaning after the builders and contractors are gone, these tips will help keep your home clean during a major home renovation project:

1. Talk about site prep and protection with your contractor.

Contractors typically work with you on protecting your existing space, but mostly to protect it from damage rather than block it from dirt, dust, and grime. They would protect your floors from being scratched or dented, but they might be streaky, dusty, or even sticky. You’ll want to speak with your contractor your plans to keep the area clean so as not to disrupt their process as they go on with the job. Also, set expectations for cleanliness throughout the renovation.

2. Clear the area first.

A room with all furniture cleared up and renovation tools and materials set up

Before you or the contractors start work on your renovation, make sure you clear as much out of the project area as possible to keep it from getting damaged or dirty. As much as possible, move everything away. Even a small renovation can get surprisingly dirty in ways you may not predict. Remove light fixtures, photos, and other wall decorations. Remove furniture and other accessories to protect them. Besides keeping your belongings from getting dusty and splashed on, it will also ease the whole process of the renovation job because it’s easier to work in an empty room.

3. Protect all the furnishings.

Cover it with plastic for heavier furniture or built-in cabinets or closets to keep dirt, dust, and splashes of paint at bay. Cover the furniture that can’t be moved, especially big couches and beds, with a tarp or drop cloth. Floors must be covered with construction paper or a protective plastic sheet, and make sure you tape it sealed, leaving no gaps.

If the renovation zone is at the center of your house, consider laying continuous paper or tarp through the high-traffic areas. This will help prevent dirt from tracking to the rest of the space.

4. Seal off the renovation areas.

A room covered in plastic

Minimize the mess by hanging a heavy-duty tarp that’s at least 0.8 mm thick from the ceiling down to the floor. This will help seal off the renovation zone. Apply masking tape across all sides where it meets the wall, the ceiling, and the floor. You can also use tension rods to help hold up heavy tarps. Make sure your seal is foolproof, as particles can fly through any gaps you leave, no matter how small. Add an additional layer if there will be a lot of sanding or if you know that dangerous particles will be released into the air during construction.

When it comes to built-in items that cannot be removed, seal up the cabinet or closet doors by applying masking tape to all the gaps. You don’t want to end up with dusty clothes because you failed to seal them up.

5. Create a path for the contractors.

If the renovation project takes place in the inner area of your house, away from the entrance, it will be challenging to keep the house clean. The solution is to cover the path leading to the area with plastic, old rugs, sheets, or tarps to help confine dirt and debris. Once the construction work is finished for the day, you can pick up the pieces then shake and vacuum the dirt and debris thoroughly.

6. Have a daily cleaning routine.

By cleaning up small messes each day, you will avoid needing to take care of a huge mess after a remodel. Renovation projects can take days or weeks , and the amount of dust accumulated in that time can add up to a major headache. Don’t let the mess build up and create a daily cleaning schedule.

It helps to ask your contractors to move any clutter away before they leave. If you notice any construction tools and items that have made their way to the other parts of the house, make sure to return them to the renovation area.

Once the contractors are done, vacuum your floors, furniture, and window sills to pick up dirt. Follow the vacuum with a duster to remove dust from hard-to-reach areas. Once the dust is cleared, wipe the surfaces with a cloth.

Since you will be vacuuming a lot, it’s best to invest in a high-quality vacuum to keep your house clean during a remodel. If you’re contemplating buying a vacuum cleaner, here’s how to choose the right one for the job

7. Clear the air.

If weather permits, open your windows to prevent drywall dust from sticking to the window screens and let air circulate. This is a better option than hosing down sills covered in drywall powder, as it can quickly turn into thick, mud-like material. Alternatively, you can use plastic film to cover windows and help keep dust away. Or simply hire a window cleaning company with years of experience, so they can do deep, detailed cleaning services.

Also, it’s best to buy or rent a HEPA vacuum to suck up and trap much smaller particles than normal vacuums. You can discuss getting one with your contractor, but if you have one, you need to change or wash the filters frequently since they will be working a lot harder than usual.

8. Hire professional cleaners.

One of the best things you can do after a major renovation in your home is to call a professional cleaning service.  It’s the easiest way to enjoy the results of a makeover without too much hassle and exhaustion from your side. Even when you follow the above-mentioned rules to keep your house clean and mess-free during a renovation, big projects can still bring about a lot of dirt, stains, splashes, and debris that are hard to remove. There are specialized cleaning services designed to wipe away any traces of renovation left in your home. Consider adjusting your remodeling budget to include the cost of hiring a cleaning service, whether for weekly cleaning or a deep-cleaning session.

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