Cleaning After Renovation or Construction

After any renovation or construction that occurs in your house, your home is left devastated. Dirt, debris and other pollution is anywhere near the working site. You, like many other people, probably stay confused and wonder how to clean the mess. Where to start and what to do exactly to get rid of so much dirt? Don’t panic, here in this article, I am going to share with you some nice tips about the cleaning after renovation and construction.

First of all, make sure to follow these simple steps and if you are not sure about doing something – consult immediately with any professionals. Like any cleaning after renovation, unexpected things can happen, so be prepared. At the beginning, remove any window curtains and treatments and send them to any cleaning services. Don’t put them back until the rest of the room or area is cleaned and disinfected. Next, you should clean the walls. For this purpose, you have to make a cleaning solution. You can skip the purchase of an expensive and toxic commercial cleaner and just mix some mild soup and water in a bucket. Then, with the help of a sponge apply your home-made cleaner on the walls. Make sure to dry immediately after treatment with a dry white cloth, so you can effectively avoid mould and mildew. Anyway, when it comes to windows you should consider cleaning naturally, again skipping the chemical cleaners. Use a mixture of vinegar and water, it is known as a good cleaning solution.

Any person who is doing the cleaning after renovation and construction should know that the floors must be the last surface to clean. So, next in the list will be the furniture. Use a handhold vacuum cleaner and treat them completely. At last, you can wash the floors. As most of the dirt that you cleaned previously is gone on the floors, they should be hardly polluted, so you may need to clean them 2 or 3 times. Use the same cleaning solution that you used for the walls. To finish the cleaning process, open up the window and let some fresh air get into the room. It will speed up the drying and it can also remove any airborne dust particles.

Usually the cleaning after renovation and construction is a hard and time-consuming job, but nowadays there are many professional cleaning companies that can help you do the job. Make sure to find any reputable cleaning service in your local area. The experts can save you a lot of problems with the cleaning procedure on a reasonable prices, so consider this an option.



Tenancy Cleaning


The landlord is required to provide the property (including facilities) in a reasonable state of cleanliness. In doing this, they should take into account all building, health and safety requirements that apply to the property. Where this is not done, the tenant should notify the landlord and may issue a notice for the landlord to remedy the breach.

Tenants should keep the property reasonably clean and tidy. This includes weeding and mowing lawns where the landlord has not accepted responsibility for this under the tenancy agreement. Tenants should also leave the property reasonably clean and tidy at the end of the tenancy.

Where a tenant fails to keep the property reasonably clean and tidy during the tenancy, the landlord should notify the tenant and may issue a notice to remedy the breach. When the tenant fails to leave the property reasonably clean and tidy at the end of the tenancy the landlord may seek to recover reasonable costs incurred to return the property to a reasonable standard.

It is an unlawful act if a landlord does not comply with their obligations regarding cleanliness, maintenance, and relevant building, health and safety legislation.




Cleaning Hardwood Floors

Cleaning Hardwood Floors


Cleaning Hardwood Floors

Your hardwood floor is installed. There is no flooring that looks as comfortable or luxurious as a beautiful hardwood floor.  How do you care for and clean Hardwood flooring? It is an investment you certainly want to protect. Most major stores will have hardwood floor basics for equipment and supplies for cleaning hardwood floors.  You may find some specialty pieces of equipment at flooring stores.

Floor mats are essential when it comes to cleaning hardwood floors. Tiny particles, like dirt, can act like sandpaper and scratch your wood. A floor mat at each entryway and having family members and guests to wipe their feet, the majority of dirt and grime will remain on the mat. Having a good mat before and after you go in your home goes a long way to trap the dirt before you enter the house.  Try and use over sized mats where you can and regularly sweep or vacuum them as well.   Also put a floor mat or rug in any area where water could be splashed — like near the kitchen sink. This will hinder any possible water damage.

Note that rubber-backed or non-ventilated floor mats or rugs can damage your floor. Instead use floor mats or rugs made especially for hardwood floors or use hardwood floor pads under the mat.  It is pretty important to keep under the mats clean as well a build up of dirt and the movement of the mat will cause damage to the floors.

Cleaning Hardwood Floors

Cleaning Hardwood Floors


The more frequently you clean the easier it is to keep your hardwood floors clean, and the better care you take, the longer your floor will maintain its original beauty. Step one is to purchase a high quality broom so that you can sweep your floor regularly of dirt, dust and other particles.

Second step is a vacuum cleaner without a beater bar, to get in between the boards and other hard to reach areas.  Be sure your vacuum tool is always in good repair and the brushes are good, once they wear you don’t want the actual tool to start scratching the hardwood floors.

Deeper cleaning techniques vary depending on the installation and finish of your hardwood floor. For “Finish in Place” hardwood floors, using an 8”x14” terrycloth mop with a rotating head that makes cleaning corners, under cabinets and along base boards as simple.  In any case always use very little water this is why standard mops not recommended to clean hardwood floors.  A flat hardwood floor mop leaves little space for water and is always best.

Professional cleaning products recommended by your flooring retailer can be used to remove tough stains and spills without dulling the finish of your wood floor. Makers of “Pre-finished” floors recommend their own specific products for routine maintenance. Check with your retailer for details.

Do and Don’ts

Don’t wax a wood floor with a urethane finish

Do use cleaners that won’t leave a film or residue

Don’t use ammonia cleaners or oil soaps on a wood floor — they’ll dull the finish and affect your ability to recoat later.

Do use a professional hardwood floor cleaner to remove occasional scuffs and heel marks (just spray some cleaner on a cloth and rub the stained area lightly)

Don’t wet mop or use excessive water to clean your floor (wood naturally expands when it’s wet and can cause your floor to crack or splinter). 

Do clean sticky spots with a damp towel or sponge

Do minimize water exposure and clean spills immediately

If and when your hardwood floor begins to look like it belongs beneath the feet of gold miners in an old western saloon, it’s time to consider screening and re-coating.

Screening is the process used to abrade or grind down your floor’s polyurethane finish. Next, fresh coats of urethane are applied. The result is a rejuvenated floor that looks as good as the day it was installed!

If the damage to your hardwood floor is severe, then you may require sanding and refinishing. This process involves sanding your floor down to the bare wood and refinishing it. Only go to this effort if screening and re-coating doesn’t solve your problem. Replacement boards may be available so you don’t have to refinish the entire area. Be sure to go pro whenever you have work done on your hardwood floors!

Final Thoughts

All hardwood floors fade or change shades over time. Like our own skin, wood’s exposure to sunlight may greatly increase this process and cause permanent damage.

Window treatments are recommended to shade your floors from the sun’s harsh rays. We also recommend rotating area rugs and furniture regularly, allowing wood floors to age evenly from UV exposure.

To avoid permanent marks and scratches, it’s a good idea to cover furniture and table legs with flannel protectors. Be careful when moving heavy objects across your floor to avoid scuffing.

Ladies — your stiletto heels may be fashionable, but what’s not in fashion (or covered by your warranty) are the dents and scratches they cause to wood floors. I had a friend who held a big dinner party after installing new hardwood floors only to wake up to hundreds of little dents in his brand new (and now not so perfect) hardwood floors. So have a dinner party but keep it casual, nothing fancy. Likewise, trim your pet’s nails regularly and keep any and all other sharp objects (don’t walk with scissors is a good rule always) away from your floors.

Follow these basic tips for clean hardwood floors that stand the test of time for years to come.


Encapsulation Vs Hot Water Extraction

The question has been asked many times: What are the benefits and drawbacks to the Encapsulation and Hot Water Extraction cleaning methods?

The table below compares encapsulation and hot water extraction - as each method relates to commercial carpet care:

Low Moisture Encapsulation Cleaning

Hot Water Extraction Cleaning

Low Moisture:
Each gallon of diluted detergent can clean approximately 300 sq ft of carpet. Dries quickly so the carpet can be put back into service quickly.
Higher Volume of Water Used:
With its ability to flush a large quantity of water through the carpet, hot water extraction is a highly effective way to rinse a carpet. 
The low-moisture encapsulation method (or encap method as it's often called) is a variation of the old "shampoo method". The carpet is scrubbed with a rotary machine, cylindrical brush machine, or a 3-headed scrubber such as the Cimex or Scrub3. As the carpet is scrubbed, the soil that was attached to the fiber is released from the carpet fiber into the encapsulation solution. Today's better quality encap detergents are built with a crystallizing polymer that encapsulates the soil. After the carpet dries, the encapsulated soil can be extracted from the carpet during the post-vacuuming process.
The hot water extraction method (or steam cleaning method as it's often called) injects water into the carpet through spray jets. The water is immediately recovered through a vacuum orifice as it's applied. The affect of this process can be compared to the rinse cycle of your washing machine. To facilitate cleaning, a strong detergent pre-spray is applied to the carpet prior to cleaning, and some level of agitation to the carpet is normally applied. Then the carpet is rinsed using the hot water extraction method.
High production cleaning can be accomplished with the encap method. Cleaning rates of 2,000-3,000 sq ft per hour can be achieved with encapsulation. This can be very helpful in larger commercial settings. Wicking and recurring spill stains can also be eliminated. 
Wicking and recurring spill stains are a common problem with commercial glue down (CGD) carpets. The crystallizing detergents employed and low moisture attributes of the encap method help to eliminate these problems. Encapsulation makes it simple to maintain commercial carpets and keep them looking cleaner longer over an extended period of time.
Hot water extraction is simply the best way to rinse a carpet of its contaminants. Since the hot water extraction method can employ countless gallons of water during the cleaning process it is possible to flush a large quantity of soil from the carpet during cleaning. For this reason it is recommended to supplement encapsulation cleaning with periodic hot water extraction cleaning. It is commonly seen that the need for hot water extraction cleaning can be greatly reduced when a good program of encapsulation cleaning is being performed.
Soil Resistance:
Many people hold off cleaning their carpets as long as possible because they've always heard that the carpet will quickly re-soil following cleaning. This condition can occur with traditional cleaning methods. It's impossible to recover 100% of the detergent with any method of cleaning. Detergents act like dirt magnets - or sponges. That's what detergents do. So any detergent left in the carpet will continue to attract soil. With good encap chemistry the detergent is balanced with a crystallizing polymer. So everything on the detergent side of the table is complemented with a polymer on the other side of the table. There is no sticky residue that can attract soil. In fact the polymerized detergent will actually RESIST soil. A good polymeric encap detergent can even consume detergent residues that were left in the carpet from previous cleanings. And some encapsulation detergents may even have an additional built-in fluoro-chemical carpet protector in the formula.
Soil Resistance:
It is impossible to rinse all of the strong pre-spray detergent from the carpet. Not even the best truck-mount in the world can rinse every trace of detergent residue. To illustrate this: picture taking a gallon of red paint. Add 5 gallons of water. What do you have? Red water. 
Add another 50 gallons of water. What do you have? Reddish water. Add an additional 100 gallons of water. What will you have? The red color will still be observable. Hot water extraction is a process of addition and subtraction. The thought presented here is that it's nearly impossible to add enough water to fully dilute all of the detergent. At some point you leave behind a diluted quantity of detergent (hence the example of the red paint). This helps us to appreciate why carpets can sometimes re-soil quickly following cleaning. Hence it's critically important to rinse the carpet as thoroughly as possible to dilute and extract as much of the pre-spray detergent from the carpet during hot water extraction cleaning. Using a good encapsulation HWE detergent (likeEncap-Punch) can eliminate the possibility of attracting more soil - because the detergent is balanced with crystallizing polymer that won't attract more soil. A further benefit to using a good encap detergent is that any soil residues that may be left in the carpet following the cleaning can continue to be recovered during the post-vacuuming process.
In A Commercial Setting:
Encapsulation is quickly becoming the most sought out method for maintaining commercial carpet today. As mentioned above: Encap is fast. Encap is a low moisture method. Encap eliminates wicking and recurring spill stains. Encap helps carpets to stay clean longer between cleanings. It can also be employed with minimal costs using a scrubber and cost effective detergents. With encap, building security is increased since it's not necessary to be leave doors to the building open during cleaning.
In A Commercial Setting:
Hot water extraction has the greatest potential to flush contaminants from the carpet in a single cleaning as mentioned above. And it's recommended that periodic HWE cleanings are included at intervals as a supplement to encap cleaning. There may be some issues with wicking and recurring spill stains on commercial glue down carpets when HWE is employed, because the volume of water injected may affect deeply embedded soil at the base of the carpet fiber. Care should be given to thoroughly rinse pre-spray from the carpet so that re-soiling can be minimized (using an encap HWE detergent can be helpful). If a truckmount unit is used doors will need to left open. Long hose runs from the parking lot to the area being cleaned may also present challenges.
Impact On The Environment:
A single gallon of water can clean 300 sq ft of carpet so there's minimal water being consumed. And there is no discharge water heading to the sewage treatment plant. The encapsulated soil is recovered from the carpet as dry-soil during post-vacuuming. A good encapsulation detergent can be formulated without requiring strong solvents or other potentially hazardous ingredients. For example Encap-Clean DS has only one ingredient that even registers on the MSDS sheet (alcohol). 
Impact On The Environment:
Hot water extraction can consume a very high volume of water (perhaps hundreds of gallons for a typical commercial job). The water that's extracted during cleaning is laden with chemicals and contaminants. If the water is properly discharged into the municipal sewer system, it is now spent water that will receive sewage treatment. If a truckmount unit is employed, the engine will be left running during the cleaning which consumes fuel and discharges carbon monoxide and other pollutants into the environment. 
Selecting The Correct Tool:
There's no absolute "perfect method" for every situation. Like tools in a toolbox - a professional carpet cleaner will examine the carpet and the building's requirements and then select the appropriate cleaning method(s). All methods have their place and they each have unique benefits in different settings. Encapsulation is perfect for keeping a commercial carpet looking its best on a day-in day-out basis, and periodic hot water extraction is an ideal way to flush a heavily soiled carpet. The two methods complement each other and can be compared to a good marriage - you don't want to have one without the other. Together they can provide a balanced commercial carpet care program that maximizes the carpet's appearance and extends its useful life.
Selecting The Correct Tool:
There's no absolute "perfect method" for every situation. Like tools in a toolbox - a professional carpet cleaner will examine the carpet and the building's requirements and then select the appropriate cleaning method(s). All methods have their place and they each have unique benefits in different settings. Encapsulation is perfect for keeping a commercial carpet looking its best on a day-in day-out basis, and periodic hot water extraction is an ideal way to flush a heavily soiled carpet. The two methods complement each other and can be compared to a good marriage - you don't want to have one without the other. Together they can provide a balanced commercial carpet care program that maximizes the carpet's appearance and extends its useful life.




Homemade Substitutions

There are many inexpensive, easy-to-use natural alternatives which can safely be used in place of commercial household products. Here is a list of common, environmentally safe products which can be used alone or in combination for a wealth of household applications.

Baking Soda - cleans, deodorizes, softens water, scours.
Soap - unscented soap in liquid form, flakes, powders or bars is biodegradable and will clean just about anything. Avoid using soaps which contain petroleum distillates.
Lemon - one of the strongest food-acids, effective against most household bacteria.
Borax - (sodium borate) cleans, deodorizes, disinfects, softens water, cleans wallpaper, painted walls and floors.
White Vinegar - cuts grease, removes mildew, odors, some stains and wax build-up.
Washing Soda - or SAL Soda is sodium carbonate decahydrate, a mineral. Washing soda cuts grease, removes stains, softens water, cleans wall, tiles, sinks and tubs. Use care, as washing soda can irritate mucous membranes. Do not use on aluminum.
Isopropyl Alcohol - is an excellent disinfectant. (It has been suggested to replace this with ethanol or 100 proof alcohol in solution with water. There is some indication that isopropyl alcohol buildup contributes to illness in the body.
Cornstarch - can be used to clean windows, polish furniture, shampoo carpets and rugs.
Citrus Solvent - cleans paint brushes, oil and grease, some stains. (Citrus solvent may cause skin, lung or eye irritations for people with multiple chemical sensitivities.)

Is Borax Safe?

Borax is considered a mild skin irritant similar to baking soda. The MSDS lists borax as a health hazard of 1, similar to salt and baking soda. A health concern with borax is with its potential to disrupt the reproductive system. Studies have not been done in humans regarding this; however, potential reproductive issues in mice are suspected from high levels of ingested borax. Use of borax for home cleaning formulas, where no borax is ingested, has not been shown to pose health hazards. Borax is a natural substance which is non-carcinogenic, does not accumulate in the body, or absorbthrough the skin. It is not harmful to the environment.