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How To Handle Cleanup After A Construction Project At Home

Whether you are building an addition, creating a piece of furniture, or having a room remodelled, any kind of construction job can leave a big mess behind. There will likely be dust and debris everywhere, and the longer you take to clean things up, the more of a mess you have to deal with. The cleanup process might not seem like a big issue but with a little bit of thought and planning, you can make the job effortless.

Let’s talk about what you can do to get the mess under control and have it tidied up fast.

home renovation project bathroom

Ask the contractor for help

If you hired a contractor for the job, then you would expect the contractor to tidy up at least some of their mess. In many cases, construction contractors will clean up after themselves. Other times, they leave the mess behind but will clean it up for an additional fee.

If you’re not sure how tidy your contractor will be, you should ask them about this aspect of their service upfront. Many contractors are happy to take away the larger debris and leave some of the fine cleaning for you. How they treat the mess and whether they leave one will vary from one contractor to another.

However, it doesn’t hurt to ask them if they can do the cleanup for you or at least handle the bigger stuff that would be difficult for you to remove yourself. Cleanup will cost you about $470 on average, with your costs being lower or higher depending on the size of the mess, what needs to be removed, and how accessible the area is.

Lock it down, block it off

Once you know who is going to be doing the cleanup, you need to keep the construction area blocked off from foot traffic. This may be difficult to do if that part of your house is in a high traffic area, which may mean that you need to speed up the cleanup process.

To block off the area, you can do anything from place construction tape across the entryway to actually blocking the entryway with sheets of plastic or boards. How much blocking up you need to do will depend on whether you have kids or pets in the house or not.

The sooner you block off the area where the mess is, the less cleanup you’ll have to do. Allowing people to walk through that area is going to create a lot of mess throughout the house, leaving dusty, dirty footprints everywhere.

Have your equipment and consumables ready

Before starting any cleanup task, it is essential to have all the necessary equipment and consumables at hand. These may include cleaning agents, gloves, masks, cleaning cloths, brushes, vacuums, black bags and mops. Having these items readily available can not only make the cleaning process faster and more efficient, but it can also prevent the spread of contaminants by ensuring that appropriate cleaning methods are used.

It is also important to regularly check and replace any worn or depleted cleaning supplies to ensure that the equipment remains effective. For example, worn cleaning cloths should be discarded and replaced with fresh ones, and cleaning agents should be regularly checked and replaced if they have become too diluted to be effective. Having a good supply of strong black bags at hand will mean you can tidy as you go. This will keep the work area tidy and work will be safer.

Having your cleaning gear and supplies ready beforehand guarantees efficient and effective handling of cleaning tasks and upkeep of a safe and secure work area.

Pick a tidying up plan

After you have asked the contractors to do any cleanup they can and you’ve blocked off the area, you need to decide what you’re going to do about the mess that remains. Are you going to clean it up or are you going to bring in some friends and family members to help so that it gets done quickly? Will you hire a cleanup service in Boston or wherever you live so that the job is done professionally?

Once you know how you are going to handle it, you can start putting things in place to get the job done.  Make calls and get some answers as to who is able to help. This is the step where you determine what the timeframe will be for the job so you know how long you can expect the space to be unusable.

Move the larger debris

Some cleanup services won’t be able to get rid of the larger debris for you, like concrete blocks, rebar, wood paneling, and other big pieces. These may be something you have to move by hand on your own or hire a special service for.

If this part of the job looks too tough for you, and these items are too heavy for you to move, check for debris removal services online for your area. They may be listed under construction cleanup services or something similar. There’s a good chance that same service won’t do the fine cleaning for you, like dusting, sweeping, and vacuuming, but they can get the big stuff out of the way and open up the space so that you have more room for proper cleaning. Don’t bother trying to clean around the big debris, as you’ll just give yourself more work to do and could end up injuring yourself.

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Use proper ventilation

The dust left behind after construction can be quite dangerous, it can contain paint or other toxic materials that you don’t want to inhale, and it can cause serious health issues if you are not careful.

Before you try to clean up the fine particles and dust that have been left behind, you want to make sure there is adequate ventilation in the space. Open windows, turn on vents and set up fans if necessary. Of course, you don’t want all the dust blowing around the room, but make sure that there is proper airflow in the space before you get working. If you’ve hired someone to do the cleanup, ensure that they have proper ventilation as well.

Wear protection

As you’re cleaning up construction debris, you have to be aware of the dangers of what you’re dealing with. There could be nails or screws poking out of some of the debris. If there is any risk of sharp objects or jagged edges, be sure to wear heavy work gloves.

Also ensure that you’re wearing proper eye and face protection, like safety goggles and dust masks. This will protect your sensitive areas from potentially dangerous particles that can get into the air.

protective clothing

It’s a good idea to wear long clothing that covers all your skin as you clean up. Wear something that can be thrown away or easily washed immediately after you’re done cleaning. Don’t mix this clothing in with your regular laundry, if you want to prevent the spread of dangerous construction particles.

The best practice for post-construction cleanup is to have a bin directly outside the work area where you can toss used gloves, masks, and work clothes into before moving into the rest of the house.


With these tips, we hope your post-construction cleanup will go more smoothly. In conclusion, cleaning up after a construction job can be a big task but can be manageable if approached with a plan. Start by asking the contractor for assistance, block off the affected area, determine a cleaning plan, move the larger debris with care or with the help of debris removal services, make sure there is proper ventilation, and wear protection gear. By following these steps, you can ensure a safe and efficient clean-up process, leaving you with a tidy and usable space.

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