Cleaning Before Renovations
Most cleaning is concerned with two related aims – looking tidy and being hygienic. These are important for our physical and mental health. But occasionally we need a different type of cleaning. If you are painting the walls or undertaking other renovations you will need to prepare surfaces differently.
When preparing to paint the initial cleaning is basically the same as a conventional clean; vacuum and wash with a damp cloth. This removes surface dirt. Be sure to get rid of anything that might interfere with the paintbrush; cobwebs are a particular nuisance when painting.
The next step is to prepare the surface. Paint will never stick to dirty walls, but it is not so much dirt we are worried about here as grease. Sugar soap, a powder that looks like sugar but is actually a sodium carbonate compound, cleans walls very thoroughly. Failure to do this can result in paint blister spots or uneven texture. Sugar soap cleaning prevents problems later on. Very difficult grease patches can be treated with acetone, though use this sparingly as it is both harsh and toxic.
Ceilings that need painting tend to not have as many grease problems as walls because we do not touch them with our hands. Nonetheless they will have spider-webs and dust that we usually don’t notice, and there may well be grease or other substances from cooking, air fresheners or anything else in the air. If these are to be painted they need to be thoroughly dusted and cleaned like other walls.
Furniture or other objects that need painting also benefit from clean environments. There is more dust in the air than we usually realize. More than a few paint jobs have been ruined when dust settled on a wet surface and became embedded in the paint. It becomes even more difficult to prepare the surface for repainting once dust becomes attached. Cleaning rooms beforehand prevents difficult problems later on.
We recommend house cleaning before any renovations. The point of any renovations is to make a building a better place. The first step to looking better is cleaning.