Embarking on a construction or renovation project is an exciting endeavour but it often comes with challenges, one of which is post-construction cleaning. Poorly managed construction sites can lead to extensive mess and costly cleaning efforts. To ensure a near-seamless transition from construction to occupancy, I’ve compiled expert advice on preventive measures that can significantly reduce post-construction cleaning challenges and costs.
- Pre-construction planning and protection:
With the aid of an experienced construction engineer, develop a comprehensive plan that considers and ensures the use of designated work areas and protective coverings. Enclose construction work areas with sheeting to prevent dust and debris from spreading to finished areas. Cover vulnerable surfaces like windows, wall and floor tiles and doors with appropriate coverings to minimise the risk of stains and damage. After several years of managing post-construction cleaning in Nigeria, I promise you that this advice will save you a ton of stress and cleaning expense money.
- Regular cleaning during construction:
Implement a daily cleaning routine. Encourage construction workers and technicians to tidy up their work areas at the end of each day and sometimes, after each task. The amount of dirt you can capture before it settles will often define the amount of money you will spend on the final cleaning task when construction or renovation is over. Yes, regular cleaning not only maintains a cleaner environment but also reduces the amount of accumulated mess and eventual cost.
- Effective waste management:
Establish a robust waste management system. Dispose of construction debris promptly and appropriately. If you have a means of contacting or engaging a recycler, you can separate the waste materials right from the point of generation to facilitate the recycling efforts. Keeping the construction site organised and tidy minimises the chances of scattered debris and simplifies the final cleaning process.
- Skilled and careful craftsmanship:
Invest in skilled and experienced craftsmen. In fact, start with a well-trained and experienced engineer and emphasise the necessity of deploying equally experienced technicians and craftsmen because they are less likely to create unnecessary mess. Encourage careful handling of materials and discourage shortcuts that can lead to spills and stains. I often find masons (aka bricklayers) have mixed and spilled cement indiscriminately on floor tiles, windows, walls and doors. Many POP technicians and painters are often just as careless in managing their work. Cleaning can do many things but it cannot do all things and for the many things that it can do, it is in your best interest that the cost is kept as low as possible by preventive management through the use of professionals who know how to manage themselves properly.
- Post-construction inspection and cleanup:
Conduct a thorough inspection before considering the construction phase complete. In my experience, sometimes clients call for post-construction cleaning a little too early, only to realise that there is something that has to be redone, which means that after taking on the cleaning, a second round of cleaning would come up. It must be painful to have to pay twice for something that should have been done only once. Identify and address any areas that require touch-ups. Allocate time and resources for a final cleanup, ensuring that the space is ready. A conscious and careful approach during this phase will eliminate the need for excessive post-construction cleaning efforts.
By incorporating these preventive measures into your construction process, you will not only reduce the mess and cost associated with post-construction cleaning but also enhance the overall efficiency of your project. A clean, well-maintained site reflects professionalism and attention to quality, leaving a positive impression on occupants of a facility and their visitors.
I hope you the above recommendations will help you towards having a hassle-free construction endeavour.
Photo by Rene Asmussen: https://www.pexels.com/photo/house-renovation-3990359/