March 20, 2024

Spring Cleaning Tips

Winter is finally over!

Temperatures are warming up, plants are blooming, kids are outside playing– life is good. But before you can enjoy the warm summer weather, it’s time to clean up after the long days spent indoors. Spring cleaning always brings about new challenges. For pre-1978 homeowners, lead paint may pose a hazard to small children and pets— especially if damaged by the harsh winds of winter. If you plan to take on a new renovation project, or to repaint that bedroom after years of talking debating, schedule an inspection with us. We provide an in-depth inspection of your home that will relieve some of your lead related worries.

If you don’t plan to take on such a daunting task like remodeling, but instead looking to do some deep spring cleaning, you’ve come to the right place! In this blog we’ll dive into the cool waters of how to handle lead hazards lurking within your home.

First things first…

One of the initial steps is to vacuum the floors, windows, furniture, and other horizontal surfaces. High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filtered vacuum cleaners are amazing tools that will help you suck up to 99.97% of dust, pollen, mold, bacteria, and air born particles at 0.3 microns in size. Regular vacuum cleaners only filter larger particles allowing the smaller ones to pass through and be expelled via the back. So, to make sure lead dust particles are all picked up, HEPA filters are the way to go. Click here to learn more about HEPA filters from one of our previous blogs.

Dusting Dilemmas

Next, you may want to clean bookshelves, window frames, or dressers. Avoid using dry dusting methods. Using a damp cloth will help to keep lead particulates from floating into the air. Micro-fiber cloths can be another great option if available because they latch onto more debris than regular methods. These methods reduce other allergens such as mold spores, dust, and bacteria from becoming airborne ensuring your family’s safety.

Microfiber cloths can trap more dust and debris than normal cleaning rags. Plus you can throw them into the wash– making them reusable!

Next Up: Wipe Downs.

After dusting and vacuuming, you might plan on washing floors, countertops, and sinks. Be aware of harsh chemicals that corrode the protective coating surrounding painted surfaces. It is also important to wear proper protection when handling cleaning products, so make sure to wear gloves and masks. If you have kids, chances are you have encountered unnoticed stains. If that is the case, stains on walls and painted floors should be approached with special care because if you use the wrong chemicals, you might damage the surfaces, exposing you and your family to lead hazards. Avoid using acidic cleaning chemicals like Ajax and Comet on these surfaces because they will corrode that protective layer. Thoroughly read mixing instructions as combining the incorrect ratios could create a stronger solution, which could affect your health and breakdown your paint.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) isn’t always necessary when cleaning, but it will help create a barrier between you and harsh chemicals. Safety is always a priority, so take the time to protect yourself.

Pro Tip: Less can be more. Using less cleaning solute and more water can help lower the risk of damaging your property. For tougher stains, it might be necessary to use a stronger solution, or it might be better to let the stain soak longer—use your best judgement in these situations.

When it comes to cleaning, we often overlook safety and hazards for the sake of efficiency. Taking the time to properly equip some PPE, and to make sure that you aren’t spreading dust and particles around will save countless headaches later down the road (literally and figuratively). Ensuring your family’s safety is your #1 priority, so if you find a damaged painted surface during your spring-cleaning activities, you can count on us to thoroughly inspect the hazard!

Reach out to AAA Lead Inspections today if you come across paint chips or damaged paint you think could be hazardous, or if you have any other questions regarding lead paint, mold or asbestos.

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