Your hired contractor finished your home renovation job recently. But the tradespeople left their dust everywhere. Now you’re wondering, what can you do about it? We researched some possible solutions to this concern, and here’s what we found.
The first step is to go over your agreement with the contractor. Read the contract and search for a clause that says the company should clean the premises. If it doesn’t exist, you may need to clean the post-construction dust or hire a cleaning company to do it for you.
Your options for the courses of action you can take may also vary if the contract says that the contractor needs to clean the area after the project. If so, you may need to take legal action if the negotiations don’t end well. Continue reading as we talk about your options to solve this problem in greater detail.
Should Contractors And Their Crew Clean Up After Themselves?
Contractors may or may not clean up after themselves after they finish a particular job. Take note that as a customer, you must know the agreements between you and your contractor before the company takes your job.
If your contract states that cleanup is part of the contractor's services, then the firm should provide adequate services to remove dust and debris from the work area during and/or after the required task is complete. However, contractors and their crews may pack up and leave the premises without tidying up the place if there’s no documented agreement that they should do so.
You can avoid this issue by talking and negotiating with your preferred contractor before the company’s services begin. If the company rejects the cleanup job despite it being part of the required services, consult your contract for the things you can do at that point.
Some of the possible actions you to take with regards to that concern are:
- Talk to the higher-ups of the company and file a complaint.
- Document the situation (e.g., take pictures) and send the files to the company with a letter.
- Withhold the full or partial payment as long as this action is within legal boundaries.
- File a lawsuit if the contractor refuses to take appropriate actions despite the frequent reminders.
You may also choose to hire professional cleaners to remove construction debris from your property after the contractor finishes the required job. This choice is plausible if both parties agree that no cleanup will happen after the task’s completion.
How To Clean Construction Dust?
You can clean construction dust, debris, and other messes from a construction site after contractors render their services if your contract doesn’t require the companies to fulfill this extra help. If so, you may need to clean the job location using DIY techniques.
Take note that the steps in cleaning a construction site after a contractor’s services often depend on different factors, such as:
- Items to clean
- Size of the mess
- Available equipment and materials
- Current budget
However, make sure that you’re practicing proper safety procedures as you’re cleaning the area. Remember, construction sites often leave things like nails, wooden splinters, and glass shards. It’s best to avoid direct skin contact from these items to prevent injuries.
So, wear gloves, long-sleeved clothing, safety goggles, and safety shoes before you start cleaning the finished construction site. Next, take note of the materials and tools needed for the cleaning operation. That way, you won't have to go to the store repeatedly if you forgot something to buy.
After taking note of those pieces of information, here are some ways to tackle post-construction cleaning:
Prepare the room by covering furniture and other surfaces with a plastic wrap. Keep in mind that drywall dust can become airborne and land on other objects. If you don’t cover those items, it may lead to additional time and effort consumed to clean those things.
After finishing those preparations, follow these steps:
What You’ll Need
- Spray bottle
- Vacuum cleaner
- Microfiber cloth
- Vacuum the loose drywall dust from the area.
- Spray the dirty drywall with water.
- Wipe the damp areas with a microfiber cloth.
- Repeat the previous steps as many times as needed.
You may also not have to go through with this particular procedure. Watch the video below for the reason why you might not need to deal with drywall dust:
Perhaps you also need to remove mastic from drywall. If so, read our post to know the steps to solve that concern.
Mortar dust can latch onto the brick surfaces. This buildup can be quite difficult to remove using conventional tools like a broom or vacuum cleaner. So follow these steps if you’re dealing with mortar dust on bricks:
What You’ll Need
- Muriatic acid
- Steel scrub brush
- Garden hose
- Mix one part of muriatic acid with an equal part of water in a bucket.
- Dip a paintbrush into the mixture and apply that tool to the mortar dust.
- Wait for the sizzling to stop.
- Use a steel scrub brush to remove the residue from the brick.
- Repeat steps 2 to 4 as many times as necessary.
- Rinse the brick surface with clean water from a garden hose.
Don’t forget to dispose of any leftover acid solution after finishing this cleanup job. Leaving muriatic acid exposed and unchecked can put nearby individuals at risk of contracting health concerns like burning sensations in the chest and nose. Accidental direct contact with muriatic acid in the eyes may also lead to irreversible blindness.
Watch this video for some alternate steps to complete this particular task:
At this point, you might find it interesting to know what color mortar is good for a red brick house. If so, check out our post on that topic so we can help you decide the right color for this material.
Also, the video below will show you other ways to clean a space after the completion of a construction project:
What Do You Do If You Are Unhappy With A Contractor's Work?
Aside from leaving a mess, you might be unsatisfied with the results provided by a contractor and the company’s tradespeople. If so, you have different options to deal with this situation, such as:
Review The Contract
Perhaps the first step is to look over your written contract to see your available options. For example, the document may have clauses pointing to who to contact if you have complaints. Also, check the agreement for the proper steps to deal with your grievances about the contractor’s completed job (or lack thereof).
Document The Results
Photographs can be powerful pieces of evidence against a contractor’s shoddy job. It might also be ideal to invest in a CCTV camera to keep watch of the construction workers while they’re working. That way, the recorded videos can become irrefutable proofs that your contractor didn’t hold their end of the bargain.
Attempt To Talk It Out
After reviewing your contract and documenting the sloppy results, try to talk to your contractor. Assert your dominance but don’t yell. Be stern but not condescending as you’re pointing out the reasons for your dissatisfaction.
At this point, try to resolve the issue before involving legal personnel. However, legal action might become an option if the contractor is adamant about not correcting the concern.
Request Help From A Small Claims Court
Go to your local small claims court and file the dispute. Make sure to include all the necessary details as you file the form, which can include your full name and the address of the worksite. Don’t forget to indicate the nature of the dispute, the contractor and their company, and the damages involved.
Take note that the amount you can file as damage often varies per state. For example, the maximum amount you can claim in Kentucky is $2,500. On the other hand, Georgia allows up to $15,000 in claims from damages from poor construction results.
If the contractor leaves dust at the construction site, make sure that the company has the right to refuse the cleanup job by reading the contract. Talk to the contractor if the document has clauses about the company cleaning the construction site during and/or after the job. Consult legal help if you run into problems like the contractor refusing to tidy the site despite your requests.