Sometimes my jaw drops and I'm absolutely flabbergasted (upon entering a beautiful custom home to begin the post-construction process), when I see the sad LACK of interior surface protection provided. Our team then spends needless extra hours cleaning paint over-spray, grout, mud and other gross, oily, sticky stuff off of many different areas. This includes windows, mirrors, appliances, toilets, flooring, tile, tubs, light switches & various fixtures, an more. If ONLY the builder had required higher standards of protection for the homes various surfaces, this unfortunate circumstance could almost be completely avoided, thus saving the builder and ultimately, the home-owner, loads of money and very real risks of property damage.
Let me give you some real-life examples. Recently, our Extreme Clean Team was asked to clean the newly remodeled home belonging to the owner of a large Texas custom home builder we do work for. His family wanted to move in that weekend, and with the final remodeling touches complete, it was time for the post-construction debris and dirt to be professionally cleaned up. For one thing, the bath-tubs (nice Kohler tubs with grip on the bottom) were DISGUSTING - covered in grout mess, paint over-spray, dirt & mud from plumbers boots and other nasty sticky, grimy stuff.
WHY, you may ask??? Because of 2 main reasons: #1- The builder, superintendent or project manager didn't hold the sub-contractors to a high standard during and after their work, for both protection and also clean-up. #2 - The sub-contractor did not hold their crew to a high standard of protection and clean-up. Even ONE of these two factors can cause big risk of damage and lots of nasty clean-up at the projects end, but when you have BOTH things going on... the outcome is sure to be icky, at least! So, our team spent at least an extra 45 min cleaning EACH bath-tub of paint, excess grout and other grime, and, even with the very best chemicals, the bottom tub surface was still not a sparkling, pristine white surface as it should have been and could have been with some simple precautions taken. Whatever was in those nice, high-end bath tubs created actual stains!
What simple measures you may wonder? Well, for starters, there are two inventions known as PLASTIC and CARDBOARD that in themselves can do wonders to protect many surfaces, including bath tubs. Also, there is a spray-on surface protector made especially for tubs that, done right, can easily peel up later after the construction building process is done. Additionally, it's easy to require the painters, plumbers, tile guys and other contractors to wear "booties" over their grimy boots and to place plastic covering (taped up if necessary) over such surfaces as tubs before working over them and stepping in them. Lastly, the contractors CAN WORK NEATER if required and do NOT have to be quite so messy and can most certainly be required to CLEAN-UP after them selves on each project. Our company team leader, Michael, was a professional painter for about 2 decades, and their company ALWAYS cleaned up after themselves and NEVER left paint-overspray on ANY surface that was not meant to be painted. Many times it's sheer rush and laziness by so-called professionals who are willing to do their work at less than 100% quality. I find this totally unacceptable.
In conclusion, other companies (custom home builders) and their project managers have proven that by requiring a high standard of surface protection & clean-up by their sub-contractors, they can prevent a ton of damage and therefore save a lot of aggravation and money. AND, they end up paying a company like EXPERT PROPERTY CLEAN UP far less money on the back end for post-construction clean-up because there is so much less nasty junk to clean-up at the end of the project!
So, building professionals, my challenge to you is this: Hold your own company and your sub-contractors to a higher level of risk-reducing, surface protection techniques & material usage, invest in professional protection products like Ram Board and Builders board for floors & counter-tops, plenty of plastic to cover windows, appliances, fixtures, etc. Let's work together in this industry to prevent the almost probable damage of property from neglectful work, and the very common over-spray issues from lack of protection & care, which could 99% of the time be totally prevented in the first place! It is NOT good ethical practice to accept this sloppy work from your workers, and it's totally unnecessary to be over-spending on clean-up at the end, when a bit of TLC along the way during construction can make all the difference! Can I get an "Amen", please.?!