So, you’ve vacuumed the carpets, cleaned out the fridge and scrubbed the bathroom to a high shine. What’s next? It might be time to tackle everybody’s least favorite spring cleaning chore: the attic. Attics can become hotbeds of mold, dust and countless other allergens and irritants, and giving this often-neglected room can make the air throughout your home significantly cleaner.
- Dusting: The best way to tackle attic dust is with an electrostatically charged cloth or duster. They grab twice as much dust as regular cloths and send less of it out into the air. Dust any surface that needs it: walls, window frames, rafters, roof trusses, attic fan blades, fixtures, hatches and exposed ducts. Start high and work your way toward the floor.
- Vacuuming: When you vacuum your attic, a HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) vacuum cleaner does a much better job than traditional household vacuum cleaners, removing even microscopic particles for the air. If you can’t afford to invest in a HEPA vac (they typically run $200 to $400), consider a high-efficiency filter bag for your vacuum.
- Mold Patrol: Look for mold anywhere moisture occurs. Common places include window frames, pipe fixtures, cracked caulking and any place where a leak has formed. Clean up mold using a damp rag with an ammonia-free household cleaner.
- Sealing Leaks: If you find mold, it’s not enough to clean it up. If you don’t fix the root cause, it’ll just keep coming back. In attics, the root cause is usually a leak. Check for loose shingles, cracked windows, peeling caulk and rotted wood.
- Protection: Always wear a mask when cleaning a dirty space like an attic. NIOSH (National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health) masks do a great job filtering out airborne particles. Rubber or latex gloves are also good to have when you clean up mold.