One of the easiest ways to get a good price on a property is to be willing to get your hands dirty. However, major cleanup projects will take more than just rubber gloves. You may be exposed to rodents, bugs, mold, and/or pet waste. Make sure you invest in the right protective equipment before you get started to protect your health.

Tackle It in Chunks

The best way to take on any big project is to break it down into smaller, more manageable chunks. For example, if you have a whole house to clean out, plan where you’ll store things like furniture vs. trash. Be sure to include large heavy-duty trash bags in your supplies and bag up the trash as you survey the rooms. Your best bet is to rent a dumpster for the project and remove the trash directly from the building into the trash dumpster so you only need to haul it once. Once a room has been emptied, clean it from the top down. Ceiling fans and light fixtures will need dusted and wiped down. Then wipe down the walls, clean the baseboards and sweep or vacuum.

Get Ready for Company

If you’re cleaning up after a hoarder or pet, be prepared for pests. You may be dealing with mice or rats. There will probably also be roaches and other bugs. All of these pests and their waste can be a health hazard. If you’re working through piles of garbage, carry a stick you can use to poke through the trash before you start picking things up to get pests to scurry away from the area you’re working. If you suspect other critters such as raccoons or skunks, bring a radio and crank up the music to encourage them to move along. When the trash is gone, hire a pest professional to help you kill off pests. Capture what bugs you can for study. You should try and identify the kind of cockroach you’re dealing with to know what action to take next.

Urine Requires Special Measures

If you’re cleaning up after a pet hoarder, make sure to get the carpet into the dumpster. You’ll need to clean the subfloors. Never use bleach for this process. It’s a good idea to paint the subfloor with odor-blocking paint. In fact, once the carpet is out you may want to paint the entire interior with this magical paint. These primers are designed to cling, so be sure to cover your skin and hair before you start. It may well take two coats to thoroughly seal in odor stains. If not, check the insulation in the outer walls for odor. If the insulation has been fouled by fumes, you may need to gut the structure.

Major cleaning projects can be a lucrative real estate decision because few people want to tackle them. However, you can put yourself at risk if you’re not careful. Be sure to use glove and masks as well as other protective gear. Finally, if fleas or bedbugs are a worry, don’t take your cleaning gear back to your residence.

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