“Healthy, Safe & Functional”
Your home is your haven, and a healthy, safe & functional home are among a homeowners highest priorities. In this article we will cover tips, tricks and advice for a more efficient and enjoyable home cleaning experience, an activity so important to the busy homeowner.
Many choices and considerations in your home’s layout, furniture and design can have a dramatic impact on its ease of maintenance. Your floor, to start, is likely to be the first and fastest part of your home to dirty. Carpeting will allow dirt to become trapped in and give bacteria, mold and insects an environment to thrive and spread in. Where possible, try to avoid carpeting in favor of hardwood, laminate, concrete, tiling or other smooth surfaces. Minimizing cracks and seams and applying a nonporous seal to smooth flooring will help even further. If carpet aesthetics are desired, try using floor mats or rugs which can be moved and removed at leisure, or install carpet tiles on open and accessible sections of a room (especially areas of low humidity and foot traffic) instead of wall-to-wall. This will maximize their visibility and ease of access for cleaning at the same time. Mats and rugs, instead, can be placed at doorways and entrances to rooms where their dirt-trapping effect can work to your advantage, preventing dirt and dust from otherwise spreading freely into the room provided they are regularly cleaned. In particular, prioritize lower floors and stairs where dirt will most tend to accumulate.
Your walls are important as well, and can be made easier to clean. Choosing high-quality paint can be a worthy investment, and in particular you should choose the finish of the paint according to the traffic of the room. High-gloss (the shiniest) is the most durable and easiest to clean, and excellent for the kitchen as well as cabinets, doors and trim, but can be too glossy for most interior walls, especially in direct sunlight. Semi-gloss or satin are versatile choices, while flat or matte finish can be reserved for the bedrooms where their calmer effect is most useful and where foot traffic is the least of an issue. Additionally, consider vinyl wall coverings which are easy to wipe down and clean. Modern options have come very far and can effectively mimic linen, silk and other materials at an affordable price.
For furniture, the surface of your furniture itself is a good place to start. Leather upholstery (excluding white or ivory which are prone to stain) can be easily wiped off making it an excellent choice. More affordable is vinyl or faux leather upholstery, which nowadays can achieve much the same effect, including a convincing leather aesthetic at a fraction of the cost. For fabrics, consider stain repellents or slipcovers (ideally machine-washable slipcovers), which can keep soft, porous furniture dry and clean. Furniture with built-in storage such as storage ottomans or sofas with folding compartment can also improve space efficiency and keep items from accumulating out in the open where they present greater potential contact with pathogens. Lastly, carefully consider the layout of your furniture to prevent the common pitfall of creating areas inaccessible to cleaning. Putting your furniture on casters can dramatically improve the speed and ease of cleaning your home, especially in areas that would otherwise be inaccessible like corners and walls behind furniture where dirt and pathogens will accumulate. Alternatively, consider a central vacuum system with sweep inlets in these areas. Casters are most effective on smooth flooring, and locking versions should ideally be chosen to prevent furniture rolling freely.
When considering a new home build or renovation, a qualified home builder can provide ideas for optimal floor plan layouts, built-in furniture, and storage options to achieve the best flow and function. Central vacuum systems, heating, cooling & air circulation options are available within your budget to maximize a clean & healthy environment in your home.