Tips for cleaning out your attic: How to Systematically Clean and Declutter Your Attic
You think you have it under control. But, in reality, you haven’t been in your attic in years. Time goes by and dust, dirt, and other things collect on your boxes and, your stuff, and the attic’s floor. An attic that is dirty and cluttered can result in poor energy efficiency, pest infestations, damage to insulation, mold, and mildew.
Every homeowner should have a maintenance checklist, and one of the most important items on that list should be inspecting and cleaning out your attic.
Prepare. Have the right tools for the job – starting with dust masks and gloves. Before you start, put on a mask with a grading to filter airborne particles. Use gloves to protect your hands from protruding nails or loose insulation while cleaning out your attic. Bring additional lighting if your space is dark; keep your hands free with a headlamp or a clamp-on light that you can attach to your attic beams. Most importantly, remember to always step on floor joists – not in between them – unless you want to end up on your living room floor.
here are some attic cleaning tips to help you clean and declutter your attic. Your family and your house will thank you later!
1. Remove Belongings
Take out all boxes, furniture and any other items in your attic space before you start to clean. If the items are too large or too difficult to move from the attic, you can stack them in a corner and cover them while you clean the rest of the room. Make sure to thoroughly wash any fabrics that were in your attic to remove dust or other allergens. You can put them in the washing machine or hose them down in your yard, depending on the fabric.
2. Dust Away
Dust collects easily and quickly in your attic. Use a synthetic duster that is electrostatically charged to remove dust and dirt on all attic surfaces. Reach all walls, wooden beams, columns, baseboards, windows and frames. If the duster becomes too dirty, clean as needed. Don’t forget to dust any fans or fixtures in the attic space; consider buying a duster with an extension arm to get to hard-to-reach areas and corners.
3. Vacuum and Sweep
You may find that a vacuum is your best bet if there’s a lot of dust – a broom may simply push dirt and dust into the air during your attic cleaning. It is best to use a vacuum with a high-efficiency (HEPA) bag or canister-filter combination to trap all of the dust particles. Vacuuming will remove dead insects, dander, dust mites and allergens from the attic. Use extensions and other tools to clean hard-to-reach areas, corners and crevices.
4. Inspect Insulation
An often overlooked part of attic cleaning is insulation inspection. Insulation should be at the same level of the floor joists in your attic: if the insulation is below that level, you need to add insulation. If you cannot see the floor joists, it is likely because the insulation is above them and you do not need to add any more. Look along the eaves of the attic to ensure that the insulation is evenly distributed.
5. Check for Mold
Mold in an attic is often difficult to see, as it is black or gray. This type of mold spreads very quickly. Mold can also be brown, orange, white or green, and is usually toxic. Some indicators of mold in the attic include a musty smell and accumulated moisture, and mold will frequently show an identifiable pattern such as a circle. Metal in the attic may become discolored when mold is present. Cleaning mold in your attic is a tough situation, and it’s not one you should face alone, especially if you have asthma or allergies. If you suspect mold, you should call an attic cleaning service to assess and clean it.
6. Replace your Belongings
After you have thoroughly cleaned throughout your attic, put all of your items and boxes back. If you have not done so already, take the opportunity to dust and polish any applicable items in the attic. If you have rugs in the area, make sure you clean those as well. Dust off all boxes and belongings before replacing them.
7. Prevent Dust and Mold Growth in Your Attic
Once you have thoroughly cleaned your attic, you should take steps to seal your attic and prevent pests from entering, as well as keep away mold growth and limit irritants like dust from accumulating.
If you believe you have mold in your attic space, contact a mold removal professional. However, you can make efforts to prevent mold by ensuring that you seal any cracks in your attic. Replace any shingles that blow off during storms to prevent moisture from entering, and check for leaks in your roof if you see any signs of moisture, such as brown or dark spots.
You may recall seeing dust in the air in a beam of sunlight during your attic cleaning – that dust includes fine particles and excrement of dust mites, insects, and even rodents. When you have an abundance of dust particles in your home, it can cause allergic reactions. Make sure that you repair cracks, leaks and holes to prevent insects and other pests from entering your home.
Junk Removal and Cleanout Services
Attic cleaning is key to a healthy, energy efficient and pest-free home A clean attic space is especially important for people who suffer from allergies and asthma. Professional attic cleaning services can help you remove unwanted items from your attic, while also giving you attic cleaning tips to keep your space free of clutter for years to come.
We can help you in this process. Contact us today to schedule a free estimate. 540-860-0606
Credit for this article to Chuck Henrichsen.