This is the part where you upskill your home care!
You’ve made your mark on the world. Become a homeowner. Made one of the smartest moves there is (besides finally cutting that 8 pm espresso).
Now it’s time to level up your home care game; because your days of using multi-purpose cleaners to clean literally everything are over. To make sure your new home stays looking like an interior design magazine cover, you’ll need to figure out what cleaning materials to use for each surface, fixture, and fitting. Then there’s the general care routine for each surface!
It may seem overwhelming now, but once you get the hang of it, it’ll be as natural as a Sunday sleep-in. We’re coving bathrooms, fittings, glazing, laminates, ceilings, paintwork, and timber flooring. So, skip to the part that calls (or, confuses) you most — it’s like a choose your adventure of surface cleaning and home care.
Bathroom cleaning 101
Bathrooms can be some of the most Instagram-worthy parts of the home when looked after properly, and they can also be the most disturbing if not! Most bathroom surfaces resist the effects of everyday use, but sand, grit, and certain cleaning products are their enemy and can lead to scratching and discolouration.
To keep your bathroom looking like a movie scene where an unrealistically wealthy person is taking a bubble bath, you’ll need to do a few things: Research the right cleaning products for each area Ventilate the bathroom to reduce humidity and moisture.
Don’t use abrasive cleaners on baths, basins, toilets, troughs, glass, tiles, or acrylic or laminated surfaces Use mild household cleaners and water on most surfaces
What to do when you find … mould!?
When mould creeps into your beautiful new bathroom, your immediate instinct will be to attack it with the harshest chemicals possible — but actually, abrasive cleaners will dull the shine on your baths, basins, and toilets. Some mild cleaning products and loads of water will do the job.
Also, you shouldn’t wear shoes in the bath or shower when cleaning as they will scratch the surface — sorry germaphobes!
Glaze with care
Glazed windows are the saviour of your energy bill and will keep your home a nice, comfy temperature — so you’ll want to look after them. This means following some careful cleaning methods, as this thermal/solar performance glass has a thin coating on the inside which can be damaged if cleaned improperly.
Use a window cleaner, or vinegar and water solution, and avoid ammonia or alcohol-based cleaners. Simply spray the glass and then clean with a lint-free cloth (don’t dry with a squeegee). Then wash the outside of the windows normally.
Laminate in your hand.
Your laminated surfaces would’ve been checked before handover, so they should be all good; but, they have limited warranties, so you’ll need to take care from now on.
Tips for keeping laminates looking fresh:
- Wash with a gentle cleaning product or warm soapy water — no abrasive or acid-based cleaners
- Don’t chop food right on the benchtop — use those magical things called chopping boards!
- Keep in mind that these surfaces are moisture-resistant, not waterproof
- Protect them from direct sunlight to avoid the laminate contracting
- If you spill water across the surface, dry off immediately — otherwise, it can seep in and cause swelling
Ceiling rules (who would have thought?)
Although having your own home means you can decorate it however you like, you still need to follow some design rules. One of these rules is that your ceiling can’t carry extra weight, such as heavy light fittings or ceiling fans. Also, you should never use the ceiling space as a storage area.
How to care for your ceilings:
- Check your ceiling regularly and look for anything strange, like cornices that have dropped, peaking in the joins of the sheets, water staining, holes in the ceiling, or cracking Get things fixed immediately
- Don’t go into the roof space too often
- Ask tradespeople not to leave heavy objects on the plasterboard or ceiling frame
- *Important – make sure you isolate the power before going into the roof space *
Painting dos and don’ts
Considering how many movies feature couples painting their new home (usually with a cute paint fight involved), it would be a no-brainer that you should paint yours too. But actually, we recommend you use a licensed painting contractor so that they can make a surface assessment and carry out the right preparation.
Painting should not start until the walls’ moisture and PH levels are tested and match the paint manufacturer’s recommendations.
Whether it’s you or a contractor carrying out the work, these are the steps for painting:
- Brush walls down to remove dust
- Apply an oil-based sealer
- Patch up imperfections or marks, and sand smooth
- Apply two coats of acrylic paint
- Patch up where needed between coats
- Use masking tape on plastered walls
- Apply adhesives, blu tack, or tape to the painted surface
Pssst. Our wonderful paint supplier, Taubmans, offers mates rates to all La Vida Homes clients. Simply mention ‘La Vida Homes’ at Taubmans to receive up to 40% off all paints.
Keeping your paint on the walls
Once your walls are painted, they’ll look after themselves now, right? Unfortunately, not. Walls need cleaning too. Paint can easily come off though, so don’t use loads of water and only use gentle cleaners.
Sometimes you can get away with simply wiping the walls with a damp cloth. Exterior paintwork can be hosed down, but any timber needs regular repainting due to rain and sun exposure.
If you live near the ocean (lucky!), you’ll have to wash external paintwork to remove salt build-up (a small price to pay).
Timber care necessities
Everyone loves timber flooring; it goes with anything — from nostalgic ‘cottagecore’ to exotic ‘maximalism’ (dw, it also looks nice with IKEA furniture too). But, to keep your timber floorboards looking brand new, you’ll have to look after them.
Timber absorbs and expels moisture depending on its surroundings, and therefore it shrinks and expands. So, your flooring will change with the weather and seasons — no, it’s not a lost cause.
Here are our tips for caring for your timber floor: <
- Don’t shut your house up for long periods – this creates abnormal humidity
- Move rugs and blinds/curtains regularly to avoid direct sunlight changing the floorboards’ colour
- Clean up spills immediately and remove sand or dirt so it doesn’t scratch the boards If you need to reseal, ask the floor sealer about which sealant is suitable
On those humid summer days, your house should be an escape, not an extension of the suffering (live in 80% humidity and then say this is an exaggeration!) But, when your house isn’t properly ventilated, it can get muggy and condensation will occur.
To keep your house fresh, open windows in dry weather, clear roof vents, and use exhaust fans in bathrooms, kitchens, and laundries.
One last thing … when it comes to stone benchtops and splashbacks, it all depends on the manufacturer. So, to find out how to look after them (stone isn’t tough enough to look after itself), just read the Stone Care Maintenance Guide on your personalised portal.
Speaking of the portal, just because your build is complete, it doesn’t mean you have to log out of TM forever. You can find a lot of useful post-build information that will guide you through the next few months (and beyond).
In the meantime, enjoy every bit of caring for your own home (okay, maybe not the mould part — but everything else).