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Old 08-04-2013, 02:45 PM  
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Default Cleaning & Renovation help!

I am moving into my families property that we found out is ABSOLUTLEY FILTHY and poorly taken care of! The renters we had stopped paying rent and were evicted, but anyhow, the home is full of issues, but mainly unclean. So far we are ripping up the carpet and painting, but I am still uneasy, so I was hoping to get some opinions on the best options for cleaning and fixing it up, because my tight budget does not allow for much trial and error.

Insects! I can not live with bugs! There are fleas in the carpet (which we are getting rid of) and I am afraid there is a roach problem, though I did not see any when I was there. We are planning to try to kill off the bugs. So which is better? Borax or Bug bombs? I also read that Boric acid and Borax are not the same thing, some people say they are mostly safe and others say they are very harmful. Any personal experiences?

Spiders! I am terrified of spiders so I don't want them inside, but I am assuming they will be helpful to me on the outside. The house is surrounded with ivy anyhow, so I wouldn't even hope to get rid of these things completely, but I just want to keep them out. Are there any preventative measures you would recommend for inside the home?

Mold There are a few spots in the home that appear to have mold, which I don't want around me or my pets. I was planning on using boric acid and/or bleach to clean it before I move in, but are there any other options I should look into?

Dust, Dirt, Cobwebs The cabinetry and appliances are really dusty and full of webs, I was planning on using a shop vac or something along the sort, but could also use the plain dusting method. Any product suggestions?

Sealants What is the most cost effective way to reseal the home? By which I mean windows seals, glass and the front door and some cracks in walls.

Flooring After getting rid of the carpet, I could either paint the concrete or find a cheap flooring. I obviously don't have the money to polish the concrete, but I'd be willing to consider similar or inexpensive options.

Fencing I have pets that I want to keep in and pests I want to keep out. The area has possums and I want to make sure they don't wander in. Is there any preventative or repellent that you would recommend? Also, I would like to put in a low mesh or fence to keep my dogs away from one part of the yard (that has a lot of foliage and probably bugs. Any inexpensive solutions?

So far I am planning on getting boric acid and/or borax, lysol/frebreeze, bleach and baking soda, so my list has much more to be filled in.

I know it is is a lot, but any help is appreciated. I welcome professional referrals for certain problems if they are not expensive. Thank you!

Last edited by ivanleegee; 08-04-2013 at 02:48 PM.
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Old 08-04-2013, 05:50 PM  
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WOW, quite the list of to-do’s … Here are some ideas:

Insects Bug bombs for fleas need to be reapplied because they have a 10 day egg hatching cycle. Bomb comprehensively, wait nine days, walk in the house with clean white athletic socks. If you still have fleas, you will see them. Bomb again. Roaches are best killed using boric acide powder along the baseboards. I have even gone so far as to pull the boards and lay a line of powder behind the boards so the powder will seep out long term.

Spiders These nasties will depart with the bug bombing and boric acid. They are mobile, so you could expect to see them, particularly if there are other insects in the house. Kill them all and your spider problem will evaporate.

Mold Standing or seeping moisture causes mold. Removing the cosmetic look does not eliminate the source. If the walls have mold, you need to search for exterior sources or interior leaks. This might involve punching holes in the walls but you are healthier for the effort. Drywall is easy to fix, once you get the hang of it! (Pen intentional)

Dust, Dirt, Cobwebs So-called “green” cleaning products suck. Use serious cleaning agents to cut grease and dirt. CLR cuts calcium build ups on glass and plumbing. You can find industrial degreasers in bottles at Home Depot. Scrub with green fibre pads.

Sealants There are any number of peel and stick sealing products for doors and windows. Cold infiltration is best checked with insulation in the attic and walls. The windows (if single pane) will always bleed cold air. Storm windows are helpful but replacing them with double pane is your best alternative. Your local utility probably does a free home energy assessment -- they can identify your worst problems and you might get discounted materials from them.

Flooring The carpet may have been put down with glue under the pad. Ugly to remove. I have used lacquer thinner and a long pole scraper to remove that glue … smelly, toxic, and best alternative. Paint is an option and then use carpet runners are area rugs which contrast colors. Concrete is not a foot-friendly surface, so think about going to laminate when you can get the $$$ together.

Fencing Can’t help on the fencing. You just have to pay to play. Chicken wire is awful and doesn’t stop varmints. Maybe someone else has a better idea …

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Old 08-04-2013, 06:12 PM  
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Thank you so much! I will post my progress when I finish!!
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Old 08-05-2013, 06:56 AM  
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Flea bug bombs work - just make sure to use enough of them for your square footage. In your case, you might as well leave cabinets open since you will be cleaning them out. Remove everything you are going to discard before bombing - the less stuff the better. Don't know if they will work for roaches, however, if you have them. You may need something else for them. At any rate, bomb the house with all windows and doors shut, give it a good day, then give it another good day with windows open to air out before you go back in.
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