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Everything you need to know about finding a Cleaner

"House cleaning," "residential cleaning" and "domestic cleaning" are catch-all phrases that cover most indoor cleaning jobs. What can a house cleaning service do for you? Just some of the jobs they can tackle include:

  • Vacuuming
  • Mopping floors
  • Cleaning bathrooms and kitchens
  • Dusting
  • Indoor window cleaning
  • Furniture polishing
  • General tidying up
  • Ironing
  • Changing bed linen

A house cleaning service can do almost any indoor cleaning job.

The list of what they may not do is shorter than the list of the jobs they will do. Most services will not clean anything that might be a health hazard. For example, blood, urine and even pet messes may be off-limits and cleaning services won't remove toxic chemicals. They also don't move heavy furniture and most services will stay away from valuables such as jewellery. Other jobs they will not do include cleaning jobs such as:

These types of services require different skills and tools and should be done by specialists.

Hiring a House Cleaning Service

House cleaning services usually charge by the hour. Their rates vary from $25 to $45 per hour. On average, a house takes 2.5 to 3 hours to thoroughly clean, but the time can vary. If your house is relatively clean or you only want a limited number of services, it will take less time. If one or more rooms need more thorough cleaning, it may take longer.

Many services offer discounts to repeat customers. After you've found a service you like, you can arrange for regularly scheduled services. Many services will offer an hourly discount of up to $10 for scheduled service and after they have done an initial thorough cleaning job, the scheduled services should take a shorter amount of time to complete. To save money, do little jobs before they arrive. If the service doesn't have to move dishes or pick up laundry, they can finish their jobs faster.

You don't want to let just anyone into your home, especially if you're not there to supervise the work. Only hire reputable cleaning services that carry insurance and can offer customer testimonials or allow you to contact clients in person. Better services will do background checks on their employees to be sure they are trustworthy and any reputable company will guarantee their work.

Pressure Cleaning

Your indoor floors need periodic vacuuming or mopping, but a vacuum or mop won't be enough to clean your driveway, deck, patio pavers and other outdoor surfaces. For those you need a pressure cleaning service.

Water pressure can thoroughly clean any outdoor surface. If your driveway is dirty and oil-stained, pressure cleaning can remove the dirt and grime and make it look like new again. Other outdoor surfaces that can be cleaned by a pressure cleaning service include:

  • Patio pavers
  • Paths
  • Your home exterior
  • Roofs
  • Shade sails and awnings
  • Garage floors and garage doors

Pressure cleaning is not as simple as connecting a pressure cleaner to a hose. Different pressures are needed for different surfaces. Too much water pressure can strip paint, remove caulking or tear fabric. A trained technician knows how to use their equipment and exactly how much pressure to use on any given surface. They also know which cleaning agents to use on any given surface.

How much does pressure cleaning cost? Some companies advertise hourly rates of as low as $40 per hour, but the hourly rate doesn't give you an accurate estimate of how much your job is going to cost. Pressure cleaning services have to include travel and set-up time in their rates and a small job may cost more per hour than a larger job. For example, it might cost $150 to have a small area from 1 to 30m2 pressure cleaned and only $325 to $350 to have 100m2 pressure cleaned.

Some pressure cleaning services will also do jobs such as resealing your pavers after they have pressure cleaned them. They may offer a discount for both services, so if you need both cleaning and resealing, get quotes from services that offer both services.

Window Cleaning

A house cleaning service may be able to clean the inside of your windows, but if the windows are dirty outdoors, it won't do much good. Window cleaning services can clean your windows inside and out. In addition to window cleaning, many services will also clean:

  • Flyscreens
  • Fans
  • Cobwebs
  • Blinds
  • Window sills
  • Gutters
  • Skylights
  • Solar Panels
  • Window tracks

They may also be able to do minor repairs such as repairing flyscreens or some minor window repairs.

Window cleaners rates start at $25 per hour, but they generally charge by the job or jobs they do rather than by the hour. A single storey house will be less expensive to clean than a two-storey house because setting up ladders and/or scaffolding has to be factored into the cost. In some cases, the service may use a long, water-fed pole to clean higher windows.

An average-sized home might cost as little as $150 while a larger home might cost $225-$250, but to get an accurate quote, give the services you get quotes from as much information about your job as possible. Include:

  • The number and size of the windows you need cleaned
  • Do the windows have screens?
  • Whether you want exterior window washing only or interior and exterior
  • Is it a single storey or two-storey house?
  • Access problems
  • Other services you may want

In most cases, you will only need to have your windows cleaned every three or four months.

Use only window cleaning services that carry both public liability insurance and Workers Compensation insurance. Reputable companies will guarantee their work and not expect payment until you are satisfied that your windows are clean and streak-free.

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