Post Hurricane Cleaning and Repairing: Big Jobs

Post Hurricane Cleaning and Repairing: Big Jobs

The hurricanes have given us a special reason to keep the homes and lives of our seniors clean and safe and sound.  This cleaning can be broken out into two types:  small jobs (quick, easy tasks) and big jobs (longer, deeper cleaning tasks).  This week we will cover the big jobs.  We can start by saying to the senior in our life, “we got through the hurricane, let’s do some cleaning and repairing.”  Make sure the seniors are involved in the process.


After the hurricane many “big jobs” need to be done including home repairs as well as deep cleaning.  Work with the senior to assess the situation.  Some of the work may need to be done by licensed contractors such as roof repair.  Depending on the length of the list, the tasks may require several days or a few weekends to complete.  Your senior will appreciate it.


First create a task list and a budget; you can break out the list by inside and outside tasks.  Make it a family event.  And, invite friends and neighbors too.  Have a ‘Pizza’ or some other ‘Party.’  If there aren’t many family members, friends or neighbors, consider hiring neighborhood kids.  If a contractor is needed obtain recommendations from friends and neighbors, use licensed contractors and check references.


Outside Tasks

Grounds – Prune trees, shrubs and bushes.  Mulch all beds.

House/Garage/Shed – Clean gutters.  Repair screens, patios, decks, balconies.  Repair and/or install railings.  Sand and paint areas that need attention.  Check around the pool area to identify any needed repairs.  Clean garage and shed.  Remove all items, thoroughly clean, determine if any items are no longer usable and sell (yard sale) or give away to Goodwill or other charity.

Inside Tasks

Air Leaks – According to AARP leaks in the home “can add up to 10% of the annual heating and air conditioning bill”.  These leaks are generally around the windows and the doors.  Find the leaks and seal them with caulk.

Windows – Repair any cracked windows.  Check locks to ensure they lock and unlock easily, oil if necessary.  Repair screens and/or storm windows (if any).  Wash windows inside and out.

Refrigerator – Pull it out and vacuum the floor underneath and the coils.

Oven – Clean the oven with an oven cleaner like Easy Off or, if you prefer a ‘green’ method you can use baking soda, water and white vinegar.  You can get the ‘recipe’ and instructions from the internet – a good job for a young family member.

Microwave – The most natural and best smelling method is to use a bowl of water and a lemon (cut in half).  Have your young family member get the recipe from the internet.

Bathrooms – Add grab bars to make it easier for the senior to be independent.  Thoroughly clean tubs and showers, including all tile.  Spray the cleaner on the tile, tub and shower doors, let sit for 10 minutes and flush with clean water.  Run shower curtains through the washing machine with a few towels that will ‘rub’ the curtains clean.

Draperies/Curtains – Wash curtains that are washable.  Send dry-clean only draperies to a dry-cleaners that specializes in draperies.

Furniture – Pull out furniture, clean, dust and vacuum area and return furniture to its location.

Floors – Thoroughly wash all floors, and stem clean carpets or bring in a professional rug cleaning company to clean all carpets.

Walls – Examine walls, trim, railings for areas that need attention.  Sand, paint and varnish as needed.