Cleaning Buildings With Hard To Reach Features!

Cleaning Buildings With Hard To Reach Features!

However much we don’t want to admit it, dust accumulates everywhere no matter how much we try to keep on top of it. One glance up, and you can usually find ceiling corners filled with dust or cobwebs hanging from the far corners of your living room, or out of reach above the stairs!

Whether you are responsible for cleaning at work, or whether you are in need of advice for cleaning your home, having unique, historical, modified or grand properties, commercial or residential, involves a bit more forethought on the cleaning front! Are you intrigued as to how people clean those high Cathedral-like ceilings, which can soar up to 20 feet high and beyond? Cleaning these high, unreachable ceilings can make the everyday, often easy chore turn in to rather a mammoth and time consuming task!

St Paul’s Cathedral

An example of a Cathedral that has been recently cleaned and restored is St Paul’s, located smack bang in the centre of London, this Church of England Cathedral’s restoration, both inside and out cost a grand total of £40 million and has taken almost half as long as it did Wren to design and build it. The St Paul’s Cathedral programme of cleaning and repair took 15 years and is one of the largest restoration projects ever undertaken in the UK, the cathedral has been around since 604AD. The result, however, speaks for itself, inside the light floods in from the sky, falling on freshly cleaned marble carvings and sculptures. Every year nearly two million people visit the cathedral for a range of activities, from regular church services, to concerts, to educational events, to performing arts and even just for sightseeing – if you haven’t been, I suggest you take visit, it truly is a magnificent piece of English history.

Vaulted Ceilings

I don’t know about anybody else, but I would love to own a Victorian style house with high vaulted ceilings – how fantastic! But I’m not sure how practical the upkeep would be? These atrium’s and ‘grand rooms’ are designed to wow home buyers, but home-owners are often less thrilled when they realize that routine maintenance and painting in these areas can require scaffolding due to high ceilings, including light fixtures and decorative beams, which are all but impossible to reach.

How to Clean this Type of Property

You can buy a piece of equipment called a telescoping cleaning pole and this comes with a duster/cloth on the end of the pole. You can typically buy them from home ware and DIY stores, or even online, and they range from a length of 5 to 15 feet. If you fear your ceiling may be taller than this then you may need to look into getting a professional to clean your ceiling as they can get tools to reach as high as 30 feet. Remember, if you have ceiling fans, get a forked dusting tool, as these will clean both sides of a ceiling-fan blade in one easy swoop.

Light Bulbs

Nowadays you can buy what only can be described as a giant hand; sometimes called ‘pole-mounted bulb changers’, these long pole like objects have a suction cup or spring steel fingers which allow you to ‘reach’ up high and change the light bulb. Sounds rather futuristic, but it’s actually a very simple way to change your light bulb!  Bear in mind that this doesn’t work for all light fixings though – e.g. for chandeliers.


I’m afraid there’s no good news, or cheating available when it comes to painting your ceiling – just hard work. Firstly always dust off the high areas before you start painting, because you’re liable to knock dust loose as you work and that could ruin the overall effect of the paint.

The best way to paint tall ceilings and walls without setting up scaffolding is to get some help and set up an extension ladder or hire a hybrid ladder (one that is designed to articulate over a staircase and into those hard to reach corners). The technique that is said to be most effective is using a paintbrush to cut in the corners and around the edge so you can then use a large roller to fill in the middle – quick and effective. However I do warn you, using this extension pole and roller is a real upper body workout!

Hints and Tip

  • Invest in a cheap pair of clear, plastic goggles (available from most DIY stores) these goggles will protect your eyes from debris that might fall from the ceiling as you clean/paint it!
  • Before performing any work on your ceiling make sure you remember to turn off any ceiling fans at the power source in case you accidentally switch them on while cleaning them, the same goes for power, in case you electrocute yourself!
  • If you are in any doubt at all, or you want the job done quickly and to a professional standard or even if you think that you don’t have the nerves of steel, perhaps the best thing to do is go professional!