6 Cleaning Tasks Better Left to the Professionals

Even for seasoned DIYers, these home maintenance jobs should be outsourced to the experts.

Your home might be the cleanest on the block, but that doesn't mean there isn't some dirt, grime, or buildup lurking beneath the surface. While some of us enjoy getting our hands dirty and have never met a cleaning task we weren't up for, there are some jobs that are better left to the pros. Whether it's a project that involves tall ladders, scaling the roof, or inspecting ductwork for potentially hazardous materials, sometimes it's not only necessary but in your best interest to call in a professional.

Even more routine to-dos, like deep cleaning your home, can occasionally benefit from the expertise of a company that specializes in the process, says Vera Peterson, president of Molly Maid. "Having your home professionally cleaned once or twice a year is still extremely beneficial for a more thorough clean," she says. "Annual or seasonal cleanings are essential to a home because they will get deep into the nooks and crannies of your home that you may not be able to complete without professional help."

person cleaning window with blue sky in background
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Beyond the basics listed here, there are a host of other jobs that you might soon find yourself hiring out instead. Peterson says when in doubt, go with your gut. "If you are questioning if you can complete the cleaning task on your own or not, then that's probably a sign that you shouldn't risk it and call for professional help to take care of the job," she says. "It will leave you stress-free and reassured in the long run."

1. Air Ducts

If you've ever walked into someone's home and encountered a musty smell, it might have been their air ducts in need of a clean—stat. "If air ducts aren't properly cleaned, it can lead to health problems from breathing in dirty air," says Peterson. "Unless you are someone who has had training with cleaning air ducts, we recommend you to leave it up to the experts." According to the EPA, air duct cleaning is recommended on an as-needed basis.

2. Carpets

Cleaning your carpets might be a daily occurrence—especially if you have a lively household or one that includes a furry friend or two. But without professional cleaning, a carpet can start to trap odors or allergens, causing your house to smell less than fresh. "Vacuums are some of our best friends, but they only suck up the surface dirt, leaving the rest of the mess under the carpet," says Peterson. "Call in professionals for a deep clean with their heavy-duty equipment." Not only can professional carpet cleaning help eliminate odors and allergens, but it also reduces discoloration, treats stains, and can potentially extend the life of your carpets.

3. Chimneys

"Even though your chimney should only be cleaned once a year prior to the cold weather ahead, it's still an important part of the home to clean," says Peterson. "However, this is something that should not be cleaned on your own. Seeking professional cleaning is crucial." The process likely involves climbing onto the roof and removing the chimney cap, not to mention inspecting the interior of the chimney with an expert eye. If a chimney isn't properly cleaned at the start of every season, it could lead to smoke buildup, hazardous fumes, or even potentially combustible buildup if left untreated for too long.

4. Dryer Vents

Many of us tackle regularly cleaning our dryers on our own, but hiring a professional is recommended for deeper cleans. "While there are many ways to clean your dryer vent at home, having your dryer vent cleaned by a professional is the best way to ensure your dryer's safe and efficient operation," says Scott Thomas, director of systems at Dryer Vent Wizard.

Cleaning the lint trap with each cycle comes as second nature to many, but Thomas says most homeowners forget one crucial step: cleaning past the screen. "Professional dryer vent cleaning removes lint, debris and clogs to ensure proper airflow," he says. According to Thomas, many manufacturers recommend twice-yearly cleaning of dryer vents in order to reduce chance of fire and other home and health hazards. To keep your dryer in tip-top shape between cleans, he recommends switching your dryer sheets to dryer balls (if you haven't already) as it can reduce both energy cost and dry time.

5. Mold

Most of the cleaning tasks listed here are recommended for professionals because they can become dangerous if not handled correctly and with the proper equipment or expertise. Mold certainly falls within this category. Whether you spot it on your walls, ceilings, floors, or basement, know that it's time to call in the pros. "Please do not try to remove mold from your home without professional help; it could be dangerous to your health, especially if it's a larger area of mold," says Peterson. Beyond removing the mold, a professional will also be able to assess the area to make sure the mold doesn't become a recurring issue, she says.

6. Windows

No, not all windows need to be professionally cleaned. Exterior and interior lower windows, mirrors, and sliding glass doors are all jobs that you can likely take on yourself. However, if your home is multiple stories, it's best to call in help. "Hire a professional window cleaning company when you need the job done quickly and safely, especially if you have high, hard-to-reach windows," says Ken Fisk, director of technical services for Window Genie. Fisk recommends getting windows professionally cleaned twice a year, but exterior windows should be cleaned four times a year due to their exposure to the elements.

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