Home inspection findings by Frank Schulte-Ladbeck, Professional Real Estate Inspector TREC# 9073

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My Daughter’s Artwork: Cleaning Our Walls

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My newly turned two year old daughter has discovered that she loves to draw. Her work may resemble something that Cy Twombley executed, but she says her themes are princesses and butterflies. (To any Cy Twombley fans out there, I only mention his name, because my daughter went wild for his paintings. Every time she sees them, she yells “mine, mine”). Katya has decided that drawing is so fun, that decorating the walls is a great way to express herself.

This leaves me with the clean-up though. I have managed to curtail the pieces she leaves for us on the walls by buying a large pad of newsprint paper. I was thinking of limiting her choice of mediums down to crayons, but she continues to find the markers. At family oriented event, various products were hawked to parents, and I came across something that I thought would resolve my dilemma. It was advertised as a marker which allowed mess free creativity. I thought great; what a perfect product. Upon reading the fine print, I discovered that although clean up was to be easy, it was not going to make it any easier to clean my walls. In fact, a trip to a craft store showed me that most products that suggest that they can easily be cleaned from different surfaces, have few surfaces where they can easily be cleaned.

Fortunately, I painted my walls with a semi-gloss paint. I have found that this works best for taking care of marks. Gloss does not look right on walls, so I use it for trim. Semi-gloss cleans better than flat; this is due to its formulation. The product that has become my favorite for cleaning walls is Clorox wipes or a similar wipe. I really do not like buying many cleaning products, when I can do something simple like a little bleach and water. However, I found that chasing after my little girl can be taxing, so any product which makes life easier is fine by me. These wipes take care of most marks. For something a little more difficult, I use a product like Soft Scrub with a cloth. A dry abrasive powder mixed with a little water damages the surface. The harshest material that I seek out for my wall is a soft bristle toothbrush. Some brushes may be alright, but I have seen some walls damaged when brushed hard.

Wallpapers present their own problems. Too much moisture could cause the adhesive to loosen. Currently, I do not have wallpaper in my home, so I am avoiding it. When I did, I tried to clean marks as soon as I found them. I went for the soft cloth first, then the toothbrush if needed. Rub in a circular fashion for the cleaning, since up and down along the line might not work.

Alright, I have to get back to removing my daughter’s art. If you buy any of these easy to clean products, read the fine print.

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© Frank Schulte-Ladbeck Professional Home Inspector Houston, Texas
Frank Theodor Schulte-Ladbeck
home inspector, TREC# 9073
Houston , Texas , 77063 United States

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