Decades ago, it was more common to clean walls and ceilings than it is today. Consumers usually hired professional painters because the oil-based paints used then were so messy and toxic to apply. Those paints also lasted far longer than today's water-based paints, so it made more sense to scrub surfaces than repaint.
Today, cleaning walls and ceilings can still be more cost-effective and efficient than repainting so often. Fatty and amino acid residues from cooking, smoking and body oils act like magnets to collect microscopic airborne particles of soil, dust, bacteria, fungi and dead microorganisms. In time, these build up layer after layer of sticky film on our walls and ceilings, further accelerating the soiling process.
There are even some health benefits that come with cleaning ceilings and walls. Microorganisms growing in ceiling and wall surfaces can cause odors and sometimes illness. Mold and mildew spores should be removed, not just masked; cleaning can sanitize the surface and remove the source of odors, where simply repainting may only cover them up. Dirty ceilings can also reduce the amount of light transmitted by as much as 10 percent.
Wall and Ceiling Cleaning Basics
Ceiling and wall cleaning are relatively straightforward tasks, but, much like painting, they can get to be a bit strenuous after a while. Though this doesn't really come into play if you're just spot-cleaning stains, if you have a lot of surface area to clean, be prepared for a workout.
Many of the cleansers you already have in your home can be used for wall and ceiling cleaning. Try and match the type of cleanser you use to the type of stain that is present whenever possible. It is a good idea, however, to test out whatever you are using on a small area that is out of the way before you jump head first into the middle of the wall to make sure that there are no adverse results.
Professional Ceiling and Wall Cleaning
After a fire, wall and ceiling cleaning are often a necessity. This is a big job, and not one that many homeowners would be happy doing themselves. Post-fire ceiling and wall cleaning are, therefore, often left to the professionals. Professional wall and ceiling cleaning services that specialize in this type of work will also be able to thoroughly clean your carpets, upholstery and curtains to make them as good as new. If fire damage is too severe, your wall and ceiling cleaners will make sure they are clean enough to be repainted.
Paint will not stick to greasy residues. If your walls and/or ceiling are covered with film due to fire or age, they may need to be scrubbed down before repainting. This may be covered, in some cases, in the price of hiring professional painters as prep-work, but you might be able to save some money on labor by doing the job yourself.