Hoarders are emotionally attached to their collections and may compromise their own safety and relationships just to hold on to those items. But when the well-being of the house’s occupants is in danger, cleaning up a hoarded home is needed. Here are the hazards of the actions involved in the clean-up process:
- Fires may also occur when objects cover a heating vent or damaged wires. Additionally, clutter obstructs residents in case of a fire and first responders may be unable to browse a hoarded house to rescue residents.
- Injuries can occur due to falls or excursions on hoarded objects. Additionally, piles in a hoarded house can grow to be as high as ceilings and can collapse and cause injury. There is also the risk of being trapped under debris and materials.
- Mold — The combination of water damage and an organic substance is the perfect recipe for mold growth. Hoarders have difficulty throwing food away which can lead to mold infestation.
- Air quality — Clutter brings dust, odors, and ammonia from decaying waste solutions. These may result in serious air quality problems in the hoarder’s home. It may be tricky to breathe along respiratory difficulties may develop for pets and people.
- Structural integrity — Over time, hoarding can cause damage to the building itself because of the overwhelming burden of the surplus contents hoarders put in them.
- Building upkeep — Clutter can prevent technicians from performing essential maintenance on HVAC equipment and security systems, creating a security threat.
Hoarding Clean-up Procedures
Hoarding clean-up is not a simple undertaking, and it’s best accomplished by property restoration professionals who have the expertise and equipment to do the job efficiently and safely.
- Ensuring safety — Workers must wear protective gear, including disposable gloves and dust mites, to guard themselves against bacteria and diseases. They should also have a fire extinguisher, repellent sprays flashlight, and a first-aid kit available.
- Cleaning provides — Technicians also require tools and cleaning equipment to remove the garbage and clean the home.
- Organizing a staging area and skip –A free, open space, (staging area) such as the lawn is required to temporarily place the contents that are emptied of the home. A huge dumpster is also required to eliminate debris.
- Decluttering the house — When the staging area is prepared, workers tackle the home starting at the area with the closest exit to be able to escape immediately in the event of an emergency. The garbage and clutter from the room are removed from top to bottom.
- Sorting out the contents — Local regulations have to be assessed for handling items that can’t go right into the trash (like paints or explosives). Subsequently, the trash and debris are bagged and thrown in a dumpster. Salvageable things are sorted out into items to maintain and to donate.
- Fixing and cleaning the home — Once the entire house is clutter-free, repairs must be performed if necessary. These can include repainting, re-carpeting, or damage recovery (after a fire, water, mold, or biohazard harm). Then, all of the materials in the house such as the salvageable things are disinfected.
For professional hoarding clean-up, in addition to biohazard remediation solutions, call your regional PuroClean office or 800-775-7876. Learn more about PuroClean right here.