Hoarders are emotionally attached to their collections and may compromise their own security and relationships just to hold on to those products. But when the well-being of the house’s occupants is in danger, cleaning up a hoarded home is needed. Here are the dangers of hoarding and the actions involved in the clean-up process:
- Fires may also happen when things cover a heating vent or damaged wires. Moreover, clutter obstructs residents in case of a fire and first responders might not be able to navigate a hoarded house to rescue inhabitants.
- Injuries can happen due to falls or excursions on hoarded objects. Additionally, piles in a hoarded house can become as high as ceilings and may collapse and cause harm. There is also the danger of being trapped beneath debris and materials.
- Safety — The combination of water damage and organic material is the best recipe for mold growth. Hoarders also have difficulty throwing away food which may lead to mold infestation. Mold can cause respiratory and other health issues, especially for anyone who has allergies.
- Air quality — Clutter brings scents and ammonia from decaying waste solutions. These can cause severe air quality problems in the hoarder’s house. It may be tricky to breathe along respiratory problems may develop for pets and people.
- Structural integrity — Over the years, hoarding can lead to damage to the building itself due to the overwhelming burden of the excessive contents hoarders put in them.
- Building upkeep — Clutter can prevent technicians from performing necessary maintenance on HVAC equipment and security systems, creating a safety hazard.
Hoarding clean-up isn’t an easy task, and it is best done by emergency restoration professionals who have the experience and equipment to perform the work safely and economically.
- Ensuring safety — Workers must wear protective gear, including disposable gloves and dust masks, to safeguard themselves against bacteria and diseases.
- Cleaning provides — Technicians also need tools and cleaning equipment to remove the trash and clean the home. Equipment includes heavy-duty garbage bags, empty boxes, buckets, universal cleaning agents and disinfectants, etc.
- Preparing a staging area and dumpster –A free, open space, (staging area) such as the lawn is required to temporarily put the contents that are emptied from the home. A huge dumpster can be required to eliminate the debris.
- Decluttering the home — Once the staging area is prepared, workers tackle the home starting in the area with the nearest exit to be able to escape immediately in case of emergency. The garbage and clutter out of the room are eliminated from top to bottom.
- Sorting out the contents — Local regulations must be assessed for handling items that can not go right into the garbage (such as paints or explosives). Subsequently, the trash and debris are bagged and thrown in a dumpster. Salvageable items are sorted out into items to keep and to contribute.
- Fixing and cleaning the house — Once the entire house is clutter-free, repairs must be done if necessary. These may include repainting, re-carpeting, or damage restoration (after fire, mold, water, or biohazard harm). Then, all the materials in the home such as the salvageable things are disinfected.
For specialist hoarding clean-up, in addition to biohazard cleanup and remediation solutions, call your regional PuroClean office or 800-775-7876.