Hoarding can be a dangerous situation for the person living in the home, as well as for anyone who enters the home. When it comes time to clean up a hoarding situation, this typically becomes a biohazard and hoarding cleanup situation, and you need professionals to come in to safely help with the process.
In this guide, we discuss some of the hazards of hoarding and hoarding cleanup. We will go over the importance of hiring a crew that has the appropriate training and equipment to handle the task. Check it out below.
Hazards of Hoarding
In a hoarding situation, there are a lot of potential hazards to consider. It’s not just the hazards of what could be hiding in all of the items, but also the hazards to mental and physical health. Here’s the thing: Hoarding is a mental disorder, and for whatever reason, the individual feels they need all of that stuff.
But with piles of things like this, there are many big risks. It endangers the life of the person residing there, but it also puts the structure at risk. Let’s go over some of the hazards of hoarding:
- Injury to the person if something falls or collapses. They could even get trapped in debris.
- Fire hazard as one small spark or issue could cause flames to travel faster. There could also be a higher likelihood of fire because of the placement of hoarded items.
- Pests and rodents can infiltrate the hoard and take up residence. They can also carry disease and infections that can put anyone inside at risk.
- Mold can grow in the depths of the hoards and someone might never notice. But it certainly affects the air quality.
- Overall air quality is also affected by collection of dust, decay, unknown products, trash, and whatever else might be in the hoard piles. In addition, there may be ammonia from pests or pets leaving waste behind.
- Structural safety is compromised because the hoarded materials can wear down the building and create excessive weight issues that the structure isn’t designed to handle.
Hazards of Hoarding Cleanup
Many of the hazards of cleanup are similar to the hazards of hoarding. The thing is, you really don’t know exactly what lies in the depths of those piles, which can put everyone at risk. When it comes to cleaning up, you have hazards such as air quality, injury potential, and more to combat.
Anyone who is helping to clean up from hoarding issues should have appropriate equipment to protect themselves from chemicals, debris, human and pet waste, and any other unknowns within. This is why hoarding cleanup is typically a biohazard.
The risks and hazards of hoarding cleanup include hard labor for the cleanup process, as well as exposure to whatever might be in the hoarding mess.
While we’re talking about the cleanup, let’s consider how it may also impact the owner of the hoarding home or structure. We mentioned earlier that this is mainly a psychological issue. The person who hoards often feels a connection to the items, even when it may just be trash or waste to others.
This means that when you work to clean up hoarding, it’s going to impact the owner in many ways. They will likely be upset and frustrated, and may not understand why things have to be thrown away or disposed of.
How to Approach the Hoarding Cleanup Process
When it’s time to clean up hoarding, the best thing to do is hire a discreet, professional team. Ensure you choose a team that is going to be kind and respectful if the owner is present during the process. It can be challenging to earn the trust of the individual, but it is absolutely necessary to do so if they are present and living.
These are important elements of the cleanup process:
- Have professionals assess the situation and come up with the best plan for disposal, sanitation, and cleaning.
- Work discreetly and empathetically with an affected individual.
- Consider safety, including gloves, protective gear, face masks, and whatever else may be needed. Safety should also consider fire extinguishers, pest repellent, flashlights, first aid, and more.
- Begin the sorting, disposal, and cleaning processes.
- Work to restore the space and organize it as well. If there is an individual living there, continue to work with them as needed.
Leave Biohazard and Hoarding Cleanup to the Professionals
Because of the hazards and potential items that are within hoards, they should always be treated as a biohazard situation. Be sure to use a professional for this. They have experience with hoarding situations and appropriate biohazard training and equipment to handle the task.
ONEighty Solutions provides comprehensive biohazard cleanup for a variety of situations. Contact us today to discuss your needs.