The Dangers of Hoarding and How to Clean Up
Hoarders are emotionally attached to their collections and can compromise their own safety and relationships merely to hold on to these items. But when the well-being of the home’s occupants is at risk, cleaning up a hoarded home is needed. Here are the dangers of hoarding and the steps involved in the cleanup process:
- is the main danger at a hoarded house because much of the clutter is composed of flammable materials. Fires can also happen when objects cover a heat vent or damaged wires. Moreover, clutter obstructs residents in the event of a fire and first responders might be unable 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 grow to be as high as ceilings and may collapse and cause harm. There’s also the danger of getting trapped beneath debris and contents.
- Diseases — Pests like rats and cockroaches can infest a hoarded home increasing the possibility of infecting people with ailments.
- Safety — 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. Mold can cause respiratory and other health problems, particularly for anyone with allergies. These may result in severe air quality problems in the hoarder’s house. It may be tricky to breathe and respiratory difficulties may develop for people and pets.
- Structural integrity — Over time, hoarding can lead to damage to the building itself due to the overwhelming weight of the surplus contents hoarders put in them.
- Construction 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 task, and it is best accomplished by disaster restoration Spokane professionals with the experience and equipment to do the job safely and economically.
- Ensuring safety — Employees should wear protective gear, including disposable gloves and dust masks, to safeguard themselves from bacteria and diseases. They should also have a fire extinguisher, repellent spray, a flashlight, and a first-aid kit on hand.
- Cleaning supplies — Technicians also need tools and cleaning equipment to remove the garbage and wash the home. The equipment consists of heavy-duty trash bags, empty boxes, scissors, universal cleaning agents and disinfectants, etc.
- Organizing a staging area and dumpster –A free, open area, (staging area) like the yard is required to temporarily put the contents that are emptied from the house. A large dumpster can be needed to eliminate the debris.
- Decluttering the home — When the staging place is prepared, workers tackle the house starting in the room with the closest exit to be able to escape immediately in case of emergency. The garbage and clutter from the area are removed from top to bottom.
- Sorting out the contents — Local regulations must be assessed for handling items that can not go directly into the garbage (such as paints or explosives). Subsequently, the trash and debris are bagged and thrown in a dumpster. Salvageable things are sorted out into items to keep and to donate.
- Fixing and cleaning the house — When the entire home 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 damage). Then, all of the materials in the house including the salvageable things are disinfected.
For specialist hoarding clean-up, as well as biohazard remediation services, call your regional PuroClean office or 800-775-7876.