Hoarding is a serious problem, often due to Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). When someone finally has an intervention, admits the problem, and takes the steps to rectify it, the hoarding cleanup needs to be handled delicately; not only to help with the mental healing, but also the physical safety of the actual cleanup. Considering this, we at American Hometown Services would like to touch on the basics of hoard cleanup.
Hoarding Cleanup & Respiratory Problems
When cleaning up a home that is the central point of hoarding, the project has the potential to be dangerously harmful to your health. As professionals perform a hoard cleanup service, you can observe that they are wearing protective clothing and respiratory protection during the process in order to avoid exposure to any harmful contaminants that may or not be obviously in view of the workers. Follow the example if you decide to undergo the task yourself. Bacteria, hanta virus, histoplasmosis, staph viruses including MRSA, E. Coli are just a few examples of the common issues found within a hoard. No matter the sentimental attachment or if it is just another generic household item, anything that is deemed unsalvageable needs to be properly disposed of during the cleaning, sanitizing, and deodorizing process.
Hoarding Health Risks
According to experts, studies show that 40% of hoarders in documented cases include hoarding animals. Just like hoarding things, hoarders will collect multiple animals as well, and due to living conditions and the insufficient care, more than likely these animals will contract diseases. When people hoard, they don’t always need specifics, literally everything is up for grabs. During a cleanup, those working at ground zero can expect to uncover serious hazards; frequently found within a hoard include:
– Animal and Human Waste
– Animals (Domestic or Wildlife) Alive or Deceased
– Excessive Dust Volumes; Significantly impacting the indoor air quality.
– Rotting Food
– Sharp Implements such as Medical Needles
– Structural Damage
When it comes time for the hoard to be cleaned up, consider professional assistance. With so many hazardous factors, you put yourself at risk. Specialists not only have the expertise and training, for methodical and organized techniques, but they have and use the necessary equipment, gear, and apply their expertise handling the biohazard materials and ensure proper disposal.
I’m a Hoarder; How Do I Begin to Clean?
If you insist on performing the hoard cleanup yourself, below you will find some advice and tips to help you through this project.
1) Be Prepared and Protected. Throughout all phases of cleanup, it is imperative that you protect yourself with personal protective equipment. Avoiding exposure to such contamination by wearing a disposable mask to sufficiently avoid breathing in dangerous toxins, heavy exposure and puncture resistant gloves, and heavy long sleeve shirts, durable full length pants, and quality shoes or boots is strongly encouraged. If you have access, consider hard hats, biohazard suits, and purifying full face respiratory masks.
2) Divide the Contents of the Hoard. Divide everything into three categories. Valuables that you intend to keep, items that can be sold or donated, and the junk that are headed for the dump. As a general guideline, items that have not been used in a year or more should be donated or sold, items that are broken beyond repair or contaminated need to be properly discarded.
3) Solicit Help in Cleaning the Hoard. Hoarding is an extensive cleanup and not a one man job; you need many hands to effectively remove the mess.
Hoarder Cleanup & More in Quincy, Macomb, Hamilton, Warsaw & East Alton Illinois | Hannibal, Missouri
At American Hometown Services, our experts are not only trained to deal with cleanup of a hoard, but they show empathy towards the hoarder and remain professional throughout the process. If you need assistance cleaning up a hoard in Illinois, Iowa, or Missouri, contact American Hometown Services and let us assist you.