I’ve done this job for many years and have become accustomed to walking into cluttered homes.

As a professional crime scene cleanup field technician, I know that traumatic events are unpredictable and I don’t expect clients to straighten messy closets, do the dishes or make their bed before we arrive to bring order in the aftermath of the chaotic incident that they have been exposed to.

But sometimes, the homes we see go far beyond clutter or needing some light housework. Over my career I have entered the homes of about a dozen people who could be diagnosed as hoarders — and countless others who came close.

The experiences are always different between the cases, but one thing is guaranteed… you don’t soon forget the sensory overload of being in such an unbelievably devastated property, or dealing with the family members who may have been victimized by their loved one’s illness for many years before we are called.

There’s obviously the assault on your eyes at the sheer quantity of clutter, then there’s the appreciation of what a mishmash the clutter is. A hoarder can find and collect the most fascinating objects, and not even know what they have, like a client I had one who didn’t remember purchasing a Porsche, which was hidden under a ton of other belongings. Yes, really… talk about a great surprise.

Sometimes, though, there’s more than your average share of odor, dust, mold, or other types of structural damage. Often, this mental illness can exhibit much less appealing characteristics than just having a shopping addiction.

When a person who has been a victim of starvation or extreme poverty also suffers from compulsive hoarding, it can lead to refusing to get rid of any piece of trash or perishable food item for fear of needing it later.

Other times, an individual might have a problem with hoarding animals and despite good intentions, one thing leads to another until the home, and the animals, are in deplorable condition. Feces, urine, fur and what not, cover every inch of these properties actually soaking into the walls, flooring and foundation.

Professional bio-remediation specialists like those at ABT must then go in, remove all the gunk and then rip out/sanitize/reconstruct the damaged structure so that it is fit for habitation again.

Georgia aftermath cleanup services from Advanced Bio TreatmentThe worst hoards, I’m my option, involve properties where the occupant has been physically ill and not just mentally disturbed. Especially the cases where you throw in an unattended death on top of a massive, ‘filth’ hoard… or a hoard of mostly trash and biohazardous refuse with very little of value able to be saved.

Recently in our Atlanta/Chattanooga/Birmingham office we took a case that was related to cleaning up the aftermath of a seriously ill man, both mind as well as body, who had succumbed to a untreated, undiagnosed ailment that most people joke (about but rarely see)… Syphilis… in his Decatur, Georgia apartment.

When we got to the residence, the super of the building refused to take us inside the condo and insisted that we were on our own. I guess he was afraid that he might catch something and become sick.

After I saw what we were dealing with, I didn’t blame him. In terms of actual ‘clutter’, that wasn’t the real issue. The victim had suffered from OCD in an unusual way.

He refused to get rid of any of his fallen hair, scabs, toe nail clippings, used tissues, and even his soiled toilet paper. In fact, beside his toilet which was overflowing with feces(like an Everest of shit) was a laundry basket used to collect and save hundreds of carefully folded, poopy tissues.

Inside the bedroom, among the boxes and clothing, I found a shoe box which I regretfully opened to find a small photo album within. Curiosity always gets the better of me, and when I pulled back the cover, I almost lost my lunch. The deceased had kept an album filled with scabs and other gross items.

Apparently he believed that he would waste away, bit by bit, if he didn’t keep everything that came from his body.

Which brings me to my next discovery.

When I got to the fridge, I found what I can only describe as a masturbation kit for the man who can not get rid of his… waste. I won’t get too wordy… I will just say that I didn’t look at milk jugs the same way for months.

Aside from the fact that the deceased victim had been dead for a week before he was found, the air conditioner had been cranked down very low, which slowed the rate of decomp enough that the smell was pungent, but it didn’t phase me like the rest of the job.

Soon, though we were able to completely restore the property’s integrity and safety for future inhabitants no problem. Because the victim died from complications of Syphilis, we had to be very thorough with our decontamination process to ensure that no cross contamination might occur.

All in all, three days later, the condo looked brand new and there was no evidence of the nastiness that had been before. Still, every time I think of that basket of shitty white squares, or the shoe box, or the fridge, it still makes me want to gag. Hey, everyone has their trigger, but why’d it have to be snakes? Why not a Porsche?

You don’t want to try and attempt to clean up a crime scene or accident scene. Blood and other bodily fluids can contain dangerous pathogens which pose a significant risk to human health. Our scene cleanup technicians will decontaminate and remove any blood, tissue or bodily fluids a crime and trauma scene has left behind. Advanced Bio Treatment is a professional scene cleaning company.

Regardless of whether the scene is at your home and personal property, a commercial business, or industrial site, we’ll strictly adhere to OSHA regulations and API Worksafe guidelines in our cleanup efforts. We only deploy EPA registered hospital grade cleansers and disinfectants.

If you need trauma or accidental death cleanup guidance, have questions about your payment options or current insurance policy covers don’t hesitate to give Advanced Bio Treatment a call at: 800-295-1684.

Posted in Hoarding Cleanup
Ted Pelot Owner & President of Crime Scene Cleanup Company - Advanced Bio-Treatment