Clients who call on us for professional hoarding cleanup services come from all walks of life and have a wide range of needs. Some hoards accumulate only in the last few years of a person’s life as his or her physical abilities decline, while other more serious hoards may be the result of a lifelong struggle with anxiety disorders or depression. Regardless of the extent of the problem, any size or type of hoard may harbor unseen health threats beneath the clutter or trash.
Beyond the hoard: Health and safety concerns
In addition to negative effects on relationships with family, friends, and neighbors, the consequences of hoarding may also include serious health and safety concerns. The American Psychiatry Association notes that these concerns include “fire hazards, tripping hazards and health code violations.” Examples include blocked exits, an accumulation of flammable items, and an inability for emergency rescue personnel to reach a person in the home.
Direct health threats may be present due to:
- A lack of proper sanitation, which can be dangerous for people who have compromised immune systems.
- High levels of ammonia from the accumulation of feces or urine, which can harm those with respiratory or cardiac problems.
- Extensive mold growth, which can cause respiratory problems for even the healthiest people.
- The presence of dangerous biohazards, such as MRSA, staph, and E.coli, which pose a very serious threat to the health of anyone who lives in or visits the home.
Other less obvious health-related issues are often a factor, such as an inability to prepare nutritious food because the kitchen is too cluttered to use or consuming hoarded food that has spoiled. The homes of hoarders are often infested with rodents and insects that contaminate stored food and food preparation surfaces, and that can transmit disease. Personal hygiene may be compromised if bathrooms are cluttered or in a state of disrepair. A hoarder’s living conditions may also affect residents of neighboring homes or apartments, putting them at risk of insect or rodent infestations and even fires.
A severe hoard that has accumulated over a long period of time poses an additional threat to safety when the structure of the home has been damaged. There may be one or more causes, including:
- Rodents chewing through electrical wiring and woodwork.
- Mold from spoiled food or plumbing leaks spreading to floors and walls.
- Clogs in plumbing that result in backups that damage floors, walls, and wood framing.
- Failing structural elements unable to support the weight of the hoard.
Call hoarder cleanup professionals.
With so many urgent health and safety issues associated with hoarding, friends and family who have discovered the hoard may want to rush in and attempt to clean it up themselves. While clearing away a moderate accumulation of relatively clean items may be safely done without professionals, all other situations should be handled by specially trained hoarding cleanup technicians. You can read more here about why you should never attempt to clean up a scene where biohazards may be present.
The residential cleanup team at Advanced Bio Treatment has the knowledge, experience, equipment, methods, and products needed to restore a home to a safe condition. We will arrive at the scene prepared to fully assess your needs, develop a plan to meet them, and begin our work as soon as possible. Depending upon your particular needs, our services may include removing items from the home; deodorizing (which is not the same as simply masking odors); cleaning and disinfecting surfaces; carefully disposing of any biohazardous materials; carpet removal or cleaning; and much more. We adhere to OSHA regulations and API Worksafe guidelines, and use only EPA-registered, hospital-grade cleansers and disinfectants to ensure the home is once again safe for occupants.
If you or your family must deal with a hoarding situation, our professional and discreet hoarding cleanup technicians are ready to relieve you of this burden. We can also assist you with other types of cleanup that may be associated with the hoarding site, such as blood cleanup and unattended death cleanup. If you have questions or need our help, a live operator is available right now to take your call at 800-295-1684.