Frequently stemming from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), hoarding can become a serious problem. Whether intervention or admitting to a problem leads to rectifying the situation, when it comes to cleanup, it needs to be conducted cautiously and delicately. The cleansing is a part of the mental healing, and the cleanup itself can easily involve hazards that need be treated with safety. With this in mind, we at Baker Sandoval Cleaning would like to take the opportunity to discuss the basics in hoard cleanup.
Protective Clothing During Hoarding Clean Up
The project has the potential to be dangerously harmful to your health involving a home that is a central point of hoarding. It is important that you dress and protect yourself during a hoard cleanup if you opt to do it yourself. Professionals performing a hoard cleanup service will wear protective clothing, gloves, and respiratory protection gear during a cleanup.
Hoarding Health Risks; Respiratory Problems, Diseases & More
A few examples of the common issues found within a hoard are staph viruses including MRSA, E. Coli, bacteria, hanta virus, and histoplasmosis. Anything that is deemed unsalvageable, no matter if it is sentimental attachment or if it is just another generic household item, needs to be properly disposed of during the cleaning, sanitizing, and deodorizing process.
Consequences of Hoarding
Studies show that 40% of hoarders in documented cases have included animals in their hoard. Hoarders will collect multiple animals as well as the other items they hoard. Due to living conditions and the insufficient care, the likelihood of these animals contracting disease is fairly high. Literally everything is up for grabs when people hoard and there are not any specifics. For those cleaning up hoards, there are several uncovered hazards that are quite serious; some examples are included below.
– Structural Damage
– Sharp Implements, Medical Needles
– Rotting Food
– Excessive Dust Volumes –Significantly impacting the indoor air quality.
– Animals (Domestic or Wildlife) Alive or Deceased
– Animal and Human Waste
Hoarder Cleaning Checklist
Consider professional assistance when it comes time for the hoard to be cleaned up. You put yourself at a high risk with the assortment of hazardous factors when dealing with a hoard. For methodically and organized techniques, specialists not only have the expertise and training, but they have the necessary equipment, gear, and expertise. Below you will find some tips when cleaning up a hoarder’s home if you take on the task.
1) Prepare and Protect Yourself. It is essential that you protect yourself with personal protective equipment throughout all phases of cleanup. Invest in a disposable mask to sufficiently avoid breathing in dangerous toxins, heavy long sleeve shirts, durable full length pants, and quality shoes or boots to offer a barrier for your skin, and heavy puncture resistant gloves to avoid exposure to contamination. Consider hard hats, biohazard suits, and purifying full face respiratory masks if you have access and the means.
2) Hoard needs be Divided into Three Categories. The hoard has 3 distinct categories; the valuables you intend to keep, the items that can be sold or donated, and the third is trash and unsalvageable possessions. Things that are broken beyond prepare or contaminated need to be properly discarded and anything that hasn’t been used in over 12 months should be donated or sold.
3) Don’t Clean Up Alone. Hoard cleanups are an extensive job and nearly impossible to do it alone. If you have friends and family, the cleanup will be more efficient. For more effective hoard cleanup, consider a professional.