-Hoarding is a difficult situation for all concerned. Along with the emotional stress there is often an added layer of stress caused by the health department, fire department, even law enforcement being involved. The team from SERVPRO of Morro Bay / King City serving Cayucos for water damage and other property damage situations, has prepared a report of the top reasons that the professional clean up services provided by SERVPRO can help make cleaning up a hoarding situation much less stressful.
Once a hoarding situation comes to light and the person who has been suffering from hoarding is safe, the family’s first thought is to grab some masks, gloves and trash bags and start cleaning. Initially, this might seem like a good idea to save some money, but in the long run, it could actually wind up costing more than expected.
No one really know what is hidden in, behind and underneath the stacks of boxes, books, clothing, magazines, dirty dishes and often spoiled food. The of hazards are not limited to a stack of boxes falling and injuring someone. The potential hazards are far beyond what can be safely handled with drugstore rubber gloves, masks, and rain boots.
Special respiratory gear along with other appropriate bio-hazard protective wear is critical and the professional cleaning team from the Cayucos water damage company have all of the necessary equipment. When cleaning up a hoarding situation, workers are exposed to:
- The piles of trash and garbage that have attracted rodents, wild animals, insects and more. All of these have the potential of carrying bacteria, allergens and even viral infections.
- Animal droppings and urine that not only stinks, but depending on the animal some droppings can carry pathogens. Ammonia exposure can also cause upper respiratory problems and prolonged exposure can cause a range of symptoms and health conditions.
- Air contaminated by mold spores and stenches arising from a variety of decaying material, including food.
- Blood, vomit, and needles, and other bodily fluids can be disease-ridden and expose the unprepared handler to a variety of infectious diseases. Additionally, untended bodily fluids attract bacteria and can create other health threats.
- Flammable, caustic, and potential explosive substances. These materials are not always in the original containers and labels can be missing.
- Pharmaceuticals, prescription or illegal, can cause health dangers. Some medications become more toxic over time and when past their expiration date, exposure to them is a health hazard.
Along with the potential for injury and exposure to hazardous conditions, other considerations include:
- The logistics required to remove all of the trash, some that may require special handling
- Identifying and remediating damage caused by water leaks and mold
- Cleaning the house and any other buildings such as a garage or sheds
- Completely removing odors
- Making necessary repairs to return the home to livable condition
- Passing any health or fire department inspections that may be required before the home can be lived in again
- Submitting and monitoring any insurance claim
These are all tasks for which SERVPRO technicians are trained and equipped. Not only is the team equipped with the appropriate personal protective wear, they arrive equipped with all of the equipment and supplies needed to thoroughly dry out water damage, remove mold, remove odors and clean areas such as air ducts, that are often overlooked. In addition, the team is experienced and certified in a range of cleaning situations such as:
- Sewage and biohazard cleanup
- Odor removal
- Trauma and crime scene cleanup
- Vandalism and graffiti
In addition, the Cayucos water damage specialists can help you file and monitor any insurance claim. As a national company, SERVPRO works with most insurance companies to streamline the claims process, removing one level of stress from the insured. The team from SERVPRO of Morro Bay / King City works quickly and efficiently to make the property clean and safe as soon as possible.
Co-owner Heather Skelton encourages anyone who suspects a friend or family member might be hoarding and living in unsafe conditions to contact the appropriate medical or mental health professionals as soon as possible. When the home’s occupants are safe and the public safety officials have stated that the home is ready for debris removal and cleaning, call SERVPRO to get the home cleaned and restored.