Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) often triggers the need to hoard in many people and it has been known to be a serious problem. Those that hoard will frequently need intervention and few will admit their problems and seek help, where unfortunately others may pass away before help can be given, leaving the beneficiary with a project. No matter what leads up to the rectification, cleaning the hoard is inevitable, but it needs to be handled cautiously, safely, and delicately; especially if the hoarder is involved. The cleanup is part of the mental cleaning for many hoarders looking for help, but the cleanup can easily involve safety hazards and needs to be treated with safety measures. Considering this, we at Nadia’s House Cleaning would like to share the basics concerning a hoard cleanup.
What to Wear During a Hoarder Cleaning
A home that is a central point of hoarding can be filled with potential dangers that are harmful to your health. If you intend on doing the cleanup yourself, or wish to be involved in the process of a professional service, it is crucial you protect yourself and dress accordingly. When professionals are solicited for the service, they wear protective clothing, gloves, and respiratory protection gear during a cleanup.
Hoarding Health Risks
Within a hoard several examples of the common issues found include staph viruses such as histoplasmosis, E. Coli, hanta virus, MRSA, and other bacteria. No matter if it is sentimental attachment or if it is just another generic household item, anything deemed unsalvageable requires proper disposal during the cleaning, sanitizing, and deodorizing process.
Animal Hoarding Cases
In documented hoarding cases, Studies show that 40% of hoarders include animals in their trove. Not only will they collect animals, but they will hoard multiple animals and due to the living conditions and the insufficient care, these animals are highly likely to contract disease. Most hoarders do not have any specifics when hoarding and literally everything and anything is up for grabs. There are several uncovered hazards that are quite serious that those cleaning a hoard can be potentially exposed to, some examples include the following:
– Animals (Domestic or Wildlife) Alive or Deceased
– Animal and Human Waste
– Dust in Excess (significantly impacting the indoor air quality.)
– Mildew and Mold
– Rotting and Fermenting Food
– Sharp Implements, Medical Needles
– Structural Damage
Hoarder Cleaning Tips & Checklist
Considering the safety risk, it is recommended that a hoard cleanup be handled by trained professionals. Where a professional is trained to deal with hazardous materials and waste, they are readily equipped to deal with the hazards, whereas doing it on your own puts you highly at risk to exposure. If you insist on tackling the dangerous hoard cleanup without professional assistance, consider the following tips:
1) Divide the hoard into three Categories. 1) the valuables you intend to keep, 2) salvageable items that can be sold or donated, and 3) trash and unsalvageable possessions. Anything that has been contaminated or is broken beyond repair should either be properly discarded or recycles and usable items that need to be removed from the hoard should be either sold or donated.
2) Solicit help. Nearly impossible to do it alone, hoard cleanups are an extensive job and the more efficient and safe approach is to have family members or friends help. Keep in mind that a professional performing hoard cleanup service is far more effective and safe.
3) Protect and prepare yourself. While cleaning the hoard, it is important to be as safe as possible. To sufficiently avoid breathing in dangerous toxins, invest in a disposable mask and to avoid exposure to contamination, be sure to wear heavy puncture resistant gloves. Additionally, be sure to provide a barrier for your skin by wearing heavy long sleeve shirts, durable full length pants, and quality shoes or boots. If the hoard is exceptionally horrendous and you have access and the finances, consider hard hats, biohazard suits, and purifying full face respiratory masks.
House Cleaning Services & More in Boston, Brookline, Lexington, Cambridge, Somerville | Suffolk, Middlesex & Norfolk County Massachusetts
Sifting through the hoard entails many facets, some require specific regulations when handling the various waste. Where this not only a health hazard for those without training, many do not know the rules concerning discarding hazardous or contaminated materials. Investing in a professional, such as Nadia’s House Cleaning, can keep yourself safe and allow the professionals to handle the details if disposal, disinfecting, and sanitizing the home. Call us today to take care of the hoard cleanup.