Residential Hoarding Cleanup Services
Hoarding is a reality in every community across the country, and can affect many different types of people. The living situation affects not only the hoarder, but also his or her family members and friends.
At some point, a decision is made to get help – counseling and support services as well as residential hoarding cleanup services.
As our population ages, hoarding is becoming an issue to be addressed compassionately and empathetically.
While it can affect any age, many older people find that they cannot keep up with cleaning. They also tend to save things as they age, which adds to the overall clutter inside a home.
Dangers of Hoarding
Compulsive hoarders are protective of their belongings and the space they live in. They feel safe in their environment, even though there are serious dangers associated with hoarding.
A home with a lot of clutter is a fire hazard, especially when there are piles of newspapers, books, and other flammable items throughout the house. Narrow paths through these piles also pose a safety hazard, as it becomes more difficult to navigate through the home.
There are also health risks for the individual, especially when pets are involved, or if the situation has attracted rodents or insects.
Types of Hoarding
Hoarding typically follows a theme, or trends of similar items that are kept as possessions. Trash hoarding is one extreme situation where a person doesn’t really keep anything of value. There are some people who hoard many types of collections, books, literature, clothing of all sizes, and other groups of similar items.
Food hoarders often stockpile large quantities of food, both perishable and non-perishable, but often ignore the suggestion of food expiration dates. And animal hoarders are those individuals who own more animals than they can properly care for.
Emotional Impact of Hoarding
In many situations, the hoarder has an emotional connection to the collections and items throughout the house, and display fear, anxiety, and stress when confronted about their problems. However, other family members typically experience their own set of emotions, such as anger and embarrassment.
Often, the hoarder has withdrawn from other relationships and stayed isolated in their home. They might feel threatened that family or friends want to help, or that a specialized cleaning service is needed.
Professional Hoarding Cleanup Process
Family members often turn to a professional cleaning service that is trained to assist in hoarding situations. While the lifestyle of hoarding poses health and safety issues, the cleanup of the environment also poses risks. Piles throughout the house could have hidden dangers, such as broken glass and syringes; or the presence of mold would require additional safety precautions during cleanup.
A trained team will treat the individual with respect and confidentiality. They will also know the right methods to handle, sort, dispose, or clean items.
Beginning with a walk-through assessment, items are noted that might be restored, professionally cleaned, or should be discarded. Often, soft items like mattresses or upholstered furniture, curtains, etc., are so bad that they should be disposed of.
A written estimate is provided, and a customized cleaning plan is developed. The desired result is to help people get control of their living environment again, so no two cleanup cases are the same.
ServiceMaster teams apply their expertise to ensure proper debris removal, biohazard disposal, content cleaning for salvageable items and general cleaning, sanitizing and deodorizing services.
ServiceMaster is ready to assist with:
- Remove clutter and clean up debris
- Help locate lost jewelry, hidden money and/or other valuable items
- Coordinate recycling and shredding
- Help distribute donations
- Assist in distributing kept items to family members (local and national)
- Help facilitate paperwork required by local governments or agencies
Once the home is cleared of the hoarded items and cleaned, there are other services that may be required, such as the possibility of pest control services to eliminate insects or rodent infestation.
Cost of Hoarding Cleanup
The cost could be in the thousands, so in the long run, is it worth the investment? What is the property worth?
After emptying the house, then what – cleaning, repairs, remodeling, etc., these all factor into the project decision. Although not part of hoarding cleanup, the disrepair of a home needs to be addressed once everything has been removed.
Get Hoarding Cleanup Help
There are many different types of cleaning services that ServiceMaster by the Border is qualified to assist with. If you know someone who could use residential hoarding cleanup services, please give us a call to talk through the situation and help restore a pleasant living situation.