Hoarding is a very real condition that affects more people than you may know. Often times, hoarders battle the compulsion in silence and behind closed doors. Meanwhile, without a word to family or friends, their lives are unraveling bit by bit as the stuff just piles up. Hoarding is compulsion characterized by the extreme collection of and attachment to things, trash, animals and whatever else of perceived value to the hoarder. Even the idea of parting with the stuff can cause a great deal of anxiety to the hoarder. If the compulsion is not kept under control, hoarding can have devastating affects on the hoarder and the hoarder’s home. There are wide range of health & safety risks of hoarding that need to be taken seriously.
A Closer Look at The Health & Safety Risks of Hoarding
Hoarders are usually very good at keeping their destructive behavior and unhealthy lifestyle a secret. By the time family and friends learn of the problem, the hoarding will likely have developed into a full blown health & safety issue. The home of a hoarder can be dangerous and hazardous. If you recently discovered a loved one has been hoarding, you need to let the trained hoarding cleanup professionals help. The health & safety risks of hoarding will only becoming increasingly worse with time, as the compulsion grows out of control.
Sanitation Concerns– Extreme hoarding will almost always lead to extremely unsanitary living conditions. Whether the hoarder doesn’t think cleaning is a priority or the hoarder can’t physically clean around all that clutter, sanitation concerns are often the catalyst that forces the hoarder to get help. Build up of dirt, dust and bacteria over time can become a serious health hazard.
Biohazards– In addition to dirt, dust and bacteria, the home of a hoarder is often contaminated by various biohazards as well.
- Poor maintenance over time can lead to hidden moisture issues that can cause hidden mold growth.
- Mice, rat, roach and bedbug infestations are common problems in hoarding situations, which means animal droppings and animal corpses often get left behind among that clutter.
- In some cases, we find human feces and urine. Sometimes, the feces and urine collection might be directly related to the hoarding behavior. However, more commonly, this is the result of either inaccessibility to the toilet and sinks due to the clutter, or non-functioning toilets due to lack of maintenance or unpaid bills.
- If the hoarding behavior is animal-centric (i.e: cat hoarding, animal hoarding), the property will usually be fully contaminated by animal urine, fece and other bodily fluids.
All the above contaminates can mean serious health risks to the hoarder and any body else that might spend time in the space. Depending on the individual, airborne mold spores can can health problems like allergies and upper respiratory issues. Biohazards like feces, urine and other bodily fluids can carry harmful bacteria, virus and bloodborne pathogens. Cleanup of such sensitive contaminates should be left to the hoarding cleanup professionals in New Jersey.
Structural Issues- The more and more a hoarder collects, the more and more weight on your building structure. The stress on your building structure can compromise the structural integrity of the home and lead to serious structure damage that will put everyone at risk.
Property Damage– It is physically difficult, if not impossible, to navigate around the hoarded piles to conduct routine maintenance checks. This means minor problems will likely be neglected and get worse over time. Issues like leaks, HVAC problems, plumbing issues, etc can lead to property damage if not properly addressed in a timely manner. There is a great deal of shame attached to hoarding and hoarders will usually make every effort to keep people out of the house. This includes repairmen, contractors or technicians who can help maintain the home.
Emergency Situations– All that clutter will become a serious problem in the event of an emergency. Hoarded items often block door ways and exit paths. In the event of an emergency, the people inside could be trapped with no clear path for escape and no clear access for rescue by emergency personnel. Emergency situations can quickly turn into deadly situations.
Personal Injury Risks– Hoarding increases the risk for personal injuries in the home. Large stacks of stuff can tip over, land on and injury people. Obstructed pathways increase the risks for serious trips and falls.
Fire Hazards– Hoarding homes are serious fire hazards. Often times, much of the clutter consists of flammable materials. If the home catches fire, the fire could rip through a hoard very quickly. Fires can also occur when objects cover a heat vent or damaged wires. Moreover, clutter obstructs residents in case of a fire and first responders may not be able to navigate through all that clutter to rescue the residents.
Safe, Effective & Discrete Hoarding Cleanup Services in New Jersey
Due to the serious health & safety risks of hoarding. Cleanup of such extreme situations are often beyond the capabilities of a standard home cleaning company or typical maid services. These are sensitive contaminations that require specialized professional cleaning services due to the health & safety risks involved. Additionally, homes in such extreme conditions are often neglected to the point that even structural damage is common. Cleanup often requires the use of specific equipment and cleaning agents. When the home of a hoarder contains dangerous biohazards, those responsible for the cleanup must follow strict cleanup procedures and adhere to strict safety protocols.
Mastertech Environmental provides the safest and most effective hoarding cleanup services in South Jersey and throughout the New Jersey area. Our certified professional cleanup technicians have the necessary equipment and training to effectively restore the property to safe and livable conditions. Mastertech’s NJ biohazard cleaning team will safely remove and properly dispose of all biohazardous contamination in accordance with state and local guidelines. Our team is trained to follow strict safety standards and will utilize appropriate personal protective gear and respiratory protection. Our technicians are trained to safely navigate through the health & safety risks of hoarding, and our specially developed hoarding cleanup process for NJ homes ensures a safe and effective cleanup from start to finish.