The Hazards of Hoarding
According to the American Psychiatric Association, hoarding disorders occur in an estimated 2 to 6 percent of the population and often lead to substantial distress and problems functioning. While the emotional and physical impact of this growing disorder is significant, the potential health and safety concerns including fire hazards, biohazards and health code violations are paramount and a major focus for the restoration and remediation industry today. While well trained in restoring properties from fire, water or smoke damage, restoration professionals called upon to address a hoarding environment must consider a number of additional factors. In particular, the very real threat of biohazard dangers including bloodborne pathogens carrying potential diseases like Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C or HIV/AIDS. It is important to note that if a hoarding cleanup job does present biohazard concerns, the timeline of the service will increase given the additional number of precautions necessary. Hoarding presents a very real danger to all those involved.
What is Hoarding?
According to The Mayo Clinic, "Hoarding disorder is a persistent difficulty discarding or parting with possessions because of a perceived need to save them. A person with hoarding disorder experiences distress at the thought of getting rid of items, regardless of actual value, occurs." Many people with hoarding disorder do not find their habits to be a problem. Hoarded items are often things others would throw away or look at as junk or garbage such as old newspapers, junk mail, or packaging. Hoarding can lead to homes filled with extreme clutter to full capacity from years of accumulation, making living conditions unsanitary and crowded. Bugs, fleas, rats, and other vermin may be present, at which point an exterminator would need to be called. At times, hoarding may spread to outside the home as well, to storage facilities, or even the garage or yard.
BIohazard, Vandalism, and Crime Scene Cleanup
Recognized as a leading fire and water cleanup and restoration provider of hundreds of insurance companies nationwide, SERVPRO of High Point professionals offer fast, reliable biohazard and crime scene cleanup and restoration services to residential and commercial property owners. Exposure to biological and chemical contaminents can pose serious health consequences for building occupants, employees, customers, and owners. A failure to properly handle and safely remove such hazardous substances can contribute to unhealthy and even dangerous environments. The professionals at SERVPRO of High Point are trained to safely and effectively remove biohazardous substances and prepare waste for proper disposal according to OSHA, EPA, and NC State and local health regulations. Equipped with the necessary safety equipment and cleaning products, SERVPRO of High Point can help turn unsafe environments into clean, safe homes and offices. These services include cleanup of bloodborne pathogens, methamphetamine labs, crime scene residues, arson, vandalism, sewage backups, black water intrusions, and mold mitigation and remediation.