Hoarding is a behavior wherein a person collects and keeps objects that have no use to them. The person may choose to live without working utilities and appliances putting their personal health and safety at risk.
Depending on the severity of the hoarding case, families or friends may choose to begin the hoarding cleanup process on their own before contacting professional hoarding cleaning services.
The 5 Levels of Hoarding
Organizations like the Institute for Challenging Disorganization (ICD) have published a 5-level scale to establish parameters regarding health and safety standards when it comes to hoarding.
Details as to what is occurs at each level can be found on their infographic shown here. A high-level summary is show below:
- Level 1: Light amounts of clutter. All household exits and rooms are accessible. Conditions are safe and sanitary with no odors.
- Level 2: Noticeable clutter buildup. One major exit is blocked, and one appliance is not functioning. Some odors from lack of cleaning.
- Level 3: Clutter causes areas of the home unusable. Pet ownership exceeds regulations and sanitation is inadequate.
- Level 4: Structural damage, sewage buildup, and mold throughout the home. Doors, hallways, and stairways are inaccessible.
- Level 5: Clutter making no rooms usable. Fire hazards. Shut-off utilities. Noticeable human feces, pest infestation, and rotting food.
When an individual or household begins to reach hoarding levels 3, 4 and 5, health code violations begin to arise that would necessitate the assistance of a professionals hoarding cleanup company.
Protective Equipment Needed
Cleaning a hoarding environment is a serious and sometimes dangerous task. Knowing what to wear when performing hoarding cleanup can keep you safe by protecting your physical health.
The proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) should be worn during the hoarding cleanup process. These items include:
- Face Mask: To protect yourself against inhaling harmful particles and cleaning chemicals.
- Safety Glasses: To protect yourself against dust, loose debris, and cleaning chemicals.
- Puncture-Resistant Gloves: To protect yourself against sharp objects like broken glass.
- Disposable Shoe Covers: To stop the transfer of viruses and bacteria out of the household.
- Disposable Coveralls: To stop the transfer of viruses and bacteria out of the household.
If you don’t have access to PPE or if you’re not sure if you have the right times or how to acquire them, then contact a professional hoarding cleanup company for further assistance.
Professional Hoarding Services
When researching professional cleaning services for hoarders, make sure the company you choose is certified and insured to work in a contaminated environment. One important certification to look for is the IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification).
Because much of the cleanup involved in hoarding levels 3, 4, and 5 may include feces, pests, and mold, only a professional hoarding cleanup company that specializes in biohazard will be able to properly sanitize areas of the household that were contaminated.
Hoarding Cleanup in Akron, OH
If you know of a loved one that is suffering from hoarding, contact LM Companies LLC in Akron, Ohio, to talk with a IICRC certified specialist on how to begin the hoarding cleanup process and help turn their life around.
To learn more about LM Companies LLC biohazard services, click here.