Bio-One Of Rowan County decontamination and biohazard cleaning services

Hoarding Cleanup: How To Approach Your Loved One

Hoarding Cleanup
While cleaning up a hoarding situation is a crucial task, convincing your loved one to take this step can be difficult.

At Bio-One of Rowan County, we often are called in to provide hoarding cleanup services. While cleaning up a hoarding situation is a crucial task, convincing your loved one to take this step can be difficult. Here are a few facts about hoarding disorder and some tips to help you lead someone out of this terrible and unhealthy situation. 

Hoarding Vs. Clutter

Many of us have homes filled with clutter, but that doesn’t mean we have a hoarding disorder. We lead busy lives, and it can be tough to find time to weed out old clothes, books and belongings that we don’t need. Sometimes, we also have emotional attachments to items in our home and it’s tough to part with these objects, but most of us get around to donating or tossing old items eventually.

In some cases, a person who enjoys collecting might have what appears to be a cluttered home. Generally, however, collectors tend to display items and have them organized and take a good deal of thought when purchasing or acquiring objects for their collections. This also wouldn’t usually be considered a hoarding disorder.

With hoarding, objects are acquired with little thought and there is often no rhyme or reason as to why these items are purchased. The clutter is highly disorganized and begins to take over every room in the home, blocking hallways and doorways. Often, the home is barely inhabitable and can be dangerous for the residents.

Understanding Hoarding Disorder

While hoarding has been a common mental health issue for years, Hoarding Disorder was a recent addition to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). This manual, created by the American Psychiatric Association, classifies a wide range of mental health and neurological disorders.

According to the DSM-5, for a person to be diagnosed with a hoarding disorder, several qualifications need to be met, including:

  1. "Persistent difficulty discarding or parting with possessions, regardless of their actual value."
  2. "This difficulty is due to a perceived need to save the items, a fear of losing them, or a desire to avoid waste."
  3. "The accumulation of possessions results in the living spaces in the home becoming cluttered and unusable to the point that the rooms cannot be used for their intended purpose."
  4. "The hoarding behavior causes significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other areas of functioning."
  5. "The hoarding behavior is not due to another medical condition, such as a brain injury or a neurodevelopmental disorder."
  6. "The hoarding behavior is not better accounted for by symptoms of another mental disorder, such as OCD."

It's important to note that hoarding disorder can range in severity from mild to severe, and not all individuals who hoard meet the full criteria for a diagnosis.

How To Help Your Loved One

Helping a loved one who hoards to seek treatment and have their home cleaned can be a delicate situation. Here are some tips to help you convince a loved one to seek treatment for a hoarding disorder and to have their home cleaned:

Start the conversation gently: It's important to approach the topic with empathy and understanding. Let your loved one know that you care about them and want to help.

Express concern for their health and safety: Hoarding can be dangerous, and it's important to express your concern for your loved one's health and safety.

Offer support and encouragement: Let your loved one know that you're there to support them and that you believe in their ability to make positive changes.

Educate yourself: Educate yourself on the nature of hoarding disorder, so you can better understand what your loved one is going through and how to help them.

Seek professional help: Encourage your loved one to seek professional help from a therapist who specializes in hoarding disorder.

Emphasize the benefits of treatment: Let your loved one know that seeking treatment can improve their quality of life and help them live in a safer and healthier environment.

Respect their autonomy: It's important to respect your loved one's autonomy and allow them to make their own decisions about seeking treatment.

Offer practical help: Offer to help your loved one with the practical aspects of cleaning their home, such as sorting through items and organizing their space.

Be patient: Recovery from hoarding disorder takes time, and it's important to be patient and supportive throughout the process.

Celebrate small victories: Celebrate your loved one's progress, no matter how small, to encourage and motivate them to continue making positive changes.

Why Use Professional Hoarding Cleaning Services?

There are two reasons why you should always seek the services of a professional biohazard cleanup company for hoarding cleanup. First, this type of cleanup can be dangerous and second, this is a highly emotional and difficult experience for you and your loved one with a hoarding disorder.

During a hoarding cleanup job, we encounter a wide range of toxic or unpleasant materials. This often includes dead animals and animal waste, as rodents and sometimes other animals will become trapped and die in the home. We often encounter mold and mildew and rotting food, as well as sharp objects.

Our biohazard remediation teams wear personal protective gear and use special equipment to remove toxic or dangerous items carefully. This is not something you should try to handle on your own.

People with hoarding disorder often become highly agitated during this process, and it can be a difficult and traumatic experience for family members and friends, as well. It’s better to have detached professionals provide this service. While we are compassionate and caring, we aren’t personally involved with the situation, which can make it easier for everyone.

Keep in mind that we will always do our best to salvage valuable items or items of sentimental value as well as furnishings and other important belongings. Our goal is to remove anything dangerous from the hoarder’s home and restore the home to a safe state. Hoarding cleanup can ensure that all biohazardous materials are removed, that access routes are safe and clear and that the fire danger has been reduced.

Call Bio-One Any Time!

If you need a professional hoarding cleanup company, the team at Bio-One is always here to help. We serve all of Rowan County as well as the entire Charlotte metro area. We can provide 24/7 hoarding cleanup as well as any type of biohazard cleaning and trauma cleanup, including crime scene cleanup, death cleanup, mold cleaning services and more.

Biohazard cleanup is a specialized task that requires a great deal of training as well as the use of personal protective gear, special cleaning techniques, and OSHA-approved solvents and chemicals designed specifically for biohazard remediation. At Bio-One of Rowan County, we can provide you with professional biohazard cleaning for any of the following situations.

1. Crime Scene Cleanup

Crimes scene cleanup should always be left for professionals to handle. Our crime scene cleaners will ensure that all biohazardous materials are removed and disposed of safely. Once law enforcement has completed their investigation and has allowed our team into the site, we can provide you with comprehensive biohazard cleaning.

Crime scene cleaning includes the removal of blood and other bodily fluids and, in some cases, tear gas residue removal. Tear gas cannot be removed with soap and water or most standard cleaners. We use special cleaning techniques and wear protective gear which a typical cleaning company or maid service will not have.

2. Unattended Death Cleanup

When a loved one or tenant dies alone and isn’t discovered for some time, the body begins the natural process of decomposition. This is a traumatic situation for family, friends, or landlords, and it is never advisable that you attempt to handle death cleanup on your own.

Aside from the emotional aspect of the situation, bodily fluids can be toxic and, unfortunately, can seep into mattresses, carpeting, flooring, and other items. We will inspect the situation carefully and remove anything that can not be fully remediated and cleaned, ensuring that all traces of biohazards are removed.

3. Hoarding Cleanup

Hoarding disorder is a serious illness, and it can be heartbreaking for family members to try to deal with cleaning up a hoarding situation on their own. Aside from the stress of the situation, hoarding cleaning services usually entails coming into contact with some amount of biohazardous waste.

We find everything from rodent droppings and dead rodents to human waste and medical waste as well as mold and other potentially infectious materials or potentially hazardous materials. This is simply not a safe task for family members or a landlord to handle and we will provide you with safe, compassionate hoarder clean up services.

4. Suicide Cleanup

Suicide is perhaps the most traumatic situation a family will ever have to endure, and when we are called on to help out after a loved one’s death, we always strive for the most compassionate approach possible.

Suicide cleanup as well as any type of death cleanup should never be handled by loved ones or anyone with a personal connection to the deceased person. However, the reality of the situation is serious, and it requires using a professional biohazard cleanup crew. We will work as quickly and discreetly as possible to complete our cleanup tasks and ensure that no blood-borne pathogens or biohazardous waste remain.  

5. Homeless Encampment Cleanup

Homeless encampments can pose a significant public health hazard, but we have the experience necessary to ensure complete remediation. This includes blood cleanup, medical waste, and narcotic cleanup, animal and human waste cleanup, and general cleanup.

On the human side, we know that this is traumatic for the homeless population and do our best to treat each individual with compassion and dignity, working to preserve as many of their belongings as possible.

6. Animal Waste & Animal Cleanup

Often with hoarding situations and homeless encampment cleanup, we encounter animal waste (and human waste) as well as deceased animals. Of course, some homeowners also might find rodent droppings, dead rodents, or other dead animals in their home, attic, crawlspace, or even inside the walls.

Whenever there is animal waste, especially rodent waste or dead animals, it is essential that you hire professionals for biohazard cleanup. Rodents can carry many potentially deadly diseases and their waste must be removed with care while wearing protective gear.

7. Odor Removal

If you notice foul odors in your home, office or car and cannot seem to either locate the source or remove the odor, it’s probably time to hire a professional odor removal service. The Bio-One team can identify the source of the odor and remove any biohazards.

In some cases, odor removal might necessitate the removal of carpeting or other floorings as well as drywall, but we do our best to limit this damage as much as possible. Still, it is important to remove any items that may be contaminated with hazardous materials, such as animal waste, mold, or other toxins.

We do offer mold cleaning services, as well as odor removal. Chances are, if you notice a musty smell or a small amount of mold on your walls or flooring, there is quite a bit more mold invisible to the naked eye behind the walls and under the floors. We can identify all areas with mold and ensure that this toxic substance is removed from your home or office.

In Your Time of Need, Bio-One Is Here

The Bio-One team is here for you 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and 365 days a year. We also will work directly with your insurance company, which can be a difficult task during this stressful time in your life.

We are locally owned and operated and provide biohazard cleanup throughout Rowan County as well as Buncombe, Cabarrus, Gaston, Lincoln, and Mecklenburg counties. If a trauma has occurred, please give us a call at (704) 645-0345 and we will provide you with comprehensive and compassionate biohazard cleanup.