Hoarding is marked by a compulsive accumulation of usually worthless possessions — and a corresponding inability to discard anything. Hoarding distresses families and angers neighbors. Hoarding has received a lot of exposure due to reality television.
A 2008 study by Johns Hopkins University scientists estimated that nearly 4 percent of the population are hoarders. It’s estimated compulsive hoarding affects approximately 700,000 to 1.4 million people in the US. Hoarding can be more about fear of throwing something away than about collection or saving. Thinking about discarding an item triggers anxiety in the hoarder, so she hangs on to the item to prevent angst.
The cleanup process for a hoarding situation depends a lot on the type of hoarding that’s occurred. Hoarding magazines is a different situation that hoarding cats or dogs where animal feces and urine is involved. Hoarding can create a serious health risk for the cleanup process. Cleanup technicians risk exposure to serious pathogens such as Hanta virus, Histoplasmosis and Staph bacteria such as MRSA and E. coli.
First, we remove and dispose of any unsalvageable materials, following local, state and federal regulations for hazardous materials. Next, we help the customer go through their belongings, deciding which items will be kept, donated, or disposed of. Finally, we sanitize, clean and deodorize the entire area, using proprietary cleaning solutions and processes, to help protect the property value.
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