Safety Risks and Clean-up Procedures of Hoarding

Hoarders are emotionally attached to their collections and may compromise their own security and relationships just to hold on to those products. But when the well-being of the home’s occupants is at risk, cleaning up a hoarded home is necessary. Here are the dangers of the steps involved in the clean-up process: 


  • Fire is the main danger at a hoarded house because much of the clutter consists of flammable materials. Fires can also happen when objects cover a heating vent or damaged wires. Additionally, clutter obstructs residents in the event of a fire and first responders might be unable to browse a hoarded home to rescue residents.
  • Injuries can occur because of falls or trips on hoarded objects. Also, piles at a two-bedroom home can become as large as ceilings and may collapse and cause injury. There’s also the danger of getting trapped beneath debris and contents.
  • Diseases — Pests like rats and cockroaches can infest a hoarded home raising the possibility of infecting people with diseases.
  • Mold The combination of water damage and an organic substance is the perfect recipe for mold development. Hoarders also have difficulty throwing away food that can lead to mold infestation. Mold can cause respiratory and other health issues, particularly for anyone who has allergies.
  • Air quality — Clutter brings dust, odors, and ammonia from decaying waste solutions. These may result in severe air quality problems in the hoarder’s house. It may be tricky to breathe and respiratory problems may develop for pets and people.
  • Structural integrity — Over time, hoarding can lead to damage to the building itself due to the overwhelming burden of the surplus contents hoarders put inside them.
  • Building maintenance — Clutter can prevent technicians from performing essential maintenance on HVAC equipment and sprinkler systems, creating a safety hazard.

Clean-up Procedures

Hoarding clean-up is not a simple undertaking, and it is best accomplished by restoration professionals who have the experience and equipment to perform the job safely and economically.

  • Ensuring safety — Employees should wear protective equipment, such as disposable gloves and dust mites, to safeguard themselves from bacteria and diseases.
  • Cleaning supplies — Technicians also need tools and cleaning equipment to remove the garbage and wash the home.
  • Organizing a staging area and skip –A free, open area, (staging area) such as the yard is required to temporarily place the contents that are emptied of the house. A huge dumpster is also required to eliminate the debris.
  • Decluttering the home — When the staging area is prepared, workers tackle the home starting in the room with the closest exit to have the ability to escape quickly in case of emergency. The trash and clutter from the room are eliminated from top to bottom.
  • Sorting out the contents — Local regulations have to be checked for handling items that can not go directly into the garbage (like paints or explosives). Then, the debris and garbage are spilled and thrown in a dumpster. Salvageable items are sorted out into things to maintain and to donate.
  • Repairing and cleaning the home — When the entire house is clutter-free, repairs should be done if needed. These may include repainting, re-carpeting, or damage recovery (after fire, mold, water, or biohazard harm). Then, all of the contents in the home such as the salvageable items are disinfected.

For professional hoarding clean-up, in addition to biohazard remediation solutions, and crime scene cleanup Spokane, call your local PuroClean office or 800-775-7876 or visit their website for more information.