What Are the Known Dangers of Hoarding?

Hoarding or compulsive hoarding is a severe mental condition wherein a person is described as someone who loves to collect different types of things that they find essential. They often have a hard time parting ways with their prized possessions. According to studies, more than a million of the American population nowadays is now diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive behavior. Due to several television shows and documentaries, more people are starting to be aware that this condition exists, and some can relate because their loved ones suffer from the same situation.

Hoarding is a serious issue that needs to be addressed right away. Thankfully some companies specialize in junk removal services, and they are willing to help do the dirty job for most households. Excessive hoarding can cause several health hazards that can affect our elders, so here is more helpful information that is worth sharing.

What are the common dangers that you could encounter while cleaning a hoarder’s home?

Did you know that there are different types of hoarders? The one that loves to collect junk materials and the other kind of hoarder is the one that collects pets or animals within their premises. Should you get to enter their homes, here are the following things that you should expect to see:

  • Expired food and grocery items
  • Old books and magazines
  • Mold and mildew buildup in the bathroom and kitchen.
  • Fecal matter from both animals and human beings
  • Stench of urine
  • Dead or rotting animals
  • Rat and roach infestation
  • Dust and dirt buildup which can affect breathing
  • Sharp objects like needless and broken shards of glass
  • Bedbugs and dust mites
  • Dilapidated structure (floors, ceilings, doors, walls and more)

How should you start cleaning the area?

Before you start cleaning and sorting out junk items, you must wear the appropriate safety equipment. Never pick up anything using your bare hands because you can never tell what kind of biohazard material you might be handling. Remember that hoarding sites are known to be full of toxins and bacteria that are harmful to your health. Staphylococci, E-coli, and salmonella are just some of the common types of bacterial infections that could affect your body.

Make sure that you have the right kind of safety gear and equipment such as the following:

  • Disposable rubber gloves and facial mask
  • A pair of non-slip rubber boots
  • Heavy-duty gloves in case you need to lift heavy stuff
  • A full bodysuit
  • Heavy-duty vacuum cleaner
  • Portable dumpster
  • Cleaning essentials like brooms, dustpans, brush, and mops
  • Detergent and bleach
  • Black garbage bags and large boxes
  • Pressure washer (if available)

Lastly, it is essential to ask for help from other people when it comes to clearing up hoarding spaces. It is best to talk and formulate a plan on how to clear the area effectively and efficiently. Working in small teams is a great suggestion to make cleaning less overwhelming. You may also want to consider working with cleaning professionals since they are knowledgeable about how to deal with the problem the right way.

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