Bio-One of Augusta decontamination and biohazard cleaning services

Hoarder Cleaning Services: Fast & Compassionate Cleanup

hoarding cleanup

Hoarding situations can be quite traumatic, and whether you are a landlord left with a mess from a tenant or a family member struggling to help someone with hoarding disorder, it’s best to call in professionals to remediate these situations. At Bio-One® Augusta, we offer fast, comprehensive and compassionate hoarding cleaning services.

Clutter Vs. Hoarding

Clutter is something that can be hard to avoid, and with our busy lives, it’s not surprising if a person has a few piles of clutter here and there. It might be a pile of bills that need filing or perhaps a few loads of laundry that need folding or even a few bags of discards you keep meaning to take to a charity shop.

Clutter cleanup can be stressful, but while it’s not uncommon to have a pile papers and perhaps a cluttered closet or two, this isn’t the same as hoarding. With hoarding, you begin to find that piles of clutter begin overtaking all of the common areas of a home as well as the yard and garage.

It might start with a pile of papers on the dining room table, but eventually, there might be piles all over the dining room floor and then piles of junk begin to accumulate in other rooms, often leaving these rooms uninhabitable.

With hoarding, we typically see that most rooms of a home are filled with papers, clothing and other items, and often most rooms are difficult to access. The kitchen, for instance, might be unusable due to items on every surface as well as the floor and inside cupboards. Refrigerators and cupboards often are filled with rotten and expired foods, etc.

What Is Hoarding Disorder?

While excessive clutter can be a sign of mental illness, such as depression, hoarding is a disorder in its own specific category. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), which is produced by the American Psychiatric Association, was added to the manual’s list of disorders in 2012.

Hoarding is classified as “persistent difficulty discarding or parting with possessions, regardless of their actual value.” Additionally, the person who hoards believes the need to save items and suffers from distress when discarding items, including those with no actual value.

This hoarding must cause a significant disruption in the person’s daily life, impairing their ability to engage with others socially or even occupationally. The hoarding also prevents the person from being able to “maintain a safe environment,” for themselves and others.

While hiring us for hoarder cleaning services can be a huge help, the person with hoarding disorder will need additional help from trained professionals. There are psychiatrists, psychologists and therapists that specialize in the treatment of hoarding disorder, and therapy is crucial if long-term success is to be achieved.

Many people with hoarding disorder, also have co-occurring disorders such as depression or anxiety, so these issues also need to be addressed to help a person achieve a healthier, happier life.

Why You Need A Professional Hoarding Cleanup Company

In many cases, we are called in to help by a landlord or family member to help remediate a hoarding situation. There are several good reasons to contact a professional hoarding cleanup service rather than trying to tackle the mess in a hoarder’s home on your own.

1. Hoarding Cleanup Can Be Dangerous

Through the years, we handled many hoarding cleanups, and we know that many dangers are lurking in a home or yard filled with personal items and junk. Often, we encounter dead, decaying animals and animal feces, which can be toxic. Sharp objects, biohazardous material, toxic odors and mold are common, as well.

None of these items should be removed by a typical cleaning service. Hoarding cleaning services are a type of biohazard remediation and you truly need a team of professionals to come, assess the situation, and create a cleanup plan.

We use personal protective equipment, and we ensure that all biohazards are removed from the home and yard.  A maid service or house cleaning service generally does not have the protective equipment or special cleaners that a hoarding cleaning service would use, and we don’t simply handle junk removal and surface cleaning. In many cases, carpeting, flooring and even drywall will need to be removed as well as furnishings, as these items all could be contaminated with biohazards.

2. Hoarding Cleanup Is Stressful

For families, hoarding cleanup can be deeply emotional and stressful. Even for a landlord, simply viewing a property in such a state of filth can be traumatic. Obviously, this is a traumatic situation for the person who suffers from hoarding disorder, as well.

While our team strives to provide compassionate services, with a professional crew, we can detach ourselves from the emotional aspect of the cleanup process. It’s much easier for a third party to come in and handle cleanup because we don’t have any emotional attachment to the items or to the person who hoards them.

However, while we are a third-party cleaning company, this doesn’t mean that we don’t understand that this is a highly stressful situation. Our cleaning crews are experienced and respectful and trained specifically to handle these unique situations.

While part of the process is “junk removal,” we truly do understand that these items are not considered to be “junk” by the person who hoards, and we strive to be understanding throughout the entire process.

Our goal is to make hoarder cleanups as easy as possible for our clients and provide them with a fresh start. This can be especially emotional in situations where animal hoarding has occurred, and we do our best to remediate any hazards, but also to provide respectful, supportive services.

3. We Offer Fast Hoarder Cleanup Services

While our services are comprehensive, we always strive to restore a property to safe living conditions as quickly as possible. Our hoarding cleaning services include removal of all excess items, as well as animal hoarding cleanup and gross filth cleaning, as well as deep cleaning after everything has been removed.

Deep cleaning isn’t just cleaning floors and counters. We clean under and behind heavy appliances. We clean inside appliances and cupboards as well as cleaning walls and ceilings and even doorknobs, light switches, trim, etc. 

Additionally, we do our best to recover anything of value and restore those items. There may be collectibles and other cherished items that we can clean and restore. Likewise, we will do our best to clean furnishings or household items that can be restored, such as appliances, tables, cabinets, etc. In some cases, items with porous surfaces are best disposed of, but we always do our best to clean everything that we possibly can.

Call Bio-One® 24/7

At Bio-One® Augusta, we provide hoarder cleaning services 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Additionally, we can provide 24/7 biohazard cleanup including trauma cleanup, suicide cleanup, crime scene cleanup and much more. We serve the entire Augusta area and surrounding counties, so feel free to call us at (706) 305-5029 at any time.


Bio-One Weekly Wrap-Up Week 4 Hoarding Trauma Scene Back the Blue

Bio-One teams across the U.S. answer calls to help their communities and remediate a variety of scenes. In our new blog series, we'd like to bring you into the Bio-One world by sharing stories of the unique and important work we do for local communities.

Here is Week 5 of our Bio-One Weekly Wrap-Up. 

Chocolate Spill Makes for a Sweet Cleanup

In Scranton on March 25, Juan and Nicole Morales received a call for a "chocolate" cleanup. Assuming this was code for a sewage back-up, they rushed to scene to find a different situation entirely. Approximately 100 gallons of milk chocolate had spilled, covering asphalt outside a local business.

This is certainly the sweetest smelling job a Bio-One office has ever taken, but Nicole clarified, "That smell was nice for the first few minutes but at the end I felt sick. Good thing we had an awesome team that pushed through and got this done!" 

After scraping the chocolate with a forklift and pressure washing the area, the Bio-One team received a five-star review. Well done!  

Bio-One Milk Chocolate Spill Review
Bio-One Milk Chocolate Spill Before and After

Behind the Scenes with Citizen's Academy

Many Bio-One owners sign up for their local Citizen's Police Academy to acquaint themselves with the activities of their local police department. This week, Bio-One owner, Ginger Akemon, in Jacksonville, FL earned her Citizen's Police Academy certificate from the Clay County Sheriff's Office

"Definitely a learning process. Each County has their own, my goal is to go to each county's classes. This was 10 weeks long and over an hour drive each way, but well worth it, " said Ginger. 

Hoarding Transformation in Long Beach

In Long Beach, the Bio-One team has been working hard on several hoarding projects. These before and after pictures show the detail and expertise our teams bring to each job. 

Hoarding Remediation Services Blog Post

Have you ever seen hoarding shows on TV? Our team has first-hand experience remediating these situations with care and compassion. From clutter, trash, to animal hoarding, we understand that the removal of items can be stressful and sometimes overwhelming for families involved. Bio-One will make it a priority to establish trust to ensure everyone is comfortable and ready for each day to begin. 

It's as simple as 1, 2, 3.

First, we always offer estimates at no cost to you. An experienced crew leader will tour the home and propose a plan based on your needs, expectations, and goals. 

Second, our certified technicians are trained to be mindful of all possessions. We make it a priority to find and save items of value whether that's a wallet, coin collections, legal documents, photo albums, or baseball cards. 

Third, we want to make sure you are 100% satisfied and happy with our work. If for some reason something else needs to be done, we are here for you. 

Call Bio-One today to learn how we can help


Bio-One Weekly Wrap-Up Week 4 Hoarding Trauma Scene Back the Blue

Bio-One teams across the U.S. answer calls to help their communities and remediate a variety of scenes. In our new blog series, we'd like to bring you into the Bio-One world by sharing stories of the unique and important work we do for local communities.

Here is Week 4 of our Bio-One Weekly Wrap-Up. 

New Start for New Haven Veteran

In New Haven County, Bio-One and Junkluggers answered the call to help a veteran and his disabled wife. The couple were overwhelmed with a hoarded home and much of their furniture would need to be disposed due to biohazardous conditions. With Bio-One's Help First, Business Second motto in mind, Bio-One owner, Matthew Hill, teamed up with Junkluggers to re-furnish the home with gently used furniture at no cost to the client. 

“Anytime we can give a little more to our clients, we always seize the opportunity,” said Hill. “Junkluggers has been an awesome organization with a great mission that fits nicely into what we are trying to accomplish.”

#HelpFirst for Heart-Breaking Scene

In South Carolina, Bio-One owner, Kris Elliott, was called to disinfect and clean a heart-breaking trauma scene. After hearing the family's story, he generously decided not to request payment for his services and shared their GoFundMe page on Facebook. As of March 20, Bio-One offices in North Carolina and South Carolina have contributed just under half of the total donations. This is #helpfirst at it's finest. 

If you'd like to learn more about the family and donate, please visit their GoFundMe page

Poker Run Supports Law Enforcement

Supporting local law enforcement is a 24/7 activity at Bio-One! In Tuscon, AZ, the Bio-One team participated in the South Arizona Law Enforcement Foundation (SALEF) poker run. SALEF collaborates with law enforcement to understand their greatest needs, and work with businesses in the community to raise money by presenting community events and submitting for grants. 

Looks like they were gifted a beautiful day for cards, corn hole, and backing the blue. 


Bio-One Weekly Wrap-Up Week 2 Hoarding, COVID-19, Wisconsin

Bio-One teams across the U.S. answer calls to help their communities and remediate a variety of scenes. In our new blog series, we'd like to bring you into the Bio-One world by sharing stories of the unique and important work we do for local communities.

Here is Week 3 of our Bio-One Weekly Wrap-Up. 

Five 30 Yard Dumpsters

The team in Pensacola has been working non-stop on a two story home that required Bio-One hoarding services. Over the course of five days, they filled five 30 yard dumpsters, and found multiple antique pieces, photographs, sentimental items and cash that was promptly turned over to the client. 

Look through the transformation photos on their Facebook page!

Backing the Blue in Omaha

The Bio-One team in Omaha dropped off bagels at the Omaha Police Department just before roll call, and Vanessa Urbach, the civilian crime and prevention specialist, tweeted a "Thank You" with shoutouts to Bio-One. Joining the conversation was our own Bio-One Twitter handle, Deputy Chief Ken Kanger, host of the What's Up Omaha Podcast, and a number of other officers in the department.

Kudos to the Omaha team for backing the blue! 

Safety First

Before Bio-One teams can help first, we have to ensure safety for every technician on the job site. This week, Bio-One owners took part in conversations about safety. Topics ranged from preventing common injuries on the job to attending OSHA training with Bob Easter. Jared Lafferty, Bio-One owner in Gwinnett County, even took the conversation to Twitter and featured safety protocols his team uses while on the job. 

We couldn't be prouder of our teams for putting safety first! 


Bio-One Weekly Wrap-Up Week 2 Hoarding, COVID-19, Wisconsin

Bio-One teams across the U.S. answer calls to help their communities and remediate a variety of scenes. In our new blog series, we'd like to bring you into the Bio-One world by sharing stories of the unique and important work we do for local communities.

Here is Week 2 of our Bio-One Weekly Wrap-Up. 

14,000 lbs of Clothing Removed from Hoarded Home

In Indiana, the Marion County team remediated over 30+ years of hoarded clothes in a home. The team calculated that approximately 14,000 lbs of clothing were removed. 

Bio-One’s teams know that every job represents a unique experience for our customers, who may have difficulty parting with deeply personal items that can range from clothing, video tapes, trash, and even animals. 

Read our recent blog post answering common questions about animal hoarding.

We work with all of our clients in a step-by-step process that instills trust while properly ridding the space of items that can prove harmful. Learn more about Bio-One's hoarding services

Bio-One Welcomes Two New Offices in Wisconsin

Two Bio-One offices launched in Wisconsin this week, and we are very excited to welcome Angela, David, Andrew, and Viktoriya to the Bio-One family. Learn about these amazing teams below! 

Bio-One Madison Wisconsin

Madison, WI

MadisonBioOne.com

Angela Welbes and David Levin are the owners of Bio-One of Madison. Both were born and raised in the midwest, and they met in 2015 while they were both living in Wisconsin. Their blended family consists of 3 daughters and a son. The COVID pandemic provided a personal reset that enabled an opportunity to join the growing Bio-One family and the ability to help the surrounding communities of Madison. They are excited to start this new venture together.

Bio-One Milwaukee

Milwaukee, WI

BioOneMilwaukee.com

Andrew and Viktoriya Gonzales are the owners of Bio-One of Milwaukee. Andrew spent the last 24 years in the banking industry, in addition to serving on boards and committees for several Non-Profits, such as NAMI, Madison Development Corp and United Way. Viktoriya originally came to Wisconsin 16 years ago to further her education and loved it so much, she decided to stay. She has spent the last 12 years in telecommunications and management. Both have a passion for giving back to their community and have a drive to help those in the Milwaukee and surrounding area who are in need.

COVID-19 Disinfections Help Seniors in Charlotte, NC

This week, the Bio-One team in Charlotte, NC announced the renewal of a COVID-19 disinfection partnership with the Mecklenburg County Department of Social Services. This unique #HelpfFrst service offers free disinfections to seniors, 60 years of age or older. See their Facebook post below to learn more. 

Bio-One Homeless Encampment, Rescuing Cats, Donating to Police Officer

Bio-One teams across the U.S. answer calls to help their communities and remediate a variety of scenes. In our new blog series, we'd like to bring you into the Bio-One world by sharing stories of the unique and important work we do for local communities.

Here is Week 1 of our Bio-One Weekly Wrap-Up. 

Homeless Encampment Clean-Up - Temecula, CA

On the west coat, the Bio-One team was called by the Hemet San Jacinto Chamber of Commerce to safely decontaminate an area outside their office. With homelessness on the rise, there is in increase of biohazardous waste that is sadly starting to accumulate in zones of our cities. 

While Bio-One teams have been actively remediating homeless encampments for decades, we just refreshed this information on our Bio-One website. View it here

"We are actively looking for partnerships to help keep our cities clean and safe for children and families." - Jason and William, Bio-One Owners

COVID-19 Disinfection to Raise Money for Local Police Sgt. - Asheville, NC

In the fall of 2020, it was announced that Jax, the 3 year-old son of Sgt. Jordan Warren at the Henderson County Sheriff's Office, was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer. Sgt. Warren has served the community in Henderson County for 10 years, and the community has rallied on his behalf by donating thousands of dollars for the family in their time of need. 

To help raise money, the Bio-One team in Asheville raffled off a COVID-19 disinfection, up to 5,000 sqft for any home or business. The raffle ran through January 2021 and raised over $600. This week, the team happily treated the winner, Strong Hand Fitness, to the disinfection. 

"Police officers and their families make big sacrifices to serve their community, most of which go unseen. So, when first responder families are in need, we want to help anyway we can. We wish the entire Warren family the best as Jax continues his fight." - Matt Gregg, Bio-One Owner

Cat Rescue - Flagstaff, Arizona

In January, the Bio-One team in Flagstaff answered the call to remediate an unattended death. They learned from the next of kin that a husband had passed away in the home while his wife, at the time, was fighting for her life at the local hospital after being diagnosed with COVID-19.

Once the team arrived, it was clear this would be a multi-day job. Not only was there a biohazard to remediate, but the home was hoarded and restoring the home to a safe environment was an urgent need. While working, the Bio-One crew identified three cats lingering in and around the home. Initially, it was assumed one cat was owned by the family, and the other two were part of the neighborhood. The first cat, nicknamed Hunter, was given to the Ark Cat Sanctuary for a checkup and to eventually find a new home. In the spirit of kindness, the team also provided food and water for the other two neighborhood cats when working onsite. 

Several weeks passed, and the Bio-One team received word that the wife had sadly lost her life due to complications from COVID-19. The next of kin asked the team to revisit the home and remove remaining items. Shortly after work began, the two neighborhood cats were found. It was then revealed that the two animals were owned by the deceased couple. After living off the land for months, they were rescued by the Bio-One team and turned over to the Ark Cat Sanctuary for care. We hope each animal finds a loving home. 

"We are very fortunate that our staff and owners have a heart for animals and will do whatever they can to help the pets like we do our clients." - Rebecca Wallace, Bio-One Owner

Bio-One On A&E Hoarders

Bio-One had the honor of being a part of A&E’s Hoarders, season 11, episode 1. This episode featured a woman who had hoarded her husband’s home and left it in a desperate condition. The Bio-One team, alongside a therapist, professional organizer, family helpers, and the fire department, helped remove and clean the family’s home. Three tons of belongings and trash were put into dumpsters and removed from the premises. 

What Is Hoarding?

Hoarding is a condition where an individual can’t let go of belongings, whether it’s family air looms, personal items, or even trash. They develop an emotional attachment that allows them to keep everything that makes its way into their home. This leads to accumulation of both personal items and filth that can span from floor to ceiling in every room of a house. Not only does this make it hard to move, function and live, it also creates an extremely hazardous environment with the dangers of rodent infestationdiseasemold, feces contamination, and more. 

Call In The Professionals

It’s crucial that professionals are called for any type of hoarding situation. While it may seem like a matter of junk removal and cleaning, dangerous pathogens can be lurking about the home, especially as items are moved around during the cleaning process. Not only is this dangerous to inhale, it’s not suitable to touch without the proper gear. Bio-One always recommends professional removal because the knowledge, experience, personal protective equipment (PPE), and training needed for these types of situations. We follow OSHA regulations for cleanup, chemicals, and PPE to protect both our Bio-One team members and clients. 

We thank you A&E for letting us come in and help. We always operate under the motto help first, business second.  

If you know of anyone in need of Bio-One’s help, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We are a 24/7 operation with offices all around the nation waiting for your call. 

The term “hoarding” is frequently misused. People often use the word to condemn themselves—or their family members—for accumulating items like clothes and collectibles gratuitously. Though true hoarders share this tendency, it’s a far cry from a medical definition. Hoarding compels people to compile and preserve excessive amounts of clutter that have no practical value. Hoarders will grow so attached to these items— which often include dirty dishes, trash and rotten food—that discarding them causes severe emotional trauma. It is one of the most poorly understood and stigmatized disorders in America, and one of the most difficult to treat. Hoarding is more widespread then you may know. According to the Washington Post, hoarding affects 19 million Americans. That equates to about 6 percent of the population. The scope of the problem may seem surprising, but only because hoarders tend to keep their illness private. Unless clutter accumulates outside the home, the disorder can remain a secret for years. The issue has become severe enough to inspire dozens of community task forces across the nation. These task forces exist for a simple reason: To curb the many dangers associated with hoarding. Though the disorder has profound psychological, financial and health consequences for the hoarder, it also jeopardizes the safety of neighbors. We’ve broken down the dangers associated with hoarding below:

1)     Fire

The aggregation of clutter in hoarding situations creates unlivable spaces. Unfortunately, it also makes them highly combustible. Wall-to-wall piles of trash pervade homes, blocking exits and entrances that residents and first responders need to access during an emergency. Without any open space to mitigate a fire, these homes can burn really quickly. Because stoves, fireplaces and heating lamps are often filled and covered with trash, the risk of an outbreak rises significantly. Moreover, vermin that breed in these unsanitary environments can chew on electrical wiring in the wall, which may cause a fire.

2)     Noxious Air Quality

Accumulated clutter often sits unattended, gathering blankets of dust that can affect air quality. Moreover, rotten food and waste produce heavy odors and release ammonia, which can lead to respiratory problems. Air circulation will diminish as oxygen vents are blocked, leading to a dangerous rise in carbon dioxide. Unfortunately, this situation gives mold and mildew the opportunity to grow and multiply quickly, releasing spores into the living space at an alarming rate. Because the air quality in these homes is so noxious, hoarding cleanup crews like Bio-One must wear respirators when they enter.

3)     Weakened Structures

The sheer enormity of hoarding clutter can place stress on the home’s foundations. As the volume of items increase, so does the overall weight of the lode. Flooring has been known to collapse in these situations. Moreover, residents and maintenance workers have trouble accessing critical piping lines and electrical circuits inside and outside the home. Plumbing, gas and power issues can ensue, creating unsanitary living conditions and fire hazards.

4)     Pests

Pests, such as rats, cockroaches, mice and fleas, thrive in hoarding situations. They are drawn to heaping mounds of clutter where they can feed and breed without being disturbed. Unsanitary living spaces, rotting food and trash attract them to the home, where they’ll likely stay as an infestation develops. In animal hoarding situations, waste and decomposing carcasses exacerbates the problem. Bacteria and airborne pathogens will pervade the home, spreading dangerous diseases like hantavirus pulmonary syndrome.  

5)     Falling, Tripping and Sharps Hazards

Hoarders will often stack their items on top of one another until their homes are filled with small mountains of clutter and trash. Heavy boxes, furniture and hardware can fall on top of residents and cause serious physical damage. The lack of navigable living space results in narrow, clutter-free passageways. But they are often rife with tripping hazards that can lead to broken ankles, noses and more. Sharp items, like knives, needles and broken glass may also be littered in this space. One false step and the resident can find themselves nursing a gushing wound that becomes infected.  

6)     Curtailment of Living Appliances

For hoarders, living appliances like ovens, beds and bathtubs quickly become storage vessels. This curtailment of basic living appliances creates a series of problems for residents: Combustibles near stoves can catch fire; health and hygiene deteriorate for lack of running water; and clutter on beds force homeowners to sleep on the ground, removing their access to quality sleep. Water, gas and electricity to the home will shut off as bills—lost in a sea of trash—go unpaid. All the while, the compilation of clutter will continue to grow unabated.

7)     Mental Health

Poor living conditions in hoarding situations are deleterious to the homeowner’s mental health. Studies show that the brain responds negatively to claustrophobic and disorganized living spaces, overwhelming the mind, creating stress and increasing anxiety. Given the magnitude of disarray in homes affected by hoarding, the effects on the mind are exacerbated. Most hoarders already suffer from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and are at risk for loneliness, depression and psychosis.

            Bio-One can help you if hoarding affects your life. Our technicians are experts at removing hazards, sanitizing property and restoring homes, so don’t hesitate to give us a call if you need assistance. We’re available by phone 24/7/365. 

Request a service from your local Bio-One team.

Bio-One of Augusta

Bio-One of Augusta decontamination and biohazard cleaning services

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