Hoarding clean up in the South East, Summary
• Hoarding health risk at landlord’s property
• Sensitive handling of the clean up for tenant
• Clutter, rubbish and furniture removed
• Advice given on dangers of mould
At Ideal Response, we often see the problem of build-ups of dust and grime that go unnoticed over time. However, when people have a hoarding disorder, the issue is dramatically worse, and it can sometimes take one problem to reveal another. That was the case when a residential property owned by a landlord sprang a leak, which the tenant then reported.
On inspection of the property, which the landlord had not seen in a number of years, there was not only the issue of the leak which had caused mould to appear in the property, but also the discovery that the tenant had been hoarding years’ worth of clutter, rubbish and empty food containers. This created an obvious health hazard, fire risk, and danger to the occupant who could have tripped over the hoard materials and been injured.
The landlord therefore instructed the tenant to get the property cleared of hoard so that the mould proliferation could be treated. The challenge for Ideal was to remove waste materials from the 2-bedroom ground floor flat thoroughly, while doing it sensitively so that the lady tenant was not upset.
The Ideal Solution
For this hoarding clean up in the South East, and like all others, Ideal offered a discreet and judgement-free service for the client. We know that a person who collects hoard can feel embarrassed or guilty due to the mess in their home, so we use our lengthy experience in hoarding clean ups to reassure clients and deliver a service with complete professionalism and respect.
To begin the clean up, we used heavy duty bin bags to clear away all the rubbish. To make the clean easier and stress-free for the tenant, neither she nor the landlord was present, which gave the Ideal Response team the freedom to move around the property without obstruction.
In this case, the tenant had taken all valuables out of the home, so there was no difficulty in distinguishing between items of sentimental value versus hoard – it was all clutter. In other instances, our team would have carefully set aside any item that was perceived to be of value for later discussion and removal if necessary.
Due to the water and mould damage to the property, we were also asked to remove furniture as it was beyond repair and was deemed a health hazard.
Once the property had been completely emptied and cleared we were instructed by the landlord not to deep clean the property, so unfortunately the issue of mould remained. We advised the landlord to treat the mould as soon as possible since it is a category 1 risk to health (the same as asbestos) and can worsen or be the cause of respiratory problems for people living in such an environment. Ideal Response are very experienced in dealing with mould remediation, and we have the procedures, specialist chemicals and drying equipment to eradicate mould and ensure it does not return.
The Technical Bit
Cleaning in properties where hoarding has taken place can be a challenging process: it is not a typical cleaning regime that can be left to a casual cleaner. Hoarding clean ups can present health risks due to biohazards and can be an emotional experience for the person living in the property. So our teams are prepared to deliver a professional service that alleviates stress and returns life – and homes – back to normal.
We believe the following capabilities and procedures place Ideal Response ahead of any competitor when it comes to delivering a professional hoarding clean up service.
• Health and safety: Ideal Response puts in place site safety procedures to ensure that we are operating in a safe working environment. This keeps our technicians, other site-based operatives, and the general public safe during and after completion of works. Our technicians and cleaners will use full PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) which includes FP3R face masks, full coveralls, gloves and protective eyewear. This is because hoarding materials can present a variety of dangers, such as bacteria, faeces, infectious waste, needles, broken glass and mould. We can also provide Risk Assessment Method Statements (RAMS) and Safe Systems of Work on request.
• Clearance to work: In the event that a hoarding site presents a biohazard risk, it may be necessary for Ideal to liaise with the appropriate authorities to obtain clearance to enter, and to work with an appropriate site contact. We have lengthy experience in managing these situations smoothly and efficiently.
• General waste: This is collected and transported off-site for disposal. As part of our responsible waste management efforts, Ideal processes its general waste in order to remove metals, electrical items and other non-recyclable items before disposing of both recyclable and non-recyclables in the most appropriate ways.
• Hazardous waste: This is collected and deposited into designated biohazard waste bags or containers by technicians who will use correct safety devices and the appropriate PPE.
Hoarding Clean Ups – Our Process
For all hoarding clean ups, we follow a safe and effective procedure, although, as was the case for the hoarding clean up in the South East, we can provide certain elements of our service in stand-alone form.
Our proven 6-stage hoarding clean up process is:
1. Ideal Response technicians first do a full walk around of the site or property to assess the extent and nature of the hoarding, its components, and the potential for the site to be a biohazard risk. Our technicians are well qualified with relevant accreditations, and so can give you the best expert advice.
2. Our clean up team removes and keeps safe all items which could be considered to be valuable before works begin. They also collect anything that appears to be of sentimental value (photos, ornaments etc) and put it to one side. Clients may also leave a list of anything valuable that they would like us to keep safe during the hoarding clean up.
3. Work begins by collecting all rubbish and clutter and placing it into heavy duty bin bags for disposal. If requested all furniture will be removed too, and in extreme cases the flooring can also be lifted and removed.
4. Once all clutter has been removed, the team will perform a deep clean on the property, bringing it back to a clean state. The degree of cleaning will depend on contamination levels, and could involve our Sanitise, Cleanse and Rinse process and/or the use of a broad-spectrum biocide solution and Ultra Low Volume (ULV) fogging in affected areas.
5. ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) testing, which uses swab testing to evaluate the presence of biological residues, will then be carried out to ensure that cleaned surfaces are truly clean and safe.
6. In some circumstances a BioSweep will be used to remove any lingering odours. This highly effective air and surface decontamination process uses a mist of broad-spectrum biocide solution within the environment to eradicate bio contaminants. It also has a 100% decontamination guarantee from Ideal for a year.