Individuals exhibiting hoarding behavior suffer from a severe mental illness. Although every hoarding scenario looks a bit different, in general, it is a persistent, compulsive behavior where the hoarder finds it very difficult, if not impossible, to discard items. Often the hoarder feels hoarded objects are or will be needed, or that everyday items might become valuable in the future. Some things might have sentimental value or fit in a category the hoarder identifies.
Family and friends of a person in Tucson showing hoarding behavior become secondary victims. They might try to reason with the hoarder or clean up, only to see the hoarder become very distressed. As hoarding behavior continues, the compulsion can diminish the hoarder’s quality of life. Hoarding is usually thought to be a residential issue, but commercial properties can also be affected.
The items hoarded begin to fill all available spaces. Food and animals can be hoarded, the food spoiling and the animals relieving themselves without reliable cleanup. The rotting and waste attract insects and provide nourishment for mold, bacteria, and vermin. Eventually, narrow paths among the piles of hoarded materials are the only way to move, and the debris includes deceased insects, animals and possibly the hoarder’s own waste. The mix of materials exposes the hoarder and any visitors to serious health risks and is typically considered a biohazard.
R&R Environmental has the training and experience to help with the cleanup of a hoarding situation. Because we understand that the materials in the residence or business are potential biohazards, we observe appropriate protocols. We wear personal protective equipment and collect, label, and dispose of hazardous materials per OSHA and local regulations. In some cases, the use of air scrubbers or other containment system is necessary to manage airborne contaminants.
Once the space is cleared R&R Environmental technicians use EPA-registered products to clean and disinfect surfaces and fixtures. Our employees try to gain the confidence of the hoarder if he or she continues to have access to the affected building space. Patience and compassion are necessary as we help with these painful and distressing circumstances.
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