Hoarding Conditions Inside of Homes Contributes to Water, Fire and Mold Damage
Hoarding is a mental health disorder in which a person has a difficult time discarding possessions.
A home affected by hoarding can be a physical danger as well as a health risk. Hoarding creates conditions inside of a home that makes it vulnerable to water, fire and mold damage.
Hoarders often do not have clear access throughout their homes and windows and doors might be blocked by piles of items. This creates a fire hazard as there might not be a safe way to exit the home in case of fire. Emergency personnel may have difficulty responding to a health call because hoarding has made the home inaccessible.
Items that are stored and not used become a breeding ground for dust and dirt, which causes poor air quality in a home. Vents are often blocked in the homes of hoarders, reducing air circulation. Puddles, water damage and leaks go unnoticed and are left untreated. Combined with an endless food source from the boxes, fabric and paper that often accompanies hoarding, mold easily grows unnoticed in these homes.
Unstable piles of household goods can cause tripping, slipping and head injuries from falling objects. Flammable items can easily catch fire if they are too close to a heating source or stove. Clutter, garbage, animal or human feces can also cause respiratory and other health problems.
There is no simple solution to hoarding. Often the hoarder does not acknowledge a problem and it is only when there is an emergency that the problem is addressed. We approach the restoration of homes with hoarding with sensitivity and an understanding that the removal of items may be difficult for the homeowner. Our crew uses their training and equipment to remove debris, including biohazardous substances. We are able to clean contents to ensure that items being returned to the home are not contaminated. We may need to remove carpets and walls if they contain water or mold damage. We leave the home sanitized and deodorized.
If you or a loved one feel that the contents of your home have gotten out of control and you are concerned about safety, call SERVPRO of Milford-Orange-Stratford at (203) 301-0500 for a clean up consultation.