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Hoarding: What Is It and What Can Be Done?


Hoarding is a compulsive behavior. It’s a syndrome characterized by excessive collecting and a saving behavior that results in a cluttered living space and significant distress or impairment. For hoarders, there’s the overwhelming difficulty of sorting through the mess. Hoarders can be easily distracted and really don’t want to focus on what to do with everything in their house. In fact, hoarders are often characterized as perfectionists – if they don’t make a decision about what to do with something, they don’t risk being wrong.

Here’s a typical scenario. You open the front door of someone’s house and what you see is a narrow hallway – resulting for the collection of random objects that form “walls.” There can be tall stacks of books or newspapers, cardboard boxes filled with items that the owner doesn’t want to throw away. You might even find dishes, lamps or even just paper bags littering the floor. If you are lucky, you can barely squeeze through doors to reach other rooms. There may even be mountains of clothes, towels and sheets on every bed.

Recently, Restoration 1 of West Denver worked a hoarding job where we discovered a jar of jam from 1977. Stacks of catalogs were visible and we even found one from 1978. While interesting, sad and a little funny at the same time, these piles can be crawling with rodents and cockroaches, or covered in mildew, mold, and bacteria. The presence of these mounds – whatever they are composed of – are a fire hazard to the property owner.

The excessive storage of goods can result in an urgent cleanup problem. Degradation of property and inhabitable spaces require a higher level of cleanup. This problem is too extensive for most people to tackle on their own. This is a situation that falls outside of the normal everyday experience. But the technicians at Restoration 1 are equipped with the right technology, tools and training to handle a hoarding cleanup situation.

There are other abnormal situations that Restoration 1 of West Denver can handle. After death, a tragic accident, chemical spills, the fabrication of drugs, or in the case of infectious, communicable diseases, Restoration 1 of West Denver can provide cleanup services quickly and efficiently. Our technicians are trained to expertly handle biohazards by isolating, cleaning, disinfecting and decontaminating each surface as needed. We hope this is something you never have to handle. But if you do, know that the technicians at Restoration 1 of West Denver are trained to handle each situation in a respectable manner.

Restoration 1 of West Denver also understands the emotional and physical difficulties involved with the cleanup of any of these situations. While we are trained to clean, deodorize, disinfect and decontaminate areas, we also exhibit a sympathetic attitude to all involved. We also use the right equipment and the proper cleaning compounds – cleaning components that are designed to handle specific problems. We are professionals, trained to handle your cleanup problems with experience and expertise. Please give us a call at 720-605-2994 if you are experiencing any of the cleanup situations described above.