According to Psych Central, approximately up to 1.4 million people in the United States suffer from compulsive hoarding. While it’s hard for those who are not affected by this disorder to understand the calm one feels in a sea of ‘junk’, it’s important to note that true hoarders do not view the items crowding their home as things that can be easily discarded.
At Sage Restoration, we have seen a lot of hoarding cases and while some may turn up their nose to the mess, we take this type of clean up very seriously. These are very emotional cases. These are cases in which the hoarder is being told by their friends or family members that they HAVE to clean their home. Easier said than done – for both the hoarder and the restoration company involved.
We will never forget the case of the hoarder whose basement was filled with a foot of sewage. The basement was so filled with furniture, clothing, junk and debris that we could only access the basement to even begin moving stuff out by climbing on top of contents at the top of the doorway to the basement. It took us a couple of days – wearing full protective equipment and waders – before we could get enough contents out so that a pumper truck could pump the filthy water. It was only when the water was pumped out that we could remove the remaining trash and contents.
When we finished the full deep cleaning, we were happy to know that the home was inhabitable once again – with no physical health hazards. However, we understand that hoarding is so much more than a messy home, an inconvenience to visitors. There are underlying issues ranging from depression to obsessive compulsive disorder. We highly encourage hoarders or their loved ones to call a specialist to deal with the emotional issues. After all, we can restore a home back to a healthy living condition. But, we are not experts in emotional or mental health issues.
This week, we will continue to highlight the growing issue of hoarding. In our Hoarding at Home series, we will feature additional stories of and insight into hoarding and how to best manage the cleanup process.
If you or someone you know is living amongst filth, it is not a healthy situation. Contact Sage Restoration and not only will we be there, with you, every step of the way, we pride ourselves in offering service with compassion.