Hoarding can not only have a negative impact on a person’s physical health but also their mental state too. If entering a property affected by hoarding it is important to understand the risks involved. It is crucial to be aware of the dangers you may encounter.
- Trip hazards are perhaps the most obvious risk. In some cases death has been caused when elderly people with hoarding tendencies have tripped over items and broken bones. Unable to move they have become trapped in their own home. Unfortunately with most hoarders they do not allow visitors to the property and on many occasions they are not found in time.
- Infestations of bugs and rodents. With food not being disposed of, and the property being neglected of any cleaning, this immediately creates perfect conditions for bugs and rodents to nest. The infestation of critters brings harmful bacteria and diseases and should be removed carefully by a professional.
- Mould spores grow easily in damp and poorly ventilated areas. This can cause serious breathing problems for the residents of the property, especially in the elderly.
- Fire Risk. If a property contains high volumes of clutter, this increases the chances of a fire being started and also helps the fire to spread among the items. If a hoarder’s property does catch on fire there is an extremely high risk of all exits routes being blocked meaning residents are trapped within the burning building. http://www.london-fire.gov.uk/hoarding.asp
- Ammonia Levels are increased. If animal waste is left to decay the ammonia levels can reach a figure of 150ppm (generally the ppm reading should be between 1-2ppm). Breathing in ammonia can cause huge health risks especially with those who suffer with cardiac problems.
In May 2014 hoarding was officially recognised as a mental health disorder and the condition is also associated with depression and anxiety. Hoarding is becoming more of a problem with recent researchers stating that as many as 1 in 50 people struggle to dispose of daily items. It is also estimated that 40% of sufferers with obsessive compulsive disorders show signs of hoarding.
Trauma Clean 24 Seven are regularly approached by members of the public who recognise they are suffering from a hoarding condition. They are often too embarrassed to allow anybody into the property. The Trauma Clean 24 Seven Team are here to offer help and understand that it is not just a case of removing items from the property.
If you know someone who may need our help, contact us on
0870 300 3232.