Hoarding: A Serious Situation
According to The Mayo Clinic, "A hoarding disorder is a persistent difficulty discarding or parting with possessions because of a perceived need to save them. A person with hoarding disorder experiences distress at the thought of getting rid of the items. Excessive accumulation of items, regardless of actual value, occurs." Many people with a hoarding disorder do not find their habits to be a problem. Hoarded items are often things others would throw away or look at as junk or garbage, such as old newspapers, junk mail or packaging.
Hoarding can lead to homes filled with extreme clutter to full capacity from years of accumulation, making living conditions unsanitary and crowded. Bugs, fleas, rats and other vermin may be present, at which point an exterminator would need to be called. At times, hoarding may spread to outside the home as well, to storage facilities, or even the garage or yard.
SERVPRO encounters hoarding situations in several different ways. Often, we are called for a fire or water loss and find the hoarding situation when we arrive on-site. We will communicate with the insurance company regarding their contents coverage, and after approval, contents can be packed out and possibly cleaned, dried and stored by us, or relocated to a storage facility so work on the fire or water loss can begin.
Another way SERVPRO encounters hoarding jobs is through calls from landlords, case workers, real estate agents or family members, often after the death of a loved one. In these situations, we will see if we should look for any items of importance while we clean the job. Sometimes, family members will come and try to help the hoarder sort through their contents as well.
If you encounter a hoarding situation at one of your properties or wish your insureds, call us today. Each case is very different, and hoarding jobs are often sensitive situations, but we are here to help make it "Like it never even happened."