What to do after a death in the home

When somebody dies in the home it is always a very emotional time for everyone involved.  We work closely with police, fire and crisis response groups to ensure the home and the family can get the help they need immediately in an effort to provide some form of normalcy as soon as possible.

Where we come in is when decontamination, cleaning or odor removal is needed in San Diego County after a death.  Not all deaths in the home require professional cleanup, although some companies might tell you otherwise.  When figuring out how to clean up after a death, it is important to know if you in fact need professional help.  If somebody has simply passed of natural causes and was discovered quickly, you most likely do not need professional cleaning for that death.  However, anything involving blood, body fluid or fecal matter after a death, we recommend having a professional biohazard cleanup company in San Diego do the cleanup.  Aside from the emotional trauma of the cleanup of a loved one, you will also be able to then avoid the potential infectious disease risk associated with blood, body fluid and feces.

Again, not all deaths require professional cleanup, but we do recommend at the very least giving us a call to determine if professional help is needed and if not what the right steps might be to clean up the room of non-hazardous waste.  We are always available if nothing more than just to answer a question or to point somebody in the right direction if cleanup is not needed.

For anything involving the following, professional cleanup is most likely needed:

  • Suicide
  • Homicide
  • Unattended Death (Not discovered for a week or more)
  • Death due to an infectious disease
  • Death involving feces, urine or body fluid

For any deaths related to these, please give us a call or a local provider to have it cleaned professionally.  We are always available for help with cleanup of death, blood, biohazard etc.  Bio-One San Diego can be reached all day, every day at 858-939-9985.

Who Should I Hire for Junk Removal?

If just a few minor items to be disposed of, many people will decide to remove and dispose of these items themselves.  Many times there are more items to be removed than one person can handle on their own.  In addition, they have no way to transport them and are not sure where to take them.

Bio-One provides junk removal services of all shapes and sizes.  From Level 5 hoarding cleanup to removal and disposal of appliances and house trash, Bio-One does it all.

The important thing to know when removing junk and cleaning up a house is what items are regular trash and what items need to be separated.  Items such as appliances, electronics, paints, fuels, aerosols, fluorescent lights, biohazardous materials, etc have to be separated and disposed of properly as they are not regular landfill trash.  Bio-One provides these separation services for every junk removal and house cleanup.

As far as cost goes, each job is different.  Depending on the time it takes to remove the items, the type of items and the amount of disposal cost can range from $400-500 up to a few thousand dollars.  The best way to get a definitive estimate for junk removal or hoarding cleanup is to call Bio-One and get a free estimate to know exactly what needs done, how long it will take and how much it will cost.

Bio-One provides service for and a free estimate for junk removal, removing trash from house, hoarding cleanup, and any other cleanup to get a house back to a fully functional and safe level to live.

What is Biohazard Cleanup?

People often ask what this means.  Is this nuclear waste?  Is this paint and chemical disposal? Is this for gas leaks?

Bio-One specializes in biohazard cleanup, which includes the following:

  • Blood Cleanup
  • Bodily Fluid Cleanup
  • Suicide Cleanup
  • Homicide Cleanup
  • Unattended Death Cleanup
  • Mold Removal
  • Hoarding Cleanup
  • Junk Removal
  • MRSA Cleanup
  • Fecal Matter Cleanup

Most material and fluid that come out of a living thing are diseased and if handled improperly that disease can be spread to those handling it.  Bio-One ensures that in San Diego County, any scene involving any needed service above is completed in a proper, legal and safe manner.

To perform the above listed cleanup services at the very least the person performing the service requires nitrile/latex gloves, a tyvek or comparable suit, eye protection, removable shoe covers.  Aside from PPE, the proper chemical and tools must be used to properly sanitize the area.  Anything hazardous must be transported and disposed of properly to ensure safety to the public.

Bio-One has taken great measures to make every cleanup and removal as safe to the company’s employees and to the general public as possible.

Should any of the above cleanups be needed, Bio-One representatives can be reached any time of day, any day of the week.

The Definition of Hoarding

Hoarding is a specific subset of obsessive compulsive disorder.  One suffering from the condition compulsively collects items, usually storing them in them in their own home.  It is normally considered a progressive condition which begins at or near adolescence and increases in severity with age.  However, the exact parameters of hoarding disorder tend to vary between individuals, making it difficult to give an all-inclusive definition of hoarding.

Hoarding should not be confused with simple collecting.  A collector tends to stick with a certain single item or theme, budget their money to responsibly add to their collection, keep things organized and clean, and take great pride in their items.  Hoarders tend to keep things of little or no value, add to their collection compulsively with an inability to keep it clean or organized, and normally experience emotional distress due to their items.  This distress can range from shame and embarrassment to extreme depression and paranoia.

In the most severe cases, a hoarder may pile clutter and trash on their furniture, kitchen appliances, bathtubs, sinks, and walking space, making their home unlivable and presenting a myriad of health hazards from unsanitary conditions and the inability to perform basic hygiene rituals.

Symptoms & Warning Signs of Hoarding

Hoarding disorder can present in many different ways and often begins with very subtle behaviors that make it difficult to spot before it has reached a more extreme level.  Hoarding also has a habit of becoming more difficult to treat as it progresses, making the identification of symptoms and warning signs important at an early stage.  These include:

 

•    Genetics may play a role in the onset of hoarding disorder.  Having a parent, grandparent, sibling, aunt, or uncle who has suffered from compulsive hoarding is a strong indicator of the condition.

•    Many who suffer from hoarding disorder show signs of the condition at an early age.  Children and early teens may begin collecting or hiding broken toys, clothing that no longer fits, etc. This is another indicator that hoarding may be a problem as they grow older.

•    Hoarding may be considered a kind of addiction, and individuals with an addictive personality may be more prone to hoarding.  In fact, nearly half of all documented hoarders have a history of substance abuse or dependence – especially alcoholism.

•    Compulsive collecting of clutter or an unwillingness to discard trash is another starting symptom of hoarding disorder.  Compulsive hoarders often suffer from the inability to organize and get rid of things.

•    Hoarders may also collect so much junk that they lose living space in their homes.  Often a hoarder’s collection will overwhelm their furniture, floor space, sinks, appliances, beds, bathtubs, cars, and porches.  This creates unsanitary and unlivable conditions in which a hoarder may not be able to cook, eat, bathe, or even sleep.

•    Emotional distress and social isolation are both a trigger and symptom of hoarding disorder.  Hoarding can present from the inability to cope with extreme stress, such as the death of a family member, natural disaster, or divorce.  Likewise, hoarders often experience severe depression, anxiety, loneliness, shame, and paranoia.

If you or a loved one show signs or symptoms of hoarding it is best to speak with a licensed mental health professional.

Hoarding Disorder Treatment Options

Hoarders are often unable to exercise self-treatment without the guidance of a professional, and even with the help of a psychiatrist or psychologist it can be a long and traumatic process.  However, treatment programs do exist that have been very successful in helping hoarders get back to a normal life.  This often requires continual support from friends and family, lifestyle changes, and the ever-important step of clearing out the clutter.

Be aware, however, that a hoarder’s home may be rife with health hazards.  Mold from aging food, animal waste, vermin infestation, fire hazards, and more may be present.  For this reason, it is not generally recommended that the cleaning and sanitation of a hoarder’s home be done without professionals.

Bio-One is San Diego’s most highly recommended experts of hoarding cleanup and disposal.  Their thorough cleaning and sanitation methods can help you rest assured that your loved one has a safe and comfortable environment in which to recover.  Contact Bio-One today.

Tips for Cleaning Up a Hoarder’s Home

The first and most difficult step is actually starting the job.  Many may immediately feel overwhelmed by the sheer scope of hoarding clean up.  Many hoarders have been accumulating junk, garbage, and other object for many year, and it can often be shocking to see the condition of their home.  This means that it could be an all-day job, or possibly several days.

The best piece of advice for getting started is to just get started.  Other tips for hoarding clean up include:

•    Protect Yourself – Disposable gloves, dust masks, and goggles are an absolute must during hoarding clean up to avoid dangerous exposure to mold, parasites, and other health concerns which may be present in a hoarder’s home.

•    Get A Dumpster – You will likely find yourself with hundreds of trash bags for disposal; make sure you have a place to put them.  Many city sanitation services have large dumpsters available for rent and may include haul-off and disposal fees.

•    Start Outside – The exterior of the home will likely become the best place to organize the contents of the home, starting there is the best way to make sure you have room to sort and separate later.

•    Pick A Room – The bathrooms and kitchen will likely be the most difficult and hazardous to clean.  Tackle them first or leave them for last – the decision is yours.

•    De-Clutter First – Intensive cleaning, such as scrubbing walls, dusting, and vacuuming can wait until all of the garbage and clutter are out of the room.

•    Work Top To Bottom – Start with objects stacked up on tables, beds, chairs, etc. and work down toward clutter on the floor.  Closets will likely be extremely disorganized and stuffed full – leave them for last.

•     Separate – Hoarders do not often differentiate between what is trash and what isn’t.  Separate items into three groups:  Trash, maybe keep, and definitely keep.

•    Sort – Bag up the trash and throw it in the dumpster.  Remove maybe keep and definitely keep items from the room and put them in designated spots for further evaluation. You may also want to remove larger items, like furniture, for more intensive cleaning.

•    Move On – When the first room is free of clutter, move on to another and start again.

•    Intensive Cleaning – When the entire house is clutter-free begin the intensive cleaning step.  Again, start at the top with ceilings and ceiling fans.  Move on to walls, windows, and any furniture left in the room.  Finish with the floor and keep in mind that the carpet may need to be pulled up and disposed of – if so, trash it and scrub the floor boards.

•    Address Repairs – Structural repairs, painting, and re-carpeting may need to be done before the home is ready to be moved back into.  It may be best to have the home professionally evaluated to ensure that it is truly safe to move in.

•    Clean Up Items – Once the trash is gone, do any necessary cleaning to other items and move them back into the home, donate unwanted items to charity, or have a garage sale.

Extreme Conditions Needing a Professional Sanitization Service

Some hoarding clean up may be too hazardous for an amateur cleaning crew.  Excessive mold, animal waste, and other dangerous substances may require a professional hazardous material removal and sanitation service to ensure the job is done safely and completely.

San Diego’s most experienced service for hoarding clean up is Bio-One.  Put your mind at rest and know that your home will be left a safe and healthy environment, contact Bio-One now.

What is Animal Hoarding?

Normally people who are called “hoarders” are known to collect trash, junk, and other useless or valueless items.  Animal hoarding, however, is very different for the normal set of obsessive hoarding behaviors.  Whereas the garden variety hoarder collects items that they believe may one day be useful or valuable in great volume, animal hoarders often collect pets that that consider an extension of their own family.

While animal hoarding can apply to several different kinds of animals, like rodents, insects, dogs, sheep, or deer, the most common kind of animal hoarded is the house cat.  Cats have a way about them that makes people feel comfortable and secure, which can potentially open the door for hoarding.

A large amount of any live animal kept in an isolated environment can present very serious health risks to both to the hoarder and to neighbors.

The Dangers of Animal Hoarding

A number of health and public safety concerns exist in the company of animal hoarding, including:

•    Sanitation – Animal urine and feces can contain extremely dangerous parasites, as well as dangerous levels of ammonia.  Animal hoarders generally are unwilling or unable to keep up with the full-time job of cleaning up after the huge number of pets, which can also lead to unsanitary conditions for eating or bathing.

•    Infestation – Aside from the animals themselves, which might be considered an infestation in and of themselves, a large number of animals creates the perfect environment for fleas, ticks, mites, and other disease-spreading vermin to breed.  These pests can easily overwhelm an enclosed home and move out to infest neighboring residences as well.

•    Disease – Rabies, ringworm, hookworm, salmonella, influenza, and cat scratch fever are primary examples of zoonotic diseases, or diseases that can spread from animals to humans.  Toxoplasmosis, a parasite that inhabits the feces of cats and rodents is capable of causing a myriad of mental illnesses, as well as severe birth defects if exposed to a pregnant woman.

This doesn’t include the fact that smells and unsanitary conditions in the home can lead to damage to the structure, fire hazards, and possible eviction as well.

What to do about Animal Hoarding

Animal hoarding is a compulsive condition, and even if the animals are removed the hoarder may quickly begin acquiring more leading to the same problem.  Because animal hoarders are normally very defensive about their pets, it is not recommended that friends and family intervene without the assistance of licensed mental health therapist.

While animal hoarding is a condition that is still not fully understood there have been many radiating success stories under the guidance of professional psychiatric doctors and the moral support of friends and family.

For general health and safety concerns, any residents in an animal hoarder’s home should be removed from the dwelling as quickly as possible and not be allowed to return until it can be properly cleaned and sanitized.  Because of the significant hazards to health and safety involved, this should be done by a professional sanitation service.

In San Diego, contact Bio-One, the area’s leading experts on bio-hazardous waste removal and sanitation.

Cleaning Blood and Bodily Fluid Spills

Cleaning Blood and Bodily Fluid Spills

Small areas of blood and other bodily fluids can be easily cleaned up but require a little extra attention to personal protection and detail.  It is generally taught that universal precautions should be used when cleaning up fluids like:

  • Blood
  • Semen & Vaginal Secretion
  • Spinal Fluid
  • Pleural Fluid
  • Pericardial Fluid
  • Peritoneal Fluid
  • Amniotic Fluid
  • Saliva
  • Tissue & Organ Matter
  • Urine
  • Feces
  • Nasal Secretion
  • Vomit

Universal precautions mean that any of these bodily fluids should be automatically treated and handled as though it were infected with blood borne illnesses.  Even though some blood pathogens do not exists in all bodily fluid (e.g. HIV does not exist in saliva) it is always safest to assume precaution.

Preparing and Protecting Yourself

When cleaning up blood and bodily fluids, a full array of personal protective equipment (PPE) should be worn.  This includes:

  • Heavy-Duty Disposable Gloves (Nitrile or Latex)
  • Protective Goggles
  • Leak-Proof Apron
  • Heavy Duty Rubber Shoe Coverings
  • Face Mask or Respirator

Though small jobs may not require all of the above equipment, gloves and a face mask should always be worn.  Use common sense when determining what other PPE may be necessary, and take extra precautions if you deem them unnecessary.

Take care to not tear or otherwise damage your gloves.  Beware of sharp objects such as broken glass and do not pick them up with your hands.  If your gloves do tear they should be immediately replaced with a fresh pair.

Be especially careful with any waste bags that contain sharp objects (broken glass, syringes, blades, etc.) and note on the bag that it contains sharp objects with a permanent marker to avoid further exposure.

Remove all protective equipment and wash your hands with antimicrobial hand soap thoroughly before eating, drinking, smoking, applying make-up, using lip balm, or handling contact lenses.

Step-By-Step Cleaning Guide

After you have put on all protective equipment, use the following guide to safely clean up blood and bodily fluids:

  • Use a broom and dustpan to remove any foreign objects from the area and discard.
  • Carpeting and upholstered furniture exposed to blood should be removed and disposed of.
  • Use disposable towels to soak up the majority of the blood.  Discard towels.
  • Use soap and water on mops and cleaning rags to clean the rest.
  • Use a solution of 10-part water to 1-part bleach to disinfect the exposed area.
  • Dispose of or disinfect all mops, rags, and other cleaning tools to avoid spreading pathogens.

All materials exposed to blood and bodily fluids must be placed into special bags and containers marked with a biohazard symbol and sealed. Blood and bodily fluids are regulated medical waste; contact your local Hazardous Material Management Office for pickup or to learn where the proper disposal facility is located.

Larger Jobs Require Professional Attendance

Though small amounts of blood and bodily fluid can be cleaned without assistance, a big job such as violent crime scene cleanup requires professional care.  You can usually contact your local police department to learn about professional crime scene cleaning in your area.

Bio-One is San Diego’s Most Trusted Company for Blood and Body Fluid Cleanup

Who Cleans Up a Suicide in San Diego?

For starters, as you may have discovered, the police do not take responsibility for the clean up of a suicide. Once the crime scene investigators have taken evidence and the police have closed the case, they then leave the responsibility of cleaning up the suicide to the property owner of where the suicide took place.

In some cases, a suicide may not result in any difficult cleanup being needed, but in other cases there may be biohazardous materials, like blood or other bodily fluids, and/or pungent smells, which require the area to be decontaminated. In this case, where harmful pathogens may have contaminated the area, a certified suicide cleanup company in San Diego may be the best option for the cleanup task.

Avoid Attempting Cleanup on Your Own

Although you may be tempted to attempt the cleanup of a suicide on your own, it can be very dangerous. Even if the scene doesn’t appear to be a difficult task to clean up, substances like urine, feces, or even vomit, can contain harmful pathogens and should be removed with caution. A biohazard waste cleanup company that’s certified for the proper cleanup and disposal of biohazardous waste should be the only ones responsible for the cleanup of a suicide scene.

Suicide Cleanup Company in San Diego

Finding the best suicide cleanup company in San Diego may seem like a difficult task, but it’s actually quite simple. A suicide is a devastating situation and the cleanup should only be handled by a compassionate, discreet suicide cleanup company that is certified, experienced, and professional. Bio-One is the only company in San Diego that can provide these qualities and can help you get through this hard time.

Who Cleans Up Biohazard Waste in San Diego?

Biohazard wastes are biological agents or conditions which can be extremely harmful to humans or the environment. This means that they must be handled with extreme caution, disposed of properly, and the contaminated area must be thoroughly cleaned and decontaminated.

When dealing with a biohazard waste contamination or spill, only a certified biohazard waste cleanup company should be involved in the cleanup. It’s very important to avoid any substance which you believe to be biohazard waste; this can even include things like a battery leak. Biohazard waste should only be cleaned up by a qualified cleanup crew.

Finding a Biohazard Waste Cleanup Company in San Diego

Although, by doing a quick search on Google, you may find several biohazard waste cleanup companies in San Diego, many of them lack the proper certifications and experience necessary to safely remove and dispose of biohazardous waste.

CDPH, the California Department of Public Health, has strict guidelines on the transportation and disposal of biohazard waste and therefore, only certified and CDPH compliant companies should be involved in the cleanup of biohazard waste in San Diego.

Bio-One – Biohazard Waste Cleanup in San Diego

If you’re searching for a company who cleans up biohazard waste in San Diego, then Bio One is the best option. With years of experience, full certification, and an impeccable record, they are the leading biohazard waste cleanup company in San Diego. They provide discreet and professional cleanup services of biohazard waste in Phoenix and will work with your insurance company to avoid any out-of-pocket costs if possible.

The Hazards of a Sewage Backup

The Hazards of a Sewage Backup

Sewage backup is a frequent concern for Phoenix, Arizona.  There are many contributing factors for sewage backup, including blockages, plant root invasions, and occasional heavy rainfall.  Whatever the case, the water must be removed quickly to prevent damage, and the entire area affected must be cleaned to prevent hazardous health conditions.

However, cleaning sewage requires more than a mop and bucket.  To prevent dangerous pathogens from running rampant in your basement after a sewage backup, it must be cleaned and fully disinfected.

How to Clean Up a Sewage Backup in the Basement

The first step to cleaning your basement after sewage backup is to ensure that the area is safe.  Gas leaks and electrical shorts are a very real danger if your basement has appliances powered by natural gas, such as a furnace unit or hot-water heater, or an electrical appliance such as a washing machine.

If any of these apply to your basement area, or if the sewage backup is likely to reach an electrical outlet near floor level, contact your utility companies to pause service until the problem can be repaired.

After you are confident that the basement is safe, make sure you are safe by using disposable gloves, goggles, and dust mask.  Now proceed to the following steps:

  • Remove The Water – Small areas of wastewater can be removed with a wet/dry vacuum.  Larger areas of water may require a pump to remove effectively.
  • Discard Ruined Items – Items that cannot be cleaned and used again include cosmetics, paper products, books, magazines, toys, rugs, and carpeting.  These must be thrown away for health and safety issues.
  • Remove Cleanable Items – Furniture, clothing, canned goods, and appliances can be cleaned and used again, but they should be removed until both they and the basement are cleaned.
  • If sludge and grime remain on the walls of your basement, use fresh water from a garden hose with a spray attachment to wash it down to the floor.  If necessary, use the wet/dry vacuum or pump again to remove the water.
  • Use a disinfectant solution (such as water and bleach) to clean walls.  Ensure that you follow all safety instructions on the cleaning label.  Use scrub brushes, scratch pads, and rags as applicable.  Change your cleaning water frequently during the process.
  • Wash walls again with clean soap and water and fresh rags, brushes, and scratch pads.
  • Clean any solid waste on the floor with a broom and dustpan.
  • Scrub the floor with a disinfectant solution of a half-cup of bleach and gallon of water and a floor-scrubbing brush.  Remember again to change your water frequently.
  • Use a fresh mop to clean the floor again using anti-bacterial detergent.  Read all labels carefully to ensure that there are no hazardous reactions possible when mixed with the bleach that is already on your floor.
  • Use fans and dehumidifiers to help the area dry, and clean any items before they are placed back in the basement.

Once you have completed the cleaning process, it may be prudent to take a shower with anti-bacterial soap to ensure that you do not further spread bacteria, but you must at least wash your hands, forearms, and elbows.

It may further be prudent to contact your utility companies to inspect your appliances before restoring power and gas to your basement.

When to Contact the Professionals

There are many reasons that you might want to contact a professional cleaning and sanitation service to deal with the situation, such as:

  • The sewage backup is too large to clean effectively.
  • You have a compromised immune system that prevents you from doing it yourself.
  • You are elderly, disabled, or in poor health.
  • You have a weak stomach or excessive intolerance to the smell of sewage.

Also, remember that raw sewage is an extremely hazardous material, so the best time to contact a professional sanitation service is… always.

If you require the services of a decontamination and sanitation service in the San Diego area, contact Bio-One today – and get the job done right.