Hoarder cleaning is unique in its own way. Because there are many factors involved, the cost of hoarding cleanup services can vary significantly.
One of the most commonly asked questions from loved ones of hoarders is, “How much does hoarder cleaning cost?” It's difficult to provide an exact answer without first assessing the particular situation.
However, in general, hoarder cleaning costs can run anywhere from $35 to $80 per hour, per employee, in addition to other services that may be required onsite. This is especially true if conditions are severe.
Though more costly than traditional cleaning services, the value of working with a company that has extensive experience in challenging hoarding situations far exceeds the cost.
Below we’ll explore three factors that play a significant role in determining the cost of hoarder cleaning services so that you will know what to expect when discussing your loved one’s situation with a prospective cleaning service.
1. Details Of The Property
Any company that gives you an estimate over the phone without seeing the property is doing a disservice to you and your loved one. That’s because there are many details of the property a hoarding cleanup company will need to evaluate before providing an accurate quote.
These details include:
- The property’s size: This includes not only the square footage and number of rooms inside the home, but also whether any additional buildings or areas outside the home needs to be addressed.
- Location of the property: The cost of any type of service can vary by market, but the location of a property also can factor into the cost if the property is difficult to access or is located outside the normal service area for a company.
- Type of property: If the property is a condo in a high-rise, for example, it may be more difficult to create a staging area or take additional time to remove unwanted items. If it’s a business, you may have a different type of hoarding on your hands called digital hoarding. Research shows that more recently, data hoarding has become more common, and may require a more specialized type of assistance.
All of these property details can impact a number of things, and therefore costs, including:
- Amount of time needed to clean the property
- Number of crew members needed to execute the job
- Number of garbage and recycling bin rentals needed
- Amount of cleaning supplies and other equipment necessary
- Time needed to make necessary repairs
2. Severity Of The Situation
The severity of the hoarding situation significantly impacts the cost of cleaning the property.
There are 5 stages of hoarding that increase in severity, with Level 1 being the least severe stage of hoarding. In this stage, you may not be able to recognize your loved one is experiencing hoarding tendencies, and you may only notice some clutter.
In Level 2, hoarding tendencies become more evident. You will notice there is less attention paid to housekeeping, and clutter is beginning to overtake the home. Your loved one may even become more withdrawn from others.
In the next state, Level 3, the hoarding situation has become more serious. Clutter has overtaken the house, and hallways or stairwells are now at least partially blocked. You may also notice broken HVAC systems, non-functional appliances, hazardous substances in small quantities and at least one room not being used for its intended purpose.
By Level 4, the welfare of the resident is at a critical level. The home is dangerous, and there may be hazardous conditions that include mold, structural damage and bug infestations.
Level 5 is the most serious stage of hoarding in which no room is used for its intended purpose. Broken septic systems, plumbing and electrical systems have made the home uninhabitable, and severe infestations are causing health issues to the resident.
How do these stages impact costs? The more serious the level of hoarding your loved one is experiencing, the more resources will be needed to help address it. This includes:
- The number of crew members needed to complete the job
- Amount of time needed to make the property safe and clean again
- Level of cleaning supplies needed, including the level of personal protective equipment (PPE) necessary
- Number and level of repairs needed, with severe damage such as to the structure of the home being more costly
3. Presence Of Hazardous Materials
As mentioned above, the seriousness of the hoarding situation that your loved one is experiencing can impact any associated cleaning costs. One factor, in particular, that greatly increases the cost is when hazardous materials are present.
Because of the danger they pose to the resident, cleaning crew and environment, special care must be taken. Hazardous materials may include chemicals, asbestos and even explosive materials.
Hazardous materials require a higher level of protective gear, specialization in removal of the substance and proper disposal that meets all local, state and federal guidelines.
Biohazardous materials also can increase the price of hoarding cleanup services. These are often found present in more severe stages of hoarding, though small amounts may be found in Levels 2 and 3.
Hazardous biological materials include items such as:
- Human blood and body fluids
- Human and animal waste
- Medical waste, such as needles
Like with hazardous materials, specialized PPE is required for cleaning up biohazard materials because of the decontamination required to return the home to a clean environment.
Though more costly than traditional cleaning services, companies that specialize in hoarder cleaning services bring extensive experience and other benefits in dealing with situations that have become hazardous to the health of your loved one.
Reputable hoarder cleaning services:
- Have extensive experience dealing with hoarding situations, from mild to severe
- Offer a variety of services that address each stage of hoarding
- Work with a network of professionals to make sure your family member regains control of his or her home
- Prioritize completing the work in a timely manner while helping your loved one retain his or her dignity and independence
Though each hoarding situation is unique in its own way, seeking the help of a professional cleaning service company that has extensive experience in working with those suffering from a hoarding disorder is critical in ensuring a successful outcome.