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Small Business Locally Owned & Operated

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Dangers of Cleaning a Hoarder’s House

Dangers of Cleaning a Hoarders House 1

Modern media has a way of minimizing the seriousness of certain issues— and hoarding is a prime example. Popular TV shows and social media memes commonly portray hoarding as a laughable problem. But, if left untreated, these tendencies can have deeply damaging effects on the mental and physical well-being of the hoarder. For those who want to lend a helping hand, it can also be extremely dangerous to clean out a hoarder’s house. At Nixxit, we take the well-being of our community members very seriously, both those struggling with hoarding and the brave people stepping up to help. Knowing the common hazards can help you make informed decisions about how to tackle the cleanup of a hoarder’s house.

Understanding Common Hazards in Hoarding Clean-up

Here are 8 of the most common hazards you must be prepared to encounter in a hoarder’s home.

Unsafe Physical Structures

Insecure structural hazards can be a big risk during a hoarding clean-up. If large piles or stacks of boxes shift, they may run the risk of falling and harming those doing the cleanup. Additionally, floorboards and walls can be damaged under the constant weight of clutter, and any water damage can weaken the integrity of walls. All of this adds up to create unsafe conditions for anyone entering the home, so a clean-up crew must use extreme caution.


Even if a hoarder doesn’t try to accumulate biohazardous materials, these dangerous elements may accumulate in someone’s home without their knowledge. For example, decaying food or animal waste may be lost among the clutter. Biohazardous waste can cause serious harm to health, such as infection. Wearing protective equipment like gloves and face masks is essential.

Dangerous Chemicals

If there’s a chance the hoarder has accumulated any sort of chemical products, this could pose a substantial threat. Basic household cleaning solutions can be dangerous if improperly stored or disposed of. Any direct contact with toxic chemicals, including cleaning agents or pesticides, can lead to dangerous health conditions. Some chemicals are also highly flammable, increasing the chance of a fire.

Fire Hazards

The more stuff someone accumulates in their home, the greater the risk of fire. Highly flammable materials, like paper or chemicals, are commonly found in hoarders’ homes, increasing the chance of a fire getting out of control. Clutter can also block exits, making it dangerously hard to leave the building if a fire occurs. It may also be difficult for firefighters to get into the building in case of an emergency.

Mold and Mildew

If you can’t see or reach certain areas of your house, there is no way to know what is truly festering there. Because of this, mold and mildew are commonly found in a hoarder’s home. While mold can harm many individuals’ health, you must be extremely cautious if someone in your cleanup party has a mold allergy, as exposure could cause severe reactions.

Respiratory Health Risks

From dust to chemicals to mold, you may encounter many dangerous elements in a hoarder’s home that could cause serious harm to respiratory health. What’s more, extremely cluttered homes often have limited airflow, increasing the respiratory dangers of any hazardous materials in the home.

Vermin or Insect Infestation

Rats, mice, and bugs are common problems in hoarders’ homes. Because the space may be difficult to clean, dust and food frequently attract these critters to the home. Plus, clutter makes a great shelter for unsightly and dangerous pests that can carry disease and perpetuate the unsanitary conditions in the home.

Risk of Injury or Illness

For all the reasons we’ve discussed here, cleaning up a hoarder’s home can cause serious injury or illness if you don’t take the proper precautions. Using personal protective equipment and extreme caution is extremely important when entering a hoarder’s home. Make sure you have spill kits, ample cleaning supplies, and a game plan to tackle the clean-up before you begin.

Why Safety Gear is Essential: Ensuring Safe and Effective Protection

If you discover a loved one is hoarding, you may want to find the fastest way to remedy the situation. But diving in too fast before you’re prepared can be a big mistake. It is essential to pause, consider what supplies you’ll need, and acquire the necessary safety gear to ensure everyone is protected during the cleanup process.

You never really know what you will find in a hoarder’s home until you begin cleaning. While many people who struggle with hoarding know in detail where they can locate individual possessions, there are still many unknowns. Dead animals, mold, and other potentially toxic biohazards may be found in the home. Because of this, it’s imperative that you collect an array of personal protective materials prior to arriving, such as gloves and face masks, and cleaning items, such as buckets, trash bags, and cleaning solutions. The more proactive you are, the better equipped you’ll be to respond to anything that comes up, ultimately saving you time in the cleanup process. It’s also wise to have dedicated and specially crafted blood and vomit spill kits on hand, as handling this type of hazardous waste can be extremely dangerous.

Need Hoarder Cleanout Services in the Bay Area, CA? We Can Help.

Knowing these common hazards and dangers of cleaning out a hoarder’s home on your own can help you make an informed choice about how to intervene. It’s also important to remember that hoarding is a disorderthat too often faces unfair social stigma. People who struggle with hoarding disorder deserve nonjudgmental support as they take steps toward recovery. That’s where Nixxit comes in.

If you or someone you love needs friendly, shame-free hoarder cleanout services in the Bay Area, we’re here to help. With an emphasis on sustainability, our company prioritizes caring for the planet as much as we care for our customers. Reach out today to learn about our expert cleanout services!

Need Help with a Hoarder Cleanout in the Bay Area, CA?

Nixxit Junk Removal can help with your hoarder cleanout needs in the Bay Area.

  • 10+ Years of Experience Working with Hoarders
  • Locally Owned and Operated
  • Sensitive and Discreet Approach
  • Full-Service Removal and Sorting
  • Donation and Recycling
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nixxitjunk · Jun 13