There are lots of challenges trying to clean a hoarder house. For some houses, it can be a DIY project if you have the time and energy to do all of the manual labor required. For more severe hoarding cases most people don’t have the time or energy to handle the amount of work and stress. In addition, many hoarders’ houses have biological hazards that should be handled by a professional.
The cost to clean a hoarder house using a service company will range from $2,000 to $25,000 for an average home depending on these 4 factors: the amount of trash to be disposed of, if biohazardous material is present, how much cleaning is needed, and if the house needs to be remediated.
1. How Much Trash Needs To Be Disposed Of
Hoarder houses will have a lot of stuff that needs to be thrown away. The first thing to consider is the cost of disposing of all of that trash. You will have to pay based on the volume of trash and the total amount of dumpsters you have to use. In Houston, Texas a 40-yard dumpster will cost about $700 per load to be disposed of – so a house with 5 full dumpsters of trash would cost $3,500 and a house with 10 dumpsters of trash would cost $7,000 for disposal.
If you want to try and dispose of the trash yourself, you can call your trash company and ask if they would pick it up from your curb. In some cases, this is possible by paying a fee to the trash company (usually $200-$300 dollars). Keep in mind that they may not pick up larger items or trash that isn’t fully sacked up. Call and ask your trash company if you are considering this option before you start.
2. Is Biohazardous Material Present
All of that trash needs to get from the house to the dumpsters and that requires labor to remove it. Hoarder houses that don’t have biological hazards will be cheaper to clean out since anyone can provide the labor to remove the contents. In houses that have biological hazards, this requires proper personal protective equipment (PPE) and training to comply with OSHA guidelines.
Biohazardous material can be defined as infectious agents or hazardous biological materials that present a risk or potential risk to the health of humans, animals, or the environment. Biological hazards in hoarder houses include things like mold, human blood or waste, and animal blood or waste. The labor cleanup cost for biohazardous waste can be twice that of a normal trash cleanout.
It is not recommended to try and do-it-yourself handling biological hazards as you are taking incredible risks with the health of everyone involved in handling the material.
3. How Much Cleaning Is Needed
After all of the trash has been disposed of, the next step is to actually clean the house. The cleaning cost will vary substantially depending on the severity and type of hoarding involved. A lower-level hoarder house can be cleaned up using an off-the-shelf cleaning product like Simple Green. If animals lived in the house, especially cats, there will be additional costs, and enzymatic cleaners may need to be used. You will also need to deodorize the hoarder house as well to make sure it doesn’t smell.
4. Does The House Need To Be Remediated
In some cases, you will need to have the house remediated. This is particularly the case when you have mold. Since most hoarded houses are not properly taken care of, water leaks from pipes or from the roof will not be repaired and will create a breeding ground for mold. In areas like Houston, the high humidity will also cause mold to grow. In order to remediate the house, you will need to cut out the affected areas and treat behind the walls and possibly cabinets where mold may be growing mold.
Smaller areas of mold can likely safely be cleaned up without a remediation company. It is not recommended to try and clean mold if it involves more than 10 square feet of an area.
Cleaning a hoarder house can be a big chore if you try to do it yourself. For houses that need remediation or have biohazardous material, it is best to be safe and hire professionals. The cost of a professional company to do the clean-up can be expensive. If you are searching for options on what to do with a hoarder house and are considering selling the hoarder house without doing the cleanup, there are companies like Brilliant Day Homes that buy hoarder houses in as-is condition.