Hoarding

Hoarding Cleanup in South Florida with Rescue Clean 911

Rescue Clean 911 is a damage repair, biohazard removal, and disaster restoration company that provides specialty cleaning services for those that need to clean potentially hazardous materials. We provide services that include flood damage removal, fire damage repair, and crime scene cleanup, all of which require advanced cleaning methods, PPE, and more.

Hoarding cleanup is one of our specialty services. Hoarding is the result of a complex mental health condition, and those that struggle with hoarding often find that it occurs gradually. But over time, as a result of years and potentially decades of storing different types of items, hoarding can become a hazardous issue that requires a more professional clean.

If you need to clear away the signs of hoarding on a property and restore it to as close to like-new condition as possible, contact Rescue Clean 911. We can handle any type of possessions, collections, trash, or waste, and provide the deepest possible clean and restoration to make sure that the property returns back to a healthier condition. Call 561-621-2662 and schedule your service today. 

hoarding-cleanup-Aventura

Contact Us Today

What is 7+4?

About Rescue Clean 911 Hoarding Cleanup Services

Rescue Clean 911 is based in South Florida, serving Fort Lauderdale, Miami, West Palm Beach, and all the surrounding communities throughout the region. We are able to respond to any small or large scale property “disaster,” which includes cleanup of water damage, crime scenes, and more.

For those that have struggled with hoarding, the type of cleanup can vary considerably. Different individuals may find themselves in need of different types of cleanup, with someone hoarding shoes or paperwork requiring different cleaning solutions than those hoarding trash or pet waste. 

Within the field of hoarding cleanup, removal, and restoration, we typically integrate many of the different services we offer, including:

  • Biohazard Removal – Most forms of hoarding can create biohazards, in the form of waste, old food/trash, and more. Our team comes fully equipped with the PPE and devices needed to locate even microscopic pathogens and eliminate them completely, making the property safe in the short and long term. We can also safely bag and remove items in ways recommended by the EPA and CDC. 
  • Unattended Death Cleanup – Tragically, many people that have hoarding issues pass away on the property. Any unattended death can cause biohazard and waste problems, but those same problems may also be exacerbated by the hoarded items as biomaterials seep into those items and spread. We are able to address the odors, particles, and other dangers, restoring the property to like-new condition. 
  • Pest Elimination – Hoarding can attract all different types of pests. In a typical residence, pests are rarely a health hazard. But when faced with hoarding, it’s possible to develop severe infestations that can lead to health challenges. Rats, mice, and other rodents may also pass away on the property, causing biohazardous waste. 
  • Mold Remediation, and More – Hoarding different materials can cause many different types of hazards, including mold, mildew, bacteria, and more. We’re able to assist with eliminating any mold or other remnants that we find, removing molded items and cleaning dirty areas. 

Our services do not stop at cleanup, either. We are also available for restoration. Our team can rebuild any part of the property that has been damaged beyond repair or needs to be removed. Once our hoarding restoration services are completed, anyone visiting the property will have no idea that hoarding took place unless disclosed.

Rescue Clean 911 is available to address all different types of damage, and that includes those from hoarding. We are available for emergencies as well, but you can contact us via our online form if you need to schedule a service time for our team. 

What is Hoarding?

Hoarding is a mental health disorder characterized by the inability to throw any item away, regardless of its fiscal or sentimental value. Those who experience mental disorders that lead to hoarding may experience intense anxiety if they attempt to discard either all belongings or specific belongings, and typically will refuse to allow anyone to get rid of those collections. 

Hoarding typically involves a large quantity of items that are considered by others to be valueless, or are collected in excess of what is considered psychologically healthy. The types of articles that a hoarder may keep include:

  • Newspapers
  • Magazines
  • Clothing
  • Food
  • Boxes
  • Containers
  • Household Cleaning Supplies
  • Broken Electronics, and More. 

Animal hoarding – in which the person keeps more cats, dogs, or other pets than can reasonably be cared for – is a closely related issue. Some people keep trash that they are unwilling or unable to throw away. Others keep items that could theoretically have minor sentimental value, but are typically stored in excess of what is reasonable. 

Even people who hoard may recognize their items as valueless. Unlike collectors, there is not a pride in the amassed possessions, and many hoarders experience embarrassment at the thought of others seeing the collection of objects.

The reasons for keeping such items include the belief that they may one day be needed, fear of losing or forgetting something, the need for a reminder of a person or event, or that they were a bargain that can’t be discarded. In some cases, a person may have a minor hoarding issue that becomes more severe over time as a result of being overwhelmed by their existing collection. 

Hoarding can also interfere with other functions. For example, taking care of pets in a household with hoarding can be physically difficult, so pets lay their waste around the property and the hoarder is unwilling or unable to clean it, leading to biohazards. Similar difficulties functioning can lead to food and trash buildup as well, even in those not specifically hoarding food or trash. Over time, that buildup can also lead to animals and pests entering the property and finding ample places to hide and breed.

It is estimated that over 1 million can be diagnosed with compulsive hoarding disorder. Many times, the inability to dispose of items may often correlate with another mental disorder such as depression, OCD, and ADHD. Dementia and psychosis can also lead to hoarding tendencies in some people, and older age groups tend to be more affected.

As compulsive hoarding goes on, the amount of objects exceeds available storage and begins to take over floor space, counter space, table space, and more, reducing livable areas in the property. Some hoarding may encompass only a single room where all extra possessions are kept, but other situations involve the entire property.

No matter how much space hoarding encompasses, the obsessive collection of objects will have significant repercussions for the hoarder, family members, property managers, and others.

Hoarding Levels

The Institute for Challenging Disorganization (ICD), a nonprofit organization focused on helping those who suffer from chronic disorganization, have a Clutter-Hoarding Scale that offers guidelines for the severity of hoarding situations, including what safety measures should be taken in remediating these environments.

Their standards divide the effects of hoarding into five categories:

  • Household Functions
  • Structure and Zoning
  • Animals and Pests
  • Health and Safety
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Based on the extent of damage and risk in these categories, the ICD outlines hoarding along these levels of extremes:

  • Level I Hoarding – At this level, clutter is minimal and does not impede living spaces or appliances. All exits and stairways are accessible, electrical and ventilation systems are functional, and there are no safety concerns. Pets and pet waste are managed and no pests are on the property. Personal protective equipment is optional but not necessary during cleanup.
  • Level II Hoarding – Level two includes clutter that begins to obstruct living areas and blocks at least 1 exit. HVAC or electrical systems may not be fully functional and an appliance may be broken. There is some pet waste or signs of pest infestation, and odors resulting from dirty dishes, food, or plumbing. Mildew may be present. Gloves and personal sanitation are considered enough for cleanup.
  • Level III Hoarding – Clutter prevents the use of certain rooms and makes it difficult to navigate stairs and hallways. There is a clear lack of household maintenance at this level, broken appliances, and light structural damage.  Some clutter may be collecting outside. Pests are noticeable and animal numbers exceed local regulations. Face masks, eye covering, gloves, and boots are the minimum required PPE.
  • Level IV Hoarding – Several rooms cannot be used at this level due to clutter, and there may be damaged walls, floors, plumbing, appliances, and electrical systems. Animal infestations are extensive, odors are obvious, and there may be rotting food or sewage backup. Full PPE is recommended at this stage and biohazard risks are present.
  • Level V Hoarding – Kitchens or bathrooms are unusable due to clutter, and exits are blocked. There is permanent damage to indoor or outdoor structural elements, as well as septic, electrical, and HVAC systems. Human urine and feces are present, as is extensive mold. If animals are on the property, they are dangerous to people or themselves. Full PPE is required to safely clean this type of property.

Level I and Level II hoarding are the only levels that should ever be handled without professional assistance, and only then with the recommended safety equipment. But less extensive hoarding still benefits from professional assistance as there may be hazards that are not apparent at first and cleanup work that is intensive.

Property and Health Risks From Hoarding

Hoarding creates an unlivable situation. The psychological repercussions are extreme for those living in the home or apartment, compounding with any underlying issues or disorders that first prompted the hoarding.

But beyond the psychological effects, there are also very real and urgent risks to physical health and the property. These risks are more extreme in longer term hoarding situations, but exist in any case of hoarding depending on what items are collected and other ongoing issues during the time.

Since hoarding is often accompanied by neglect of a property, other forms of property damage can be extreme when they are addressed. Damage may have also been hidden by clutter, letting it get to an advanced and potentially harmful state before it can be mitigated.

Rescue Clean 911 works with several different insurance companies, therefore we are often able to bill your insurance company directly.

If insurance covers the cost of our services, the only payment required from you will be your policy deductible.

If insurance coverage is not available, we do offer several different payment plans, which generally suit most budgets.

We provide service to the entire South Florida area including Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, St. Lucie, and Martin county.

We provide service to the entire South Florida area including Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, St. Lucie, and Martin county.

The most common issues we see in a hoarding situation include:
  • Mold and Mildew – Leftover food, moisture entrapped by clutter, or a leak in the home that has been hidden can all provide a growing ground for mold. High temperatures and humidity in south Florida make this a particular risk. Once any mold has begun to grow, it will continue to do so, releasing potentially toxic spores into the air.
  • Pest Infestations – Crumbs and trash provide ample food for insects and rodents while clutter offers hiding places. Roaches, rats, mice, ants, and a range of other pests can be crawling among the debris.
  • Animal Waste – If cats, dogs, or other pets are kept inside the home, feces and urine are often present as well. These can cause odors, staining, and the spread of bacteria. Even if there are no house pets present, animal invaders like rodents can leave scattered droppings too.
  • Animal Remains – A deceased pet or dead rodent causes odors, attracts pests, and releases bacteria as it decays. The animals can be trapped in clutter or buried, making it difficult to find the source of the smell.
  • Plumbing Issues – A lack of maintenance can result in deteriorated pipes, clogged sinks and toilets, and other issues with sewage can result in biohazard waste in different areas of the home.
  • Trip Hazards – Clutter in a hoarding environment can reach to the ceiling and contain many small items that makes navigating the property difficult. For residents that are older or have impaired mobility, this puts them at risk of a fall while moving around.
  • Property Stress – The extreme weight of collected items, particularly when coupled with other damage that can weaken a structure like mold or water, can leave properties unstable. Ceilings, flooring, and other surfaces can weaken over a long period of time to the point of collapse.
  • Fire Risk – Many materials – like papers, magazines, cardboard boxes, clothing, and more – are highly flammable. Additionally, debris around vents, overcrowded electrical outlets, misused space heaters, and poorly maintained appliances increase the chance of overheating electrical components and fire.

If there are harmful bacteria or spores on site from mold, biohazardous waste, or other contaminants, they may also become airborne if disturbed. This increases the chance of health issues when these particles can be inhaled.

The dangerous results of hoarding are a threat for those living in or around the situation, as well as those handling cleanup. This makes it necessary to take precautions for safety to avoid coming into contact with contaminants during the cleanup process.

The most common issues we see in a hoarding situation include:

  • Mold and Mildew – Leftover food, moisture entrapped by clutter, or a leak in the home that has been hidden can all provide a growing ground for mold. High temperatures and humidity in south Florida make this a particular risk. Once any mold has begun to grow, it will continue to do so, releasing potentially toxic spores into the air.
  • Pest Infestations – Crumbs and trash provide ample food for insects and rodents while clutter offers hiding places. Roaches, rats, mice, ants, and a range of other pests can be crawling among the debris.
  • Animal Waste – If cats, dogs, or other pets are kept inside the home, feces and urine are often present as well. These can cause odors, staining, and the spread of bacteria. Even if there are no house pets present, animal invaders like rodents can leave scattered droppings too.
  • Animal Remains – A deceased pet or dead rodent causes odors, attracts pests, and releases bacteria as it decays. The animals can be trapped in clutter or buried, making it difficult to find the source of the smell.
  • Plumbing Issues – A lack of maintenance can result in deteriorated pipes, clogged sinks and toilets, and other issues with sewage can result in biohazard waste in different areas of the home.
  • Trip Hazards – Clutter in a hoarding environment can reach to the ceiling and contain many small items that makes navigating the property difficult. For residents that are older or have impaired mobility, this puts them at risk of a fall while moving around.
  • Property Stress – The extreme weight of collected items, particularly when coupled with other damage that can weaken a structure like mold or water, can leave properties unstable. Ceilings, flooring, and other surfaces can weaken over a long period of time to the point of collapse.
  • Fire Risk – Many materials – like papers, magazines, cardboard boxes, clothing, and more – are highly flammable. Additionally, debris around vents, overcrowded electrical outlets, misused space heaters, and poorly maintained appliances increase the chance of overheating electrical components and fire.

If there are harmful bacteria or spores on site from mold, biohazardous waste, or other contaminants, they may also become airborne if disturbed. This increases the chance of health issues when these particles can be inhaled.

The dangerous results of hoarding are a threat for those living in or around the situation, as well as those handling cleanup. This makes it necessary to take precautions for safety to avoid coming into contact with contaminants during the cleanup process.

hoarder cleaning services delray beach fl

Why Trust Hoarding Cleanup to Professionals?

On the surface, cleaning a hoarding property may seem like a more intensive version of a typical household cleaning project. But it is important to realize that even with the assistance of family and friends, this can be an immense and potentially dangerous activity. 

The amount of items can take days of continuous work to sort through and dispose of correctly. This is complicated by the fact that the homeowner, if present, can often be resistant to getting rid of anything, and the potential to spread mold, bacteria, and diseases if the areas that are being cleaned are disturbed during the cleaning process.

There is also safety. This is perhaps the most significant concern when cleaning up after hoarding.

Even when items seem innocuous, such as newspapers, magazines, and clothing, they can hide molded food, rodents and other pests, animal remains, feces, and sharp objects. Proceeding with cleaning without knowing which dangers may exist and without the right safeguards in case those dangers are encountered puts everyone on the property at risk.

In our work, we use a range of safety equipment including:

  • Gloves
  • Protective Eyewear
  • Boots
  • Respirator Masks
  • Hazmat Suits

This personal protective equipment may be used in addition to equipment and tools that assist in preventing cross contamination within the space, such as HEPA filters, materials to isolate separate rooms, decontamination rooms, and more.

Our cleanup technicians have training in OSHA and EPA guidelines for handling potentially toxic materials, as well as industry standards put forth by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC for restoring properties after various types of toxic and cosmetic damage. We use every up to date guideline and regulation while on site at properties, making it possible for us to guarantee not only safety, but also a full restoration.

The range of damages that might be encountered during hoarding remediation can add additional challenges beyond the scope of removing excessive contents. Many individuals are not equipped to remediate set-in mold, water damage, or odors, lacking the equipment and sanitization products needed to effectively mitigate damage.

The final reason to leave hoarding cleanup to professionals is our experience with the psychological impact of hoarding, particularly the anxiety, distress, and heightened emotions often felt by homeowners and family members as we clean. 

Whether an individual has sought help themselves or with family’s encouragement or cleanup is required by an outside party due to safety concerns, there will be uncomfortable moments. Even if the hoarder is not present, the experience can be unsettling for those who are.

Having an experienced and objective team on hand to support you through the process helps you manage the emotional burden so that you can focus on making the right decisions for your property.

Emotional Considerations in Hoarding Cleanup

If the possessions in a home or apartment belong to you or a family member, we understand that this process may be emotionally difficult. There may be a sense of embarrassment over the state of a home, intense feelings of attachment to items, distrust of any efforts to remove belongings, and other concerns.

Although awareness of compulsive hoarding disorder is becoming more familiar, knowing how to deal with the physical consequences is complicated. 

We know how to build trust with a hoarder and encourage them to work with us to create a more comfortable living environment for them and their family. To make hoarding cleanup effective while still respecting your home and belongings:

  • The cleanup is led by a single person who is there to support you through the process.
  • In addition to the lead technician, the entire team operates with compassion and without judgement.
  • All decisions are made by the property owner, resident, or case worker depending on the situation.
  • We use as much discretion as possible to avoid neighbor’s interference.

Excessive content cleanup is often not a case of simply discarding all items in the home. Among clutter, there are likely items that should be kept. We help you separate the valuable items from those we can remove from the property and assist in organization and placement of what remains so that the residence is left safe, comfortable, and completely livable.

How We Clean at Hoarding Properties

Through hoarding clean up, we want to remove the excess clutter that is at the foundation of the hoarding problem. But we also need to manage any property damage that resulted from hoarding which is often revealed when clutter is removed.

The clean up process therefore involves two main portions:

Item Disposal

The first focus in the majority of hoarding cleanup situations, and usually the most challenging for the clients involved, is to get rid of unneeded contents. After we have determined the severity of the situation and safety measures are in place, we begin to go through items in the residence.

This is done methodically so that all belongings can be surveyed and decided on. Items are then divided into different groups:

  • Trash – Items that are broken or no longer needed are disposed of. This also includes any belongings contaminated with mold, biological material, or other bacteria that cannot be sterilized. These objects are removed in accordance with federal and state regulations regarding proper disposal.
  • Keep – Because of potential exposure to contaminants in a hoarding environment, items that will be kept need to be sanitized to remove mold spores, germs, dust, and other harmful particles. We use a range of cleaning methods and products that makes it possible to remove bacteria from almost any object.
  • Donate – Many items that are no longer needed can be donated instead. They must first be sanitized, but then we can assist in arranging donations to the correct groups.
  • Distributed Among Family – In the case of an estate, we can help manage locating and distributing the wanted or bequeathed possessions to the right family members. Like kept and donated items, we ensure these belongings are completely clean before releasing them.

Throughout the process, we search for items that have value. This includes belongings you let us know that you are looking for, as well as documents, keepsakes, or expensive objects that we anticipate you will want to keep. We have extensive experience in cleaning after hoarding and can identify important items, but we can also work with you to choose what to keep so that nothing of importance is missed.

Property Damage Restoration

Once all clutter is removed and sorted, we can completely assess damage to the structure, such as that done by mold, water, and bacteria.

For some situations, it is helpful to organize a move-out of remaining belongings. We remove all home contents that will be kept to temporary storage while we handle property restoration. This prevents any damage or further contamination to household contents and makes restoration more efficient.

Restoration depends on the type of damage and the services you opt for our team to take care of. We can:

  • Remove Damaged Walls, Ceilings, and Flooring – Drywall, carpets, hardwood floors, and padding that have come into contact with bodily fluids, water, or are growing mold will generally need to be cut away and disposed of, although it is sometimes possible to sanitize them.
  • Surface Disinfectant – We apply a range of treatments to remaining surfaces in the home to remove germs, mildew, and other contaminants. We can disinfect any areas with biohazard that cannot be removed and seal in places to prevent further spread.
  • Sanitize Contaminated Air – If mold spores or odors persist after cleaning, we can use HEPA vacuums, foggers, and other equipment to neutralize spores and smells. Our air monitoring systems let us know when the home’s atmosphere is safe for occupation.
  • Perform Interior and Exterior Restoration – We can replace insulation, flooring, and sheetrock that was removed during the cleaning process, including painting and finishing surfaces so they look as good as new. We can also address damages incurred due to neglected maintenance or as a result of hoarded materials, such as broken structural elements, windows, appliances, home systems, and more.

The timeline and, as a result, the cost of hoarding cleanup depends on a few factors, including:

  • Scale of Hoarding – Hoarding that is addressed early on or is less extreme for the person who suffers from the disorder often includes only one or two rooms. When hoarding has expanded to encompass the entire residence, cleanup can take multiple days.
  • Risks of Contents – Moldy items, needles, pests, feces, and other hazardous materials require more extensive safety measures and regulated disposal methods, lengthening the time it takes to remove them. For animal hoarding situations, the time and efforts required to remove excrement and odors can be extensive.
  • Property Damage – Water damage, fire damage, mold remediation, and other forms of damage, when they exist, require additional time to address once the clutter is gone. They may also require certain protective equipment that results in additional time and cost.
  • Homeowner’s Involvement – When the homeowner or homeowner’s representative choose to be extensively involved in the decision making process, we take all the extra time needed to ensure they can make decisions on each item. Cleaning where the decision process is left to our team will go much quicker.

We let you know upfront what we expect in terms of cleanup time and provide a quote for pricing. Any unforeseen challenges that cause these estimates to change are reported to you immediately as we keep our work transparent and decrease your stress during the process.

If property damage restoration is part of an insurance claims process, we can meet any necessary requirements of the insurance company. Hoarding cases can be complicated when it comes to insurance due to the increased risks caused by excessive clutter and the insurance company will have the final say in deciding what costs are covered, but we can offer some guidance from our own experience.

Properties and Individuals We Support With Our Hoarding Restoration Services 

Unlike some forms of disaster restoration, hoarding cleanup and repair is not always requested by the homeowner. There are many different individuals that may need to request hoarding cleanup and removal, and require an experienced team capable of handling all the needs of the property. That is why we work with:

  • Homeowners
  • Family Members
  • Estate Executors
  • Property Managers
  • Case Workers
  • HOA Representatives
  • Real Estate Agents
  • Bank Agents
  • House Flippers, and More

If you have a hoarding situation at a non-residential property, we can assist there too. Storage units, offices, and other areas that host extensive clutter can be safely, effectively, and quickly be restored with professional excessive content removal.

Rescue Clean 911 – Hoarding Cleanup in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, and More

Serving Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, St. Lucie, and Martin County, Rescue Clean 911 is an experienced and thorough hoarding cleanup and restoration company that cares. Our founder himself was a firefighter, registered nurse, and paramedic before starting Rescue Clean 911, and knows firsthand the challenges that people struggle with when it comes to both hoarding and cleanup.

Our primary role is your safety, and we recommend calling us for any level of hoarding if you’re not sure the extent of the damage or potential pathogens. Even a small hoarding situation can have mold, waste, and other contaminants that can affect the health of those that try to take on these situations themselves.

We’ll be there to offer not only our expert cleanup services, but also a caring and helping hand to support you during this difficult time. If you are the one that struggles with hoarding, we can discuss the different ways we can provide support based on what makes you more comfortable, and if you are someone else helping eliminate buildup on another person’s behalf, we’ll talk about what the steps entail and what we can do to help you with the damage restoration process.

Hoarding isn’t typically a choice. It is the result of complex mental health conditions, deteriorating memories, trauma, and more. That is why our services are 100% judgment free, with the sole goal of helping restore the property to like-new condition as safely and efficiently as possible. 

If you, a loved one, or a former property owner struggled with any type of hoarding, give us a call today at 561-621-2662. Let’s discuss the challenges that you’re facing and see how we can be a part of your hoarding cleanup and remediation process. No matter where you are in South Florida, Rescue Clean 911 is ready to help. 

What Our Customers Are Saying

While we might come into limited contact with germs everyday, biological waste is considered dangerous when significant amounts of debris are present, and can become more so the longer it is allowed to sit on your property.




For most of our services, we can begin as soon as you call us. The only exception is crime scene cleanup or scenes where first responders are present, when we must first wait until the authorities “release” the scene or authorities have handled injuries or bodies. We can begin supporting you before that time, however, by letting you know what to expect during your service.




The specific contaminants present at a biohazard site will vary based on the type of incident. Those most common, and with the most potential for danger, are:

  • Blood Borne Diseases – HIV, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C can be transmitted through infected blood. Combined, these diseases result in thousands of deaths each year and any exposure to blood or bodily fluids can increase the risk of becoming infected.
  • Bacteria – Sewage, decomposing tissue, hoarding situations, and other biological debris can carry a range of bacteria. Those people are most often familiar with include Streptococcus, E. coli, Salmonella, and Shigella, although there are dozens more. These bacteria can result in severe sickness if they are accidentally ingested.
  • Infectious Disease or Viruses – With coronavirus continuing to be a concern at many homes and businesses in the foreseeable future, sanitizing completely after exposure to COVID-19 or any other contagious pathogens limits the spread of illnesses.

 

Why You Should Call Now

Rescue Clean 911’s team of certified technicians are on-call 24/7, and will respond quickly no matter when disaster strikes. We understand how critical it is that cleanup begins as soon as possible to limit the damage to your property, and will be there as soon as possible, day or night.