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Hoarder Cleanup

Will you clean the home without the customer being present?

We prefer to work with the customer in the home, but, under specific medical situations, we can begin cleaning without their presence if they still communicate their input. We will never clean out a home without the customer’s knowledge, approval and understanding.

How involved must the customer be in the cleaning process? How do you handle a resistant customer?

While we do not ask the customer to physically move items, we do ask for their guidance when it comes to making decisions. After all, the more involved in the cleanup the customer is, the greater chance they’ll have a positive experience with the outcome. During the cleaning process, customers sometimes resist letting items go and this is why we focus on building trust first and teaching skill sets second. Though the customer may get pushed beyond their original comfort zone as the cleaning advances, our teams are trained to identify and communicate with the customer when the cleanup becomes challenging. Our job is to help the customer clean up their home, and we will do so to the best of our abilities.

What does a hoarding cleanup cost?

Every job is unique and pricing will vary on many situations, including size of home, type of items kept, ability to make decisions and hazards found in the home. We provide estimates and will work with the family to find a solution that works for your needs.

How long does cleaning take? Does the customer get breaks?

The timeline differs for each home depending upon volume, hazards and more. An average home takes between 3 and 5 days. Preparing for the cleanup can take weeks, but the actual cleanup is usually less than a week. Each job will be tailored to the customer’s ability to focus and make decisions. Whether that means we work half days or full days, we’ll monitor the customer’s well-being and encourage breaks as needed.

Are you bonded/licensed/insured?

All of our teams nationwide are licensed, bonded and insured. You can trust that anyone entering your home from our team will be trained, trustworthy, courteous and compassionate. We also understand that privacy is of extreme importance, and we will work with the customer to be as discreet as possible.

Do you remove animals from hoarding situations?

Animal hoarding is a reality of our business, and we understand that our customers have the best intentions for their pets. Depending upon the severity of the situation, we will partner with the local animal control, veterinarians, adoption agencies, shelters, and rescue teams to gain the healthiest and safest location for the animals. Please call with questions about your specific situation and know that all calls are confidential.

Water Damage & Structural Drying

How long will it take my property to dry?

Structural Drying Times Vary.

Drying time is determined by a combination of factors, including the location, duration and source of water, the types of building materials, the weather conditions and how quickly emergency services begin. Through consistent monitoring and evaluation of the drying process, we can determine when the drying is complete. Your carpet may feel dry to the touch, but padding and subfloors may still be wet underneath. While there are no rules to determine how long your property will take to dry, we can tell you it may take between three and five days or more, depending on the conditions.

Will turning up the heat or opening windows help dry things out?

Pro’s and Cons

Not necessarily. We will adjust the temperature to its optimum setting for the proper drying conditions. Please do not change the setting or shut off the HVAC system. If you do, you may prolong the drying process.

Additionally, opening your windows to assist the drying process is not always recommended. Outside weather conditions may vary, so the technician will determine when and if the outside air is appropriate.

Can my carpet be restored or will it have to be replaced?

This will be determined during inspection by our Textile experts.

There are a few reasons your carpet may not be salvageable, including:

– Delamination (occurs when the backing separates from the carpet fiber)
– Loss of adhesion (may be caused by prolonged exposure to water or age of the carpet)
– Permanent stains
– Carpet covers wood flooring (to salvage the wood flooring)

My ceilings are wet. What needs to be done?

Evaluation & Inspection

Our technicians will evaluate moisture content, determine the severity of the damage and may have to remove some of your ceiling for ventilation. Wet insulation can also be a hazard and may need to be removed.

Do I need to stay someplace else while my property is dried and restored?

This may depend on the severity of water damage.

If you file an insurance claim, you may receive guidance from your insurance representative. However, this is a decision you must reach on your own. Here are several things to consider. Safety is paramount. Our equipment is as childproof as possible, but we require your supervision to make sure no children play with it. Air movers and dehumidifiers will create noise and make your property drafty for a few days. It is important that the equipment remains on, so if the noise is disruptive to you, you might want to consider an alternate place to stay.

The drying process has started, but there are new smells in my home. Do I have mold problems?

Evaluation & Inspection

It is not unusual to smell odors during the drying process. Increased heat and humidity can also lead to increased odors that may be coming from the drying building materials, or dormant spill and accident areas. Do not confuse these normal odors with the odor of mold. As the drying process continues and humidity levels drop, you’ll notice these odors disappearing on their own. Deodorizers are often used to minimize these effects as well.

What about sewage contamination?

Evaluation & Inspection

Hard surfaces can be cleaned and sanitized. Affected items that cannot be sanitized require disposal. Porous materials such as drywall, ceiling tiles, insulation, particleboard, paneling, etc., that have been directly affected should be removed during the emergency service visit.

Fire Damage Restoration Services

How long will the restoration process take?

Restoration Times May Vary.

There are many variables and many services involved in fire and smoke restoration, thus it is difficult to predict exactly how long the complete restoration will take. Consult with your ServiceMaster Restore Restoration Technician on the estimated dates and phases of your restoration project.

Can I clean up the damage myself?

Professional Care is Recommended.

We suggest that you do not attempt any “do-it-yourself” cleaning methods without consulting your ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons Technician. Pre-testing, using the right cleaning agent for the particular item, mixing deodorizing agents with cleaning solutions and using correct dilution rates are just some of the ways a fire restoration technician expertly controls the results. Professional cleaning systems and products used by our experienced, trained technicians give you the best chance for complete restoration of your belongings.

What are some safety concerns?

Hazards of Smoke, Soot and Chemicals.

At ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons, occupant and worker safety is our top priority. During the initial inspection, safety hazards such as debris removal, air quality, electrical hazards, slip and trip hazards are identified and addressed. Burnt electrical cords and appliances are separated out for disposal, and questionable electrical appliances are unplugged and tagged for evaluation of safe operation. Electrical power may be turned off and kept off until evaluation by a licensed electrician.

Do I need general contractors?

Evaluation & Inspection

There are some items that may require general contractors such as drywall/painting; electrical; plumbing; roofing; framing/finish carpentry; flooring/carpet; installation of doors, windows, cabinets, post-construction, etc.

Can I turn on my heating and air conditioning unit?

Call an HVAC Professional

We recommend that you not turn on your furnace or air conditioning unit without clearance from the HVAC contractor.

Do I need to move out of my property during this process?

Evaluation & Inspection

This is ultimately your decision. Some things you may want to consider are safety concerns, odors, electricity, noise from equipment, etc. If vacating your premises for any length of time, consider taking the following actions first: forward your mail to your temporary residence; stop newspaper and other deliveries; notify utility company, cable company, etc., of temporary suspension of services.

Do my belongings need to be moved away from the premises?

Determined Upon Evaluation

Depending on the source, nature and extent of the fire, it may be best to remove all belongings to a secure facility for cleaning, storage and to make room for restoration or construction. ServiceMaster By Simons will work with you and your insurance claims representative to manage this process.


Who is responsible for paying for the service?

Ultimately, The Property Owner.

Ultimately you, the property owner, are responsible for payment. As the property owner, you will need to sign a form authorizing the work and payment. If this is an insurance claim, ServiceMaster Restore generally collects only the deductible amount and bills the balance to your insurance provider as a service to you.

If you have a large loss, your mortgage company may be included as a payee on the payment from your insurance company, and you may need to obtain a signature from them as well. If your claim is not covered or you decide not to file a claim, you will be expected to pay in full at the time of service.

If you have any additional questions about our services, or would like to schedule an appointment, please call us at 773-376-1110.