Crime scene clean up – how much does it cost? Who do you call when there is a homicide, suicide or unattended death?
Today on Ask a House Cleaner we look at crime scene clean up. The remediation will depend on the contamination area and the hazardous waste involved.
Angela Brown, The House Cleaning Guru walks us through suicide cleaning. She shows us the difference between house cleaning vs. crime scene clean up.
We look at bioremediation teams on crime scene clean up wearing personal protective equipment. They use cleaning chemicals, a biohazard suit, plastic sheeting and bio tape, to quarantine the control area.
We also talk about who pays for the cleaning team and deodorizing of a bloodborne crime scene.
Today’s show sponsor is https://HouseCleaning360.com
HouseCleaning360 is a business referral network for biohazard and remediation experts.
Listen: Crime Scene Clean Up – Murder and Suicide
Watch: Crime Scene Clean Up – Murder and Suicide
Hey there, I’m Angela Brown, and this is Ask a House Cleaner. This is a show where you get to ask a house cleaning question, and I get to help you find an answer.
Question: Crime Scene Clean Up – Murder and Suicide
Today’s question comes from someone who wants to know. “What is the difference between regular house cleaning and crime scene clean up?”
Answer: Crime Scene Clean Up – Murder and Suicide
Well, they’re two different types of cleaning. We’ll discuss each one so that you can kind of see the difference.
Regular House Cleaning
Regular house cleaning is when a house cleaner comes out to clean on a regular basis.
They’re going to bring cleaning supplies, and maybe a vacuum and a mop.
House cleaners will vacuum and mop your floors. They will also wipe down your baseboards, and clean and dust the window sills and the blinds. They will dust down the doorways and maybe your furniture.
Regular house cleaning could be cleaning out your bathtubs, toilets, sinks, and vanities. And wiping down the things that are on your bathroom vanities.
In routine house cleaning, there’s no biohazardous chemical waste like you’ll find when you have a crime scene clean-up.
Crime Scene Clean Up
Now, a crime scene clean up is different.
This will only happen once in a while. This is not something that happens to people on a regular basis I hope and not something you plan for.
Crime scene clean up is usually for a homicide, a suicide or for an unattended death.
An unattended death is where somebody dies inside a home and not found for a while after. So the body just decomposes. As the body decomposes, it sets off airborne contaminants.
No one can live in the house until it’s cleaned. Crime scene clean-up is a lot more involved, then regular basic routine cleaning.
Crime Scene Clean Up Training
In most states in the United States, you don’t need a college degree to do crime scene clean up. You can be hired from a cleaning company that does crime scene cleaning.
You will go through biohazard training and learn about OSHA and hazardous materials. This is so that you can protect yourself from biohazard chemicals.
Now when you go into a home there are a variety of different things that you have to take into consideration.
Every Situation Will Be Different
So, you just can’t call up and say, “Hey there’s been a homicide at my house how much is it going to cost to come clean up?”
Because every situation is going to be different.
And so somebody’s going to have to come to give you a quote, based on everything that’s going on.
Hoarders and Crime Scene Clean Up
How much junk did the people have in their house? Let’s say that there was a bloody murder inside someone’s living room and they were hoarders.
That’s going to take a lot more effort and energy than if the room was clean. In this case, you’ll need to call a company specializing in hoarding removal and also biohazard remediation.
So, the cleaning team called a bioremediation team comes in to clean. They’re going to remediate the items that are inside the house.
There’s a contamination area that’s called the control area.
This is an area where they’re going to have tape plastic sheeting and bio tape around.
They will block everything off that’s in that contained area that needs cleaning.
Buffer Zone and Personal Protective Equipment
A Buffer Zone is where the team will put on their personal protective equipment.
This includes a biohazard suit. There might be a mask of some sort, gloves and some kind of face protection.
They’re going to put on all their personal protective equipment in the buffer zone. They do this so that they do not get contaminated.
The Center for Disease Control has suggested that 1 out of 24 people has either Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, or HIV. We do not know who died from these.
And so, you have to take the ultimate precautions for every single scenario that you go into. Because you’ll be dealing with body waste and blood pathogens. And things like that that are communicable diseases.
This is where you have your cleaning equipment and sanitary supplies that you’re using. So, there’s no cross-contamination from outside the control area and the buffer zone. That way it allows them to get inside the contained area and clean it up.
So, let’s say that there was a homicide in the living room for example. That cleaning crew is not going to come in and clean an upstairs bedroom. They’re going to contain the area that they have to work in.
A Lot to Know
There’s a lot of stuff they have to know and do to sanitize, deodorize and clean up that area.
The goal is meet expectations for families to come and live in that space again.
So, there’s a big difference between regular cleaning and crime scene clean-up.
Now, compassion is something that both companies need to have.
Whenever you go inside someone’s home, you’re dealing with family. Regardless of whether it is a regular cleaning job or a crime scene clean up job, you are dealing with families.
Something bad might have just happened. You can’t come in with an attitude and be all up in their business. You have to understand that this is a touchy, sensitive scenario that needs compassion.
Another thing that’s also important in both areas of cleaning is integrity.
It’s easy to see valuables when you are cleaning someone’s house. You might see things that you would like to have.
In both scenarios, the stuff does not belong to you. And you just can’t take things that don’t belong to you. All those things belong to other people so you need to be honest and you need to be compassionate.
So, in regular house cleaning as well as in the crime scene clean-up, you can’t be skipping stuff.
This is especially true in crime scene clean up because every single thing has a process. After they’ve sanitized and wiped everything down, they use a special spray. They spray things at timed intervals and let it set. Once it sets, it has a chance to activate, then they wipe everything down again.
So, in regular household cleaning, you might wipe something down once and that is good enough. But in a crime scene clean up, you might have to wipe it down two or three times. You want to make sure that you actually get all the bacteria and the biohazard waste removed.
So, during that same process, let’s say that blood, for example, got all over some furniture. And that furniture could not be remediated.
They’re going to have to disassemble that. And they’re going to have to remove that furniture from the property. And destroy it as hazardous waste.
What Does Crime Scene Clean Up Cost?
The price is going to be different for every scenario.
So, you’ll have to have somebody come over to your house and give you a quote.
Who Pays For Crime Scene Clean Up?
Who pays for crime scene cleanup? Unfortunately, the homeowner or the business owner pays for crime scene clean up.
Now, sometimes your homeowner’s insurance policy will cover a crime scene clean up. But, here’s the catch. You have to make sure that a rider is in place before the accident happens.
If you go to your insurance company after something occurs in your home, they may not cover it. If it’s not part of your existing policy they may not cover it.
And it’s one of those things that no one is expecting to happen. So, a lot of people will skimp on that, and say “Nah, we don’t want that coverage.”
Is The Insurance Rider Worth It?
If you have to hire someone to do a biohazard remediation and clean, it could be into the thousands of dollars. Where just a regular household cleaning company it’s going to be in the hundreds of dollars. So, hundreds versus thousands.
So, should you add that policy on? I don’t know. Maybe it’s worth it. But it is important to know that it’s two completely different types of cleaning.
Huge Difference in Services
A crime scene clean up is going to take more time than a regular two-hour regular household cleaning.
So, you’re not hiring a regular maid to come clean up. You’re hiring a company who specializes in different chemicals as well as personal safety.
So, there is a huge difference. Anyway, I hope that sheds a little light. Because it is, in fact, an interesting question – and I hope that you never have to deal with.
Okay, so until I see you again leave the world a cleaner place then when you found it.
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Resources For This Episode
Mop Men: Inside the World of Crime Scene Cleaners – http://amzn.to/2tA8mRB
Aftermath, Inc.: Cleaning Up After CSI Goes Home – http://amzn.to/2uujBj4
Flesh and Blood – Sisters clean bloody crime scenes as their day job – http://amzn.to/2uu5hr0
Crime Scene Cleaning Service CSI Start Up Business Plan – http://amzn.to/2utMAnl
What is Biohazard Remediation and Does it Require Certification? http://bit.ly/2zHo05T
Permissions To Share
SAVVY CLEANER – House Cleaner Training and Certification – https://savvycleaner.com
HOUSECLEANING360 – Referral database of the world’s most prominent home service providers and the homeowners they serve. https://housecleaning360.com