Bio-One teams across the U.S. answer calls to help their communities and remediate a variety of scenes. In our new blog series, we'd like to bring you into the Bio-One world by sharing stories of the unique and important work we do for local communities.
Here is Week 5 of our Bio-One Weekly Wrap-Up.
Chocolate Spill Makes for a Sweet Cleanup
In Scranton on March 25, Juan and Nicole Morales received a call for a "chocolate" cleanup. Assuming this was code for a sewage back-up, they rushed to scene to find a different situation entirely. Approximately 100 gallons of milk chocolate had spilled, covering asphalt outside a local business.
This is certainly the sweetest smelling job a Bio-One office has ever taken, but Nicole clarified, "That smell was nice for the first few minutes but at the end I felt sick. Good thing we had an awesome team that pushed through and got this done!"
After scraping the chocolate with a forklift and pressure washing the area, the Bio-One team received a five-star review. Well done!
Behind the Scenes with Citizen's Academy
Many Bio-One owners sign up for their local Citizen's Police Academy to acquaint themselves with the activities of their local police department. This week, Bio-One owner, Ginger Akemon, in Jacksonville, FL earned her Citizen's Police Academy certificate from the Clay County Sheriff's Office.
"Definitely a learning process. Each County has their own, my goal is to go to each county's classes. This was 10 weeks long and over an hour drive each way, but well worth it, " said Ginger.
Hoarding Transformation in Long Beach
Have you ever seen hoarding shows on TV? Our team has first-hand experience remediating these situations with care and compassion. From clutter, trash, to animal hoarding, we understand that the removal of items can be stressful and sometimes overwhelming for families involved. Bio-One will make it a priority to establish trust to ensure everyone is comfortable and ready for each day to begin.
It's as simple as 1, 2, 3.
First, we always offer estimates at no cost to you. An experienced crew leader will tour the home and propose a plan based on your needs, expectations, and goals.
Second, our certified technicians are trained to be mindful of all possessions. We make it a priority to find and save items of value whether that's a wallet, coin collections, legal documents, photo albums, or baseball cards.
Third, we want to make sure you are 100% satisfied and happy with our work. If for some reason something else needs to be done, we are here for you.
Here is Week 4 of our Bio-One Weekly Wrap-Up.
New Start for New Haven Veteran
In New Haven County, Bio-One and Junkluggers answered the call to help a veteran and his disabled wife. The couple were overwhelmed with a hoarded home and much of their furniture would need to be disposed due to biohazardous conditions. With Bio-One's Help First, Business Second motto in mind, Bio-One owner, Matthew Hill, teamed up with Junkluggers to re-furnish the home with gently used furniture at no cost to the client.
“Anytime we can give a little more to our clients, we always seize the opportunity,” said Hill. “Junkluggers has been an awesome organization with a great mission that fits nicely into what we are trying to accomplish.”
#HelpFirst for Heart-Breaking Scene
In South Carolina, Bio-One owner, Kris Elliott, was called to disinfect and clean a heart-breaking trauma scene. After hearing the family's story, he generously decided not to request payment for his services and shared their GoFundMe page on Facebook. As of March 20, Bio-One offices in North Carolina and South Carolina have contributed just under half of the total donations. This is #helpfirst at it's finest.
If you'd like to learn more about the family and donate, please visit their GoFundMe page.
Poker Run Supports Law Enforcement
Supporting local law enforcement is a 24/7 activity at Bio-One! In Tuscon, AZ, the Bio-One team participated in the South Arizona Law Enforcement Foundation (SALEF) poker run. SALEF collaborates with law enforcement to understand their greatest needs, and work with businesses in the community to raise money by presenting community events and submitting for grants.
Looks like they were gifted a beautiful day for cards, corn hole, and backing the blue.
Here is Week 3 of our Bio-One Weekly Wrap-Up.
Five 30 Yard Dumpsters
The team in Pensacola has been working non-stop on a two story home that required Bio-One hoarding services. Over the course of five days, they filled five 30 yard dumpsters, and found multiple antique pieces, photographs, sentimental items and cash that was promptly turned over to the client.
Look through the transformation photos on their Facebook page!
Backing the Blue in Omaha
The Bio-One team in Omaha dropped off bagels at the Omaha Police Department just before roll call, and Vanessa Urbach, the civilian crime and prevention specialist, tweeted a "Thank You" with shoutouts to Bio-One. Joining the conversation was our own Bio-One Twitter handle, Deputy Chief Ken Kanger, host of the What's Up Omaha Podcast, and a number of other officers in the department.
Kudos to the Omaha team for backing the blue!
Before Bio-One teams can help first, we have to ensure safety for every technician on the job site. This week, Bio-One owners took part in conversations about safety. Topics ranged from preventing common injuries on the job to attending OSHA training with Bob Easter. Jared Lafferty, Bio-One owner in Gwinnett County, even took the conversation to Twitter and featured safety protocols his team uses while on the job.
We couldn't be prouder of our teams for putting safety first!
Here is Week 2 of our Bio-One Weekly Wrap-Up.
14,000 lbs of Clothing Removed from Hoarded Home
In Indiana, the Marion County team remediated over 30+ years of hoarded clothes in a home. The team calculated that approximately 14,000 lbs of clothing were removed.
Bio-One’s teams know that every job represents a unique experience for our customers, who may have difficulty parting with deeply personal items that can range from clothing, video tapes, trash, and even animals.
We work with all of our clients in a step-by-step process that instills trust while properly ridding the space of items that can prove harmful. Learn more about Bio-One's hoarding services.
Bio-One Welcomes Two New Offices in Wisconsin
Two Bio-One offices launched in Wisconsin this week, and we are very excited to welcome Angela, David, Andrew, and Viktoriya to the Bio-One family. Learn about these amazing teams below!
Angela Welbes and David Levin are the owners of Bio-One of Madison. Both were born and raised in the midwest, and they met in 2015 while they were both living in Wisconsin. Their blended family consists of 3 daughters and a son. The COVID pandemic provided a personal reset that enabled an opportunity to join the growing Bio-One family and the ability to help the surrounding communities of Madison. They are excited to start this new venture together.
Andrew and Viktoriya Gonzales are the owners of Bio-One of Milwaukee. Andrew spent the last 24 years in the banking industry, in addition to serving on boards and committees for several Non-Profits, such as NAMI, Madison Development Corp and United Way. Viktoriya originally came to Wisconsin 16 years ago to further her education and loved it so much, she decided to stay. She has spent the last 12 years in telecommunications and management. Both have a passion for giving back to their community and have a drive to help those in the Milwaukee and surrounding area who are in need.
COVID-19 Disinfections Help Seniors in Charlotte, NC
This week, the Bio-One team in Charlotte, NC announced the renewal of a COVID-19 disinfection partnership with the Mecklenburg County Department of Social Services. This unique #HelpfFrst service offers free disinfections to seniors, 60 years of age or older. See their Facebook post below to learn more.
Here is Week 1 of our Bio-One Weekly Wrap-Up.
Homeless Encampment Clean-Up - Temecula, CA
On the west coat, the Bio-One team was called by the Hemet San Jacinto Chamber of Commerce to safely decontaminate an area outside their office. With homelessness on the rise, there is in increase of biohazardous waste that is sadly starting to accumulate in zones of our cities.
While Bio-One teams have been actively remediating homeless encampments for decades, we just refreshed this information on our Bio-One website. View it here.
"We are actively looking for partnerships to help keep our cities clean and safe for children and families." - Jason and William, Bio-One Owners
COVID-19 Disinfection to Raise Money for Local Police Sgt. - Asheville, NC
In the fall of 2020, it was announced that Jax, the 3 year-old son of Sgt. Jordan Warren at the Henderson County Sheriff's Office, was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer. Sgt. Warren has served the community in Henderson County for 10 years, and the community has rallied on his behalf by donating thousands of dollars for the family in their time of need.
To help raise money, the Bio-One team in Asheville raffled off a COVID-19 disinfection, up to 5,000 sqft for any home or business. The raffle ran through January 2021 and raised over $600. This week, the team happily treated the winner, Strong Hand Fitness, to the disinfection.
"Police officers and their families make big sacrifices to serve their community, most of which go unseen. So, when first responder families are in need, we want to help anyway we can. We wish the entire Warren family the best as Jax continues his fight." - Matt Gregg, Bio-One Owner
Cat Rescue - Flagstaff, Arizona
In January, the Bio-One team in Flagstaff answered the call to remediate an unattended death. They learned from the next of kin that a husband had passed away in the home while his wife, at the time, was fighting for her life at the local hospital after being diagnosed with COVID-19.
Once the team arrived, it was clear this would be a multi-day job. Not only was there a biohazard to remediate, but the home was hoarded and restoring the home to a safe environment was an urgent need. While working, the Bio-One crew identified three cats lingering in and around the home. Initially, it was assumed one cat was owned by the family, and the other two were part of the neighborhood. The first cat, nicknamed Hunter, was given to the Ark Cat Sanctuary for a checkup and to eventually find a new home. In the spirit of kindness, the team also provided food and water for the other two neighborhood cats when working onsite.
Several weeks passed, and the Bio-One team received word that the wife had sadly lost her life due to complications from COVID-19. The next of kin asked the team to revisit the home and remove remaining items. Shortly after work began, the two neighborhood cats were found. It was then revealed that the two animals were owned by the deceased couple. After living off the land for months, they were rescued by the Bio-One team and turned over to the Ark Cat Sanctuary for care. We hope each animal finds a loving home.
"We are very fortunate that our staff and owners have a heart for animals and will do whatever they can to help the pets like we do our clients." - Rebecca Wallace, Bio-One Owner
Bio-One On A&E Hoarders
Bio-One had the honor of being a part of A&E’s Hoarders, season 11, episode 1. This episode featured a woman who had hoarded her husband’s home and left it in a desperate condition. The Bio-One team, alongside a therapist, professional organizer, family helpers, and the fire department, helped remove and clean the family’s home. Three tons of belongings and trash were put into dumpsters and removed from the premises.
What Is Hoarding?
Hoarding is a condition where an individual can’t let go of belongings, whether it’s family air looms, personal items, or even trash. They develop an emotional attachment that allows them to keep everything that makes its way into their home. This leads to accumulation of both personal items and filth that can span from floor to ceiling in every room of a house. Not only does this make it hard to move, function and live, it also creates an extremely hazardous environment with the dangers of rodent infestation, disease, mold, feces contamination, and more.
Call In The Professionals
It’s crucial that professionals are called for any type of hoarding situation. While it may seem like a matter of junk removal and cleaning, dangerous pathogens can be lurking about the home, especially as items are moved around during the cleaning process. Not only is this dangerous to inhale, it’s not suitable to touch without the proper gear. Bio-One always recommends professional removal because the knowledge, experience, personal protective equipment (PPE), and training needed for these types of situations. We follow OSHA regulations for cleanup, chemicals, and PPE to protect both our Bio-One team members and clients.
We thank you A&E for letting us come in and help. We always operate under the motto help first, business second.
If you know of anyone in need of Bio-One’s help, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We are a 24/7 operation with offices all around the nation waiting for your call.
The term “hoarding” is frequently misused. People often use the word to condemn themselves—or their family members—for accumulating items like clothes and collectibles gratuitously. Though true hoarders share this tendency, it’s a far cry from a medical definition. Hoarding compels people to compile and preserve excessive amounts of clutter that have no practical value. Hoarders will grow so attached to these items— which often include dirty dishes, trash and rotten food—that discarding them causes severe emotional trauma. It is one of the most poorly understood and stigmatized disorders in America, and one of the most difficult to treat. Hoarding is more widespread then you may know. According to the Washington Post, hoarding affects 19 million Americans. That equates to about 6 percent of the population. The scope of the problem may seem surprising, but only because hoarders tend to keep their illness private. Unless clutter accumulates outside the home, the disorder can remain a secret for years. The issue has become severe enough to inspire dozens of community task forces across the nation. These task forces exist for a simple reason: To curb the many dangers associated with hoarding. Though the disorder has profound psychological, financial and health consequences for the hoarder, it also jeopardizes the safety of neighbors. We’ve broken down the dangers associated with hoarding below:
The aggregation of clutter in hoarding situations creates unlivable spaces. Unfortunately, it also makes them highly combustible. Wall-to-wall piles of trash pervade homes, blocking exits and entrances that residents and first responders need to access during an emergency. Without any open space to mitigate a fire, these homes can burn really quickly. Because stoves, fireplaces and heating lamps are often filled and covered with trash, the risk of an outbreak rises significantly. Moreover, vermin that breed in these unsanitary environments can chew on electrical wiring in the wall, which may cause a fire.
2) Noxious Air Quality
Accumulated clutter often sits unattended, gathering blankets of dust that can affect air quality. Moreover, rotten food and waste produce heavy odors and release ammonia, which can lead to respiratory problems. Air circulation will diminish as oxygen vents are blocked, leading to a dangerous rise in carbon dioxide. Unfortunately, this situation gives mold and mildew the opportunity to grow and multiply quickly, releasing spores into the living space at an alarming rate. Because the air quality in these homes is so noxious, hoarding cleanup crews like Bio-One must wear respirators when they enter.
3) Weakened Structures
The sheer enormity of hoarding clutter can place stress on the home’s foundations. As the volume of items increase, so does the overall weight of the lode. Flooring has been known to collapse in these situations. Moreover, residents and maintenance workers have trouble accessing critical piping lines and electrical circuits inside and outside the home. Plumbing, gas and power issues can ensue, creating unsanitary living conditions and fire hazards.
Pests, such as rats, cockroaches, mice and fleas, thrive in hoarding situations. They are drawn to heaping mounds of clutter where they can feed and breed without being disturbed. Unsanitary living spaces, rotting food and trash attract them to the home, where they’ll likely stay as an infestation develops. In animal hoarding situations, waste and decomposing carcasses exacerbates the problem. Bacteria and airborne pathogens will pervade the home, spreading dangerous diseases like hantavirus pulmonary syndrome.
5) Falling, Tripping and Sharps Hazards
Hoarders will often stack their items on top of one another until their homes are filled with small mountains of clutter and trash. Heavy boxes, furniture and hardware can fall on top of residents and cause serious physical damage. The lack of navigable living space results in narrow, clutter-free passageways. But they are often rife with tripping hazards that can lead to broken ankles, noses and more. Sharp items, like knives, needles and broken glass may also be littered in this space. One false step and the resident can find themselves nursing a gushing wound that becomes infected.
6) Curtailment of Living Appliances
For hoarders, living appliances like ovens, beds and bathtubs quickly become storage vessels. This curtailment of basic living appliances creates a series of problems for residents: Combustibles near stoves can catch fire; health and hygiene deteriorate for lack of running water; and clutter on beds force homeowners to sleep on the ground, removing their access to quality sleep. Water, gas and electricity to the home will shut off as bills—lost in a sea of trash—go unpaid. All the while, the compilation of clutter will continue to grow unabated.
7) Mental Health
Poor living conditions in hoarding situations are deleterious to the homeowner’s mental health. Studies show that the brain responds negatively to claustrophobic and disorganized living spaces, overwhelming the mind, creating stress and increasing anxiety. Given the magnitude of disarray in homes affected by hoarding, the effects on the mind are exacerbated. Most hoarders already suffer from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and are at risk for loneliness, depression and psychosis.
Bio-One can help you if hoarding affects your life. Our technicians are experts at removing hazards, sanitizing property and restoring homes, so don’t hesitate to give us a call if you need assistance. We’re available by phone 24/7/365.