Death is already such an unfortunate event, and it causes a lot of grief and emotional burden on a family member or friend. In cases when a death occurs in a home, or within any type of building that may end up becoming a living space, there are a few processes that need to be followed to ensure that the deceased person is properly removed from the space. Additionally, if there are situations where the body has been sitting in one area for a while, decomposition of the body begins, and fluids expel from the body over time that will affect any fabrics or other material that come into contact.
These situations shouldn’t have to be dealt with by people who are close to the deceased. It can be very emotional taxing on someone to just witness the death of someone close to them, so then being put in a place where they need to facilitate any sort of clean-up could cause much more trauma.
It can be very traumatic to encounter the death of a loved one, whether it is walking into a room and seeing an elderly family member who has passed away alone or witnessing the suicide of a close friend. This is the type of situation where a person should not have to do anything other than call for assistance to collect the body, then to call a restoration company to properly dispose of any materials that have been in contact with the scene and body.
There are many options for people to choose from to get help with restoring, disinfecting, and sanitizing a living space to its former state, including disposing of materials properly and ensuring the infected area is sufficiently restored.
Restoration to Livable Environments
Decomposition involves bodily fluids seeping into floors, especially when the material is porous, and these fluids will seep into them. This kind of seepage cannot be simply cleaned up with soap, water, and a mop. A body after death will start the decomposition process quickly and in quite a short amount of time, so when a body is left for hours or days, the higher chances there are that bodily fluids will warp items that encounter them.
It can be dangerously harmful to people to live in a space where a person has died, and it has not been cleaned entirely and to the proper standards. Bacteria can seep into floors, causing bad smells in the air, stains on carpets, mold, and warping of household structures.
Disinfecting Sites Fully and Properly
There are many things to consider when restoration companies are called in to disinfect, clean, and restore areas where a death has occurred. As mentioned previously, there are many differences between a normal spill of food or household liquids, and a decomposing body, blood, or other bodily expulsions from a deceased person(s).
When a decomposing body begins to expel fluids after death it will start to seep into floors, resulting in stains and odors clinging to furniture, walls, and floors. There are necessary materials and equipment that companies are trained to use effectively to sanitize areas where decomposition has made a negative impact on a structure. This includes proper disposal of cleaning equipment, such as gloves, rags, brushes, specialized mops, or other cleaning tools. It is necessary to clean wood materials in a specific way because water and regular soap cannot properly remove waste from it. Even carpeting needs to be ripped up from the floor because it is so porous that everything will seep right through and lifting fluids from the carpet itself would not be enough to entirely clean the area.
In situations where a suicide has occurred, there may be blood splatter that can expand the area of clean-up to walls, a larger space on the floor, more contact with furniture, etc. This involves greater attention to detail and obviously more effort put in by restoration staff around cleaning and disinfecting or sanitizing a scene.
Basically, items in contact with a death or suicide site cannot be disposed of in the regular, everyday trash. It wouldn’t be taken too kindly to find bloody gloves in the house’s garbage bin, or to see blood still present in your home. For these reasons, any materials, tools, equipment, or appliances used need to be taken away from the residence, and personal gear like gloves, full protective suits, masks, etc. must be disposed of just as well as the actual human matter itself.
A scene of a death or suicide can have an impact on overall environment and health of the people who might be living in the space where the incident occurred, if not properly cleaned and restored.
If the deceased person has had any blood-borne infections or airborne diseases that can infect the overall environment of the space, this can hurt the health of any person who comes into contact. This is a big reason why people shouldn’t attempt to clean up a decomposing or deceased body on their own. Without the knowledge of how to properly protect yourself and others who could potentially live in the space, this could be dangerous.
Even when you think of how the actual cleaning products themselves can contain chemicals that could be harmful if mixed incorrectly, disposed of incorrectly, or handled improperly, the reasons to ask for external professionals for help begin to build up quite quickly.
Although one of the greatest reasons to consult experts in the field of restoration of structures following a death is the emotional impact it can have on someone who knows the individual, this article has laid out the many other reasons this should be the case.
Many people do not have the proper knowledge of how a decomposing or previously deceased person can impact an overall structure as well. If the area has been sitting without being handled for an extended period, the impact on the floors, walls, furniture, air quality, etc., can be detrimental. There are specific ways to dispose of materials and equipment used to clean the scene, and additionally there are specific protocols to follow when it comes to cleaning different types of materials. For example, cleaning porous materials that have had contact with fluids requires a different way of disinfecting them to remove whatever fluids have impacted the material. This differs from disposing of contaminated gloves or other personal protective equipment used to sanitize a scene.
If the area needs to be restored to a livable condition, it must meet certain expectations to ensure there are no emotional, health, and structural impacts on those who are set to inhabit it. Odors can linger from a previously deceased person if not disinfected entirely and properly, and it will be noticeable to the next person who enters the room. If there are stains in carpets or under carpets, the whole carpet may need to be ripped out and replaced so the flooring underneath can also be properly treated.
The restoration company who is hired to dispose, clean, and disinfect the site of the death includes professionals who have been trained and certified in this specific type of work. This can assure potential clients that there will be no missteps throughout the restoration process. Staff are also trained to ensure proper cleanup of materials that were used to clean the scene, which refers to protective equipment but also refers to the possibly hazardous and corrosive materials used to dispose of material.
It is imperative that if you do encounter a deceased body, or if you become aware that there is a site that requires proper cleaning and sanitizing after the occurrence of a death, that you do contact professionals in the field who know the proper protocols. There are many ways you can harm yourself and others when you attempt to take care of the situation yourself, but do not have the proper safety equipment to do so. You can leave behind bodily fluids that sit in floors and walls resulting in foul odors and permanent stains. The average household cleaning supplies and products would not be sufficient in terms of being able to remove substances from an area affected by a death.
No person should have to clean up themselves after the death of a close friend or family member. Not only is the emotional burden too great, but the chances of encountering an illness or airborne disease that may have infected the deceased individual are high as well. You can also easily injure yourself by trying to handle intense cleaning products by burning your skin or eyes, accidentally getting a substance in your mouth, under your fingernails, and more. It is best to leave the work to the experts, avoid badly hurting yourself, and be sure that the space has been sanitized and disinfected to the best state possible.