Some people, after the death of a loved one (or other big trauma), think about performing the cleanup themselves. This is something we definitely do not recommend. Death and unattended death cleanup is a very specialized type of cleaning which cannot be performed by just any cleaner. The incorrect cleaning of a space in which a person died can lead to various health risks for both the cleaner, as the current and future inhabitants of the space. Knowledge, expertise and attention to detail are thus an absolute must.
Death cleanup as a ”closure process”
Some people consider death cleanup as a closure process or a way to deal with the sadness, but this is far from true. People mourn in different ways. There is no universal ”five-step” mourning process that is applicable to everyone. People mourn at their own speed, with their own mix of emotions, and their own cultural background which decides how they think about death. But everyone has the same goal: to keep remembering the deceased person, and at the same time continue with their life.
For some the cleaning up after the death of a loved one seems like a wise move in their mourning proces. But the cleanup cannot be compared to moving and storing someone’s possessions after death. A way to bring up memories of the deceased, remember him or her, and close off the sad period. A bittersweet process.
We can tell you that the cleanup will be anything but bittersweet, nor shall it be beautiful. Even a ”simple” death, without violence or decomposition, can be a very unpleasant experience to witness. The space can feel medical, messy, nauseating, and sometimes even shocking. The smells and images with which you will be confronted can be difficult to get rid off, and are not the sort of memories you want to have when thinking about the deceased.
It is even more saddening when the memories are connected to a home. It is thus not strange that some people decide to move after witnessing a traumatic experience. The space will for ever be connected to that which took place. If the death in itself was difficult for you, the cleanup after death will be just as, if not more traumatic. The mixture of the regular and pleasant aspect of your home with the strange side of death is a very disturbing combination.
The cleanup after death can be very confronting for relatives and friends.
Why not clean up yourself after a death or unattended death?
When a body is found and the decomposition process has already begun, the disinfection process should be performed by professionally trained cleaners to protect the current and future inhabitants of the house. The decomposition process begins 15 minutes after the heart stops beating. The bacteria which are naturally present in the body start to eat up the body from the inside. These bacteria produce gasses which cause the body to blow up like a balloon. Eventually this process leads to the body rupturing after which bodily fluids start exiting the body.
In addition there are also insects present during the above process. They lay eggs in for example open wounds, the eyes, nose and mouth. These eggs develop into larva, which then again turn into maggots. These maggots eat the body, and develop into flies after which the process starts all over again. The first flies can already arrive as soon as 15 minutes after death.
Sometimes days, weeks or even months can pass before the decomposition process is noticed. For instance, in Amsterdam every other day a human body is found which has been dead for over 24 hours. During this period very unpleasant smells will enter the space and enter into furniture and other items and surfaces.
Besides these unpleasant aspects there is also a direct danger for your health if you decide to cleanup yourself. A lack of knowledge about the cleanup after death can lead to all types of disease such as hepatitis A, B, C, D, E and G. But also HIV-I, HIV-II, HIV-III, and HTLV-I.
The cleanup after death is a complex, long process. The period of mourning is a time to reflect, be together with your loved ones, and pay attention to your own mental health – and on top of that you will have to deal with all the practical issues which have to be dealt with when someone passes away. Why would you add more stress and hours on top of this mix?
We stand on call 24/7 for the cleanup after death / unattended death.
Professional cleanup after death or unattended death
The sanitizing of a space where someone passed away and started decomposing involves but is not limited to disinfecting, restoring, removing and packaging all materials that form a ”bio hazardous infection danger”, and items that have been infected with bodily fluids, (blood, urine etc.), and unpleasant smells.
Our professionally trained cleaners are trained in professionally disinfecting infected spaces and detecting and treating all areas which have been infected. Grouting, concrete, wooden floors, and subfloors can all be potentially infected and therefore form a danger for your health.
Our cleaners work according to very strict standards and are internally trained. Also, during every job there is a supervisor present to guide our newer and less experienced employees. Our working method is very clean and effective. We are not a evacuation company that comes in and just throws everything out, everyone can do this. Our cleaners will always try to leave the space as clean as possible with as little damage as possible. If necessary we will remove personal items and break down infected surfaces such as floors in line with the regulations around bio hazardous dirt.
The passing away of a loved one is one of the toughest, and most personal experiences a human being will deal with during his or her life. Everyone has their own process for dealing with death – or not deal with it at all. We also have our own personal experiences with this, but our experiences are not yours. We just want to let you know that we are here to help. We cannot mourn together with you, but we can take care of the cleanup, so you can focus on what really matters.
We are 24/7 available and work for families, housing associations and other institutions. We are ready to help, so do not wait a second longer. Contact us free of charge through our contact form, or mail / call us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or 020 210 1092.