Over the years, we’ve provided death scene cleanup services to many individual families, as well as apartment and condominium property managers in the Greater Philadelphia region.
What we’ve learned is that whether you’re a homeowner, family member, or the property manager, finding the body of an expired individual is shocking. And hard.
And the discovery can be worse depending on how long the body was there and the manner of death.
Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about death scene cleanup you might have:
1. How much does death scene cleanup cost?
The cost of cleaning a death scene varies from situation to situation. So, we provide estimates based on calculations of the time and materials necessary.
When you call us, we make an appointment with you. Once we come to the scene, we make an assessment. After that we’ll prepare a detailed scope of work and estimate. The details of the scene determine the scope of work.
Usually we staff death scene cleanup jobs with one or two technicians and a supervisor. This allows us to complete the job quickly while we ensure quality, compliance, and documentation protocols.
The factors affecting the cost of death scene cleanup include:
a) the number of rooms affected (including pathways used to transport the body)
b) level of structural damage (floors, sub-flooring, wall surfaces, cabinetry)
c) the cause of death and length of time the body was unattended
d) other complications
What are these “other complications”?
These are things like dead animals at the scene, vermin like fleas, maggots, roaches, hoarding, or large amounts of personal property such as furniture and/or clothing.
2. Does my homeowner’s insurance cover death scene cleanup?
Every death scene is unique, and we are not insurance professionals. Therefore, we can’t make any guarantees regarding your coverage. However, it’s been our experience that homeowners insurance often covers our services.
Let’s be honest. Nobody usually thinks about this stuff.
When you’re faced with cleaning and restoring a property after the death of a tenant, friend or loved one, you need help. And you need it fast.
Call your homeowners insurance agent or adjuster to see if your policy provides coverage for our services.
If there is residential coverage, we’ll submit the bill to your carrier and work with them directly to resolve payment. You will only be responsible for your deductible.
3. What’s involved in death scene cleanup?
Every death scene cleanup job is a biohazard job.
What that means is that all of our technicians wear the proper personal protective equipment before entering the scene. Our job is to remove the biohazard and restore the property to you clear of contaminated materials.
First, we remove anything touched by bodily fluids.
Sometimes the removal of materials is limited to where the body was at the time it expired. Sometimes the person who passed away had pets who died along with them due to starvation.
Sometimes the damage is more extensive. If it is, that means we remove carpet, hardwood floors, and sometimes even dry wall to clear the property of contamination.
Next, we treat all contaminated surfaces with an antimicrobial solution.
After that, we remove all the contained biohazard materials from the property. Then we secure the materials for destruction as a biohazard.
4. Can’t I just clean up the mess myself?
Yes. You can.
But remember: If it’s left untreated, even the smallest amount of biological material left behind can lead to a serious health threat later.
Airborne bacteria common at death scenes cause lingering odors. Besides being unpleasant, bacterial contamination is dangerous. It can impact both the safety and well-being of future occupants.
In addition, trying to manage a biohazard cleanup process in an emotionally difficult time makes a hard time even harder.
In this case, death scene cleanup is better left to the professionals.
For help with death scene cleanup in Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey call 877-750-7876