Suicides are extremely tragic and traumatic. If you’ve experienced a suicide, we are deeply sorry about your loss. Unfortunately, the suicide cleanup process can be equally traumatic. From what to expect from the suicide scene cleanup process to the advantages of hiring a biohazard cleanup company, this guide will answer some questions and help prepare you for taking the next step.
The 6 Steps to Suicide Cleanup
- Consulting with the Family – Compassionate suicide cleanup companies will discuss the damage, identify items of personal significance, and devise a plan for safely cleaning the scene.
- Establish a Safety Zone – They then protect the premises against cross-contamination during the cleanup process with plastic sheeting and biohazard tape.
- Remove Irreparable Materials and Items – Items that cannot be salvaged are removed and disposed of in accordance with proper biohazard cleanup specifications.
- Clean, Disinfect, and Deodorize – The area is then thoroughly cleaned, disinfected, and deodorized using commercial grade chemicals to kill and remove pathogens.
- Seal Surfaces – It may be necessary to seal or encapsulate certain surfaces to cover up stains and prevent odors.
- Reconstruction – New materials are then installed and your property is returned to its original, livable condition.
Why a Suicide Scene Poses a Biohazard Concern and Requires Proper Cleanup
Blood and bodily fluids can transmit illnesses and disease. Even if the individual was not ill, pathogens can develop over time and contaminate other materials. This can result in your family or pets getting sick. Additionally, many states and municipalities have restrictions or requirements for the proper cleanup of biological material to prevent the spread of disease. Therefore, you should always assume that blood, other body fluids, and biologic matter are unsafe and pose health risks.
Advantages of Hiring a Suicide Cleanup Company
- Avoid Additional Trauma – A suicide is already emotionally traumatic enough. There is no need to relive it by cleaning it up.
- Trained and Certified – A trained and certified biohazard cleanup company knows the proper way to clean up after a suicide or another biohazard situation.
- Protective Equipment – Suicide cleanup companies have the protective equipment to prevent further contamination, keeping your family and pets safe during cleanup.
- Thorough Cleaning, Disinfection, and Deodorization – They also use the right chemicals and processes to thoroughly clean a suicide scene to ensure your property is safe.
What to Expect from the Suicide Cleanup Process
Suicides are often a very emotional time for family members and friends. The thought of cleaning up after a suicide can be even more traumatic. While every suicide cleanup company may have its own process, most will follow these basic steps.
1. Consultation with the Family
Most suicide cleanup companies will start with by consulting with the family or friends about the scene. They identify items of importance and emotional significance that need to be restored. After surveying the scene, they will outline a cleanup plan for the circumstances. They will also answer questions and
2. Establish a Safety Zone
Before they start cleaning a suicide scene, they will create a safety perimeter. This prevents materials from contaminating other areas of the property during cleanup. The suicide cleanup company will explain its plan for protecting your property during the consultation. Typically, this includes covering flooring, walls, and ceilings between the entrance to the property all the way to the scene itself with heavy duty plastic sheeting. To create a complete barrier, the sheets are taped together.
3. Remove Irreparable Materials and Items
After setting up the safety zone, the suicide cleanup company will remove irreparable materials. This usually includes items saturated with blood or bodily fluids like carpeting, bedding, furniture, and walls. These items are properly bagged and removed from the premises for disposal.
4. Clean, Disinfect, and Deodorize
Next, the suicide cleanup company will clean and disinfect the area. Again, this actually cleanup process will vary depending on the exact circumstances. However, they will use commercial detergents and disinfectants to kill and remove contaminants from the scene. They will also check the scene with an ATP fluorescence detector to identify blood and body fluids. After cleaning and disinfecting, the safety zone is usually disassembled.
5. Seal Surfaces
Depending on the situation, they may need to encapsulate or seal surfaces to conceal stains and odors. There are a number of different sealant products and the suicide cleanup company will choose the right one for the situation. The most common surface sealed during the suicide cleanup process is drywall. Other common surfaces they may seal include wood, concrete, and plaster. Your suicide cleanup company will explain this further should it apply.
If necessary, they will rebuild your property and replace materials. Most commonly this includes carpeting, flooring, and drywall, but each situation is different. Your suicide cleanup company will review the reconstruction process with you.
How Much Does Suicide Cleanup Cost?
The most common question our biohazard cleanup contractors get is how much does suicide cleanup cost. While this is a straight forward question, unfortunately, there is not a straight forward answer. Every situation is different and there are several factors that impact the cost of suicide cleanup.
For this reason, you are unlikely to find a suicide cleanup company that will provide an estimate over the phone. Most suicide cleanup companies will even avoid providing a range without seeing the scene first. However, they usually will provide a free estimate once they assess the scene first hand.
Suicide cleanup costs include both supplies and labor. Cleanup for a small suicide scene may cost as low as $500, with larger scenes increasing from there. The extent of the damage, the size of the area, the materials involved, and the amount of reconstruction necessary are factors that increase suicide cleanup costs.
Is Suicide Cleanup Covered By Insurance?
The second most common question is whether suicide cleanup is covered by insurance. In most cases, standard homeowners insurance policies do cover the cost of suicide cleanup services, but it’s always best to review your policy first. If you have questions, contact your agent or insurance company. While your insurance agent may provide a list of suicide cleanup companies, you are always free to choose the company you are most comfortable with.
Let Restoration Local Connect You With a Local Biohazard Cleanup Company
Get the professional, discreet suicide and biohazard cleanup services you need with Restoration Local. As the #1 network of restoration companies, we will connect you with a suicide and biohazard cleanup company near you. Locate a local biohazard cleanup company now or call 1-888-443-3110 to be connected with our on-call biohazard contractor in your area. Our on-call biohazard and suicide cleanup companies offer 24-hour emergency service, 30-minute response, and a free estimate on all services.