Spaulding Decon topped the Entrepreneur Franchise 500 crime-scene cleaning category in 2022. Here, CEO Laura Spaulding shares her journey from humble beginnings as a solo-, woman-led startup, to 20 to 30 new franchises a year and millions of social media followers.
In this column, Laura Spaulding, CEO of Spaulding Decon, shares three of the toughest hoarding cleanup jobs she has worked on in her 15-plus years specializing in crime scene and hoarding cleaning. “The tougher the challenge, the bigger the reward, and I have faced some tough ones,” Spaulding writes.
“Hoarding cleanup is not an easy task, and it is best done by restoration professionals who have the expertise and equipment to perform the job efficiently and safely. By no means was this particular case the worst I have seen in my tenure, but the timeline from the property management company was tight, so we needed to get to work quickly and efficiently,” Ben Doebler writes.
Annissa Coy has found over the years that when a hoarding job goes sideways, there are three big mistakes that often are the culprit. “If you avoid these, you will be setting yourself and your client up for success right from the start,” she writes.
Jeffery Gross shares an overview of hoarding cleanup best practices based on his experience with First Onsite Property Restoration. “The process of cleanup includes several steps: Bulk removal of trash, then cleaning and disinfecting of all surfaces and remaining contents. Then comes extermination and usually some refurbishment like painting or replacement of damaged fixtures,” Gross writes.
On this particular day, Kowalski Construction was called to respond to a unique situation from local law enforcement. Police asked us to secure a home after making forced entry for an unanswered wellness check. To say the scene quickly escalated into a massive operation would be an understatement. Almost immediately, thousands of rats were discovered living both in and out of the home.
When you think about hoarding, there is an array of risks and dangers that come to mind – from cleanliness to injuries to air quality. Unfortunately, there’s another less obvious danger and hidden risk that causes both property damage and a lot of heartache for those involved. Fire.
Before retiring, as a 28 year firefighter/paramedic, I administered NARCAN® (the brand name for Naloxone Hydrochloride) to more than 3,000 people throughout South Florida who were exhibiting drug overdose-like symptoms.
There are many obstacles, hazards, and perils we encounter on job sites as cleaners and restorers. Whether it’s the homeowner’s dog trying to bite you, the hoarder who has trash stockpiled for years, or the wonderful smell of sewage on a category 3 loss, the seasoned veterans of our industry have seen and experienced things that the average citizen can’t even conceive in their wildest imagination.