Resources for Families Following a Loss

Sudden, tragic losses can leave a family stumbling. Everyone handles and processes grief in their own ways and when multiple people have to at the same time it can help share the load, but it also can make things difficult. Unfortunately, these losses also often come accompanying the need to make serious decisions – often while still reeling to understand what has happened.

This time on the BIOClean Team blog, we just wanted to list some resources for families experiencing a loss. Numbers they can call, resources they can rely on to help navigate this traumatic, turbulent time.

The San Diego County Medical Examiner Bereavement Center

The San Diego County Medical Examiner Bereavement Center partners with The Center for Compassionate Care of the Elizabeth Hospice ito provide free services such as licensed counseling, financial and credit counseling and credit services. Financial and credit services is a huge, unexpected component of many losses, as the family dynamic may change drastically. Having support in those areas can be critical to keeping the family afloat during difficult times.

Jewish Family Service

For those practicing the Jewish faith, there is a community with a number of services and resources for you to rely on that know your beliefs and experience. The Jewish Family Service group offers services for families, children and youths, seniors, refugees and immigrants, and more. They also provide meal services.

Survivors of Violent Loss

Survivors of Violent Loss Network is a website for those who work with and live with the murder of a loved one and other violent deaths. It is a national resource for programs, offering assistance and support to families who have lost loved ones to violent death as well as training for those who work with those families.

As they put it:

The Mission of this site is to provide a lifeline of hope and healing, addressing the issues of traumatic grief for those who live and work to rebuild life after a homicide, suicide, drunk driving, or terrorist fatality. 

Therapy

Therapy and counseling can be incredibly powerful tools for those struggling to overcome their losses and move forward. Psychology Today offers a listing of therapists in your local area, San Diego included. There is also the office for Therapy Changes, recommended by the San Diego County Medical Examiner Bereavement Center.

Family Focus Christian Counseling

For those of the Christian faith who want help that reflects and understands and supports their beliefs, working with a group like Family Focus could be the help and support you need to make it through.

 

There are many more groups out there, these are just the beginning. The officials, doctors, and other authorities you have been in contact with will have resources on hand that they know and value. Trust them and the expertise they have in the field.

These groups are here to help – do not feel ashamed for having to lean on them in this time.

And of course, seek out the support of family and friends during this time. There companionship and care of loved ones can ease the burden immensely, even in ways we might not expect.

 

Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time.

5 Benefits of a Professional Commercial Cleaning Company

If there’s one thing the past couple of years have taught us it’s the real value of cleanliness, including in the workplace. This time on the BIOClean Team blog we just wanted to quickly rundown some of the very real benefits to having a professional cleaning company on hand on the regular to take care of your business.

5 Benefits of a Professional Cleaning Company

An Understood, Trusted Process

When you think of your work’s cleaning procedures what comes to mind? Some counter wipe downs with cleaning wipes? Throwing the trash out? Now how do you clean at home for yourself? When a company or workplace doesn’t have strict or regular cleanliness standards there is an uncertainty to what’s done and how. With a professional company on call, you don’t have to worry about it.

The Highest Levels of Cleaning

Even if you had your workers take care of the cleaning schedule they don’t have the experience or tools that the professionals do. Companies like BIOClean are equipped, trained, and experienced to give office buildings, restaurants, gyms, any space the highest levels of cleaning available

Disinfect Your Office

The COVID pandemic has taught people the importance of disinfecting. It’s more than just soap and water or a cleaning spray. You have to use the right chemicals, and follow them by the letter, allowing for proper dwell time and more to ensure that your office isn’t just cleaned, it’s disinfected.  Even if your workplace is using the strongest disinfectant wipes out there, it wouldn’t compare to the levels a professional company like BIOClean can attain for you!

Better Workplace Productivity?!

Believe it or not, ensuring your employees have a clean and safe place to work isn’t just a health benefit – it’s a production benefit too! When your workplace is professionally clean, it’s less likely for any germs to linger and infect other employees – cutting down on sick days needed and having a clean workplace is great for morale! When everyone is in a good mood, they’ll be working better than ever to get things done! When employees are safe and healthy, things get done!

Not to mention, having a professional cleaning crew means your employees don’t have to focus any effort on cleaning the space, so they can focus all of their time on the stuff that matters! 

Keeps Your Business Presentable

Dirty, unclean businesses do not inspire any goodwill. Shops that filthy discourage shoppers from buying much of anything, and an office that is out of sorts, messy, or dirty tells potential clients and partners ‘This business can barely take care of themselves.’ It’s not something anyone wants for their business but sometimes making things clean and orderly can take a lot of work. That’s why you hire professionals! This way your workplace is clean and you can focus on making customers and clients feel welcomed, knowing that the environment is ready for them.

No matter what your business is, The BIOClean Team can help you keep it clean and all the benefits that go along with it! Give us a call today and secure the BIOClean Team as your professional commercial cleaning crew!

What Does A Dead Body Look Like After 2 Weeks, a Month, and Beyond

Unfortunately unattended deaths are common. As it becomes the norm for older generations to continue living on their own, and multigenerational households continue to not be the common tradition in America, people can pass without being discovered for some time.

We’re not going to post pictures of dead bodies. It’s disrespectful to the families and antithetical to what we do here at The BIOClean Team. But we can explain what decomposition does to bodies and what they might look like after 2 weeks, a month, and beyond.

First, there are four stages of decomposition

Autolysis, bloat, decay, and skeletonization. It begins immediately after death, about 4 minutes.

Autolysis is when the body begins to break down as blood stops circulating and breathing stops. When those two functions cease the body no longer has a way to remove waste such as carbon dioxide. That excess carbon dioxide creates an acidic environment that breaks down the cells, destroying them from the inside out.

Bloat follows. Autolysis will cause enzymes to leak out and then start to produce gases. During this stage, the body can double in size. Putrefaction begins here and usually is what alerts others to the death. It can linger long after the body has been removed.

The third stage is active decay. This is when the tissues, organs, muscles, and skin liquefy. The body loses the most mass during this stage.

Skeletonization is the final stage and it doesn’t have any set time frame.

What Does a Dead Body Look Like Immediately After Death?

Immediately after death, a body will look no different. There will be some mess, but the body itself will look mostly contained. As the first few days begin to pass the tissues will begin to decompose and the body will start to bloat. Foam might be present at the mouth and nose.

What Does a Dead Body Look Like After Two Weeks?

After two weeks the body will be bloated from gas. It will also appear red-colored as the blood decomposes.

What Does a Dead Body Look Like After Four Weeks?

After four weeks the body has begun to liquefy, with everything breaking down. Nails and teeth fall out.

What Does a Dead Body Look Like Beyond That? 

Much longer after a month, the remains of the body will be the skeleton and dark sludge of the liquified remains.

 

If a body is left unattended for this long in a home or vehicle, the work needed to be done to repair it is extensive. It’s far past cleaning, the space needs professional restorative work to create not just a clean space but a habitable one. 

Need help making a space livable again? Call the professionals at The BIOClean Team. We’re available 24/7 and offer caring, discreet services.

Call BIOClean Today!

Remediating After Tear Gas or Pepper Spray

Whether through accidental discharge of pepper spray or having a home where protests are occurring, there is the potential for you living space to be bombarded by intense chemicals designed to trigger respiratory distress and troubles. If this has happened to you – it’s time to get it sorted and quick! This time on the BIOClean Team blog we’re providing a brief rundown on remediating after tear gas or pepper spray exposure!

 

Remediating after Tear Gas

Tear gas is used by police, typically deployed into streets, businesses or homes to disperse crowds. There are a few different types of tear gas out there, most commonly used are the “CS” “CN” and “OC” types. OC is also known as pepper spray, we’ll get to that a bit later. For now let’s look at the basic steps to remediating CS and CN tear gases.

 

As we said, these are the very basic steps to understand what we professionals do when we’re remediating a space after tear gas or pepper spray. We’re not going to get too into the weeds because you don’t need to know what kind of degrease-all is used and what mixture it is. If you’d like to know, by all means ask your technician and they’ll be happy to tell you exactly what goes on! We just you to understand the broad strokes.

Remediating “CS” Tear Gas

  1. First, ventilate the affected area completely. Keep the space cool if possible (heat can spread the gases.)
  2. Vacuum up the crystalline residue from the gas
  3. Clean everything with with proper chemicals.
  4. Clean and seal the HVAC system to clear the air.

Remediating “CN” Tear Gas

  1. Venting the area.
  2. Heat the area for four hours to heat of 95-105ºF. Using a HEPA air scrubber provides extra robust odor absorption.
  3. Ventilate the area a second time.
  4. Clean everything (all services and HVAC system) using the proper chemicals.

Remediating Pepper Spray

There are plenty of things to look to cleaning up after pepper spray is discharged, including your skin, eyes, and surfaces. For our purposes we’re assuming that that initial cleaning has been tackled and now we want to focus our efforts where the pepper spray chemical might linger, in the fabrics and the air. For these you can take basic efforts to clear the surfaces and materials yourself without needing to call in an expert!

 

  1. Ventilate the area. Set up active ventilation the entire time you’re working in the area to stay safe. Turn on any fans, open doors and windows, and any exhaust fans you may have.
  2. Remove any soft goods that are contaminated and can’t be cleaned or aren’t cost effective to do so.
  3. Vacuum up any residue
  4. Clean all soft materials (fabrics, carpets, clothing) as normal. Use a special cleaner for your laundry can help as pepper spray is made with a high oil content – it may take several washes.
  5. Clean and seal up your HVAC system
  6. Clean the carpet and furniture again as normal when everything else has been taken care of.

 

With all that taken care of your spaces should be back to livable! If you find the air isn’t quite as clean, as you’d like or there is a lingering odor, don’t hesitate to give the professionals a call! We know how to take care of everything for you and we are available 24/7 to provide comprehensive cleanup services!

 

Call BIOClean Today!

Best DIY Skunk Odor Removal

Here’s the good news! Not every cleanup job requires a professional service to come in – though we are happy to help where we can of course. One of those seemingly insurmountable jobs is removing the potent skunk odor from homes and pets. This time on The BIOClean blog, we’re going to tell you about DIY skunk odor removal!

How to Get Skunk Smell Out of the House

Skunks produce a heckuva smell and it can linger for days or even weeks. Here are a few tips to help you beat that smell fast and clear your home out.

Open Up

First open up all of your windows to let as much sun and air in. This will help two-fold. Circulating the air is a big help of course but also that sunlight that is allowed in can help oxidize the odors, shortening it’s lifespan.

Use Vinegar

Put bowls of white vinegar in each room for a few days. The vinegar will sit and absorb the skunk odor molecules floating about and neutralize it.

Boil Vinegar

You can speed up the process a bit through boiling vinegar. Put a pot of white vinegar on the stove and boil for an hour. Refill as it evaporates to prevent damage to the pot and of course don’t leave the stove unattended. The vinegar should neutralize the skunk smell. Your house might smell like vinegar for a bit, but that’s a lot better than skunk that’s for sure.

Wash It Out
Grab up any clothing, bedding, or fabrics that have the odor lingering. Toss them into the washing machine on the hottest setting. Add ½ cup of baking soda in addition to your normal detergent. Wash and repeat the wash cycle once more. Then air dry your laundry (outside if possible) instead of using the dryer. Using the dryer’s heat  can seal the odor into the fabric.

Steam Clean Soft Surfaces – Bleach The Hard Ones
For any furniture or other soft surfaces you can’t launder, do a thorough steam cleaning to pull out and break apart the lingering odors.

For harder surfaces mix up a blend of bleach and water, 1:9 (1 part bleach to 9 parts water). Test on a small section first to be sure it doesn’t damage or discolor the surface and when all things are clear go for it.

Change the Filters
When everything has been handled, make sure you swap out your HVAC filters so you’re starting fresh.

How to Clear Your Yard of Skunk Smell

So if you or your pet got blasted by a skunk, the area of effect is much larger than you’d expect. Skunk spray can travel up to ten feet, settling into any porous surfaces that are present. Thankfully you can clean these too!

First, mix up a bleach mixture, 1 cup of bleach to a gallon of water. Working in small areas, using a sponge or cloth to wash the porous surface with the solution. Rinse each section with fresh water as you go to make sure it doesn’t sit for too long and damage the surface.

Do not use a pressure washer for this! Pressure washers can overspray and hit plants or other items with the bleach causing serious problems.

Follow these instructions and your home should get clear of that potent skunk smell and you can return to living comfortably. For worse scenarios or instances where the skunk odor has been had time to dig in, you can call The BIOClean Team to take care of business.

Is It Safe To Clean Rat Droppings Out Of The Attic?

If you’re rooting around in your attic for the first time in awhile you may have come across a mess – rat droppings YUCK! Now you’re worried, “Is this dangerous? Is it safe to clean rat droppings without gear? Isn’t there something terrible about rat droppings?” First, take a breath! We get it, finding a bunch of rat droppings in your attic is something nobody wants to deal with but believe it or not you may be able to handle this on your own!

Rat droppings and nesting material can hold infectious viruses so it is critical that before a clean-up is performed enough time has passed for that infectious matter to no longer be a threat. If there’s any concern, don’t hesitate to call in the professionals.

First let’s lay down some general info about cleaning up rat droppings.

How to Clean Rat Droppings

First, recognize whether this is something you can handle. While it may be safe to do with the right equipment and approach, not everyone can handle this kind of job and it might be best to get help, professional or otherwise.

Ok, ready?

Before you head into the attic to perform the cleaning, identify if this area is rodent-infested or if it is clear of them. The first step is to contain and end the active infestation. Trap the space and seal any entrances to the area. Trap for a week and once no more rodents are captured you can move to the next stage.

Before you start cleaning the area, first allow the space to ventilate. Open up doors and windows, creating cross-ventilation if possible, and leave the area open for at least a half hour. This will let fresh air work its way in and replace the stagnant air.

First – Urine and Droppings

It’s crucial that when you start cleaning up the droppings you don’t stir up a mess by vacuuming or sweeping  the droppings. This will stir up dust and particles  and kick them into the air – you don’t want that.

Put on rubber, later, or vinyl gloves and get to work. Spray the droppings and urine with either a bleach and water mixture or disinfectant and let it soak for at least 5 minutes. This soak, or dwell time as we call it, will ensure that any alive material is taken care of. If you’re using a commercial disinfectant or cleaner, follow all instructions on the label to ensure maximum effectiveness.

To make your own mix: use 1 part bleach to 10 parts water

Then, simply use a paper towel to pick up the droppings and dispose of the waste in the garbage. After all of the droppings have been removed, make sure to disinfect any items that may have been contaminated.

Next – The Space

With the droppings removed it’s time to really take care of the area, cleaning and disinfecting everything. Mop floors, steam clean carpet and furniture, wash any launderables that may have been contaminated.

After you’ve removed the droppings and cleaned and disinfected the space remove the gloves and thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water.

So how does this change when you’re working in attics?

When Cleaning in Attics, Basements, And Other Confined Areas

When you’re cleaning attics etc. you’ll want to wear gloves (rubber, latex, vinyl etc.) Make sure to wear a mask of some sort to provide protection against dust, molds, insulation fibers that will be in the environment (these won’t necessarily protect against any infectious viruses but its a start).

From there follow the previously outlined steps of using a spray on droppings and nesting materials using bleach and water solution or a disinfectant.

You may need to replace exposed insulation if that has been contaminated from the droppings. Put the contaminated insulation into a garbage bag for removal. 

If you have storage containers or boxes that have been contaminated you need to approach them correctly and safely.

First take the containers outdoors and let them sit somewhere that is well-ventilated and exposed to sunlight. After they have aired out and been hit by sun, disinfect with a water and bleach solution or disinfectant.

Then, remove the contaminated materials to a sunlit and ventilated to help decontaminate them. Any cardboard boxes that have been contaminated should be thrown right out, but plastic, glass, or metal can be disinfected.

Cleaning rat droppings can be done safely, you just have to approach it from the right angle. If the situation is too much for you to handle, or if there are a lot of remains in the area (you’d be surprised) it might be best to pay for a professional to help. In those cases, The BIOClean Team is here to help!

Mold Remediation or Mold Removal – What’s Even the Difference?

When it comes to things that are biohazardous, remains and waste aren’t the only things to worry about. Another frequent problem for many people, especially in more wet environments is mold. Left unchecked and mold can grow past its normal, natural levels and create a hazardous living conditions. So, what needs to happen then? Is it mold removal or mold remediation, and what’s the difference anyway? This time on The BIOClean Team blog we’re going to give you the low down on just that!

Mold Remediation or Mold Removal?

Mold Removal

First things first, mold spores exist naturally just about everywhere. They are microscopic, indoor and outdoors and totally normal. To try and ‘remove’ all the mold is just downright impossible and if someone is trying to guarantee that they can remove it all, well that’s just not true. More likely they are talking about removing the excessive mold growth and colonies which is when the mold gets to a point of being hazardous. No, the real goal (and approach) is mold remediation!

Mold Remediation

Mold remediation is a whole process by which a mold problem is addressed. It’s not just taking the moldy chair or square of drywall outside into the dumpster. It involves inspection, containment, air filtration, removal of mold and mold-infested items and materials, cleaning, and finally restoration.

 

Before any remediation can start in earnest, the first thing that needs to be tackled is the source of the excess moisture. If that is left untreated, the mold will return. Follow your nose, look for signs of water damage, listen for drips. There may be mold growing hidden from view, we can use a few different tools and techniques to detect these hidden mold and sources of moisture.

 

After the source of the moisture has been addressed then the mold remediation can truly begin. 

 

Mold Containment

The first step proper is containing the mold where it is, and preventing any further spread. Negative air chambers can do this, created using physical barriers and using negative air pressure to keep the mold spores from pushing out of the affected areas during clean up. All HVAC systems will also be turned off at this stage to stop the spread and exchange of air throughout the home or building.

Air Filtration 

With containment in effect it’s time for specialized air scrubbers, filters, and HEPA vacuums to start the process of clearing the air of mold spores while the rest of the work occurs. This is an ongoing step in the mold remediation process.

Mold Removal

Using antifungal and -microbial treatments, the mold remediation technicians treat, eliminate, and remove mold colonies, killing the ones that are there and preventing any new colonies from cropping up. Any porous material, things like carpet, drywall, or furniture, that have been the host to serious growth of mold colonies  will need to be removed.

Cleaning

Sure, it might sound simple but this is a crucial step in the remediation process! Using different best practices, the crew sanitizes all of your furniture, curtains, clothing, decorations and more. Again, all to clear away any currently existing mold. Deodorization takes place here too, using special fogging equipment to clear away any lingering mold smell.

Restoration

The level of restoration needed will depend on how long the mold has grown unchecked and the specific conditions of the space. Drywall, subfloors, and other materials may need to be removed completely which will then require restorative work such as replacing, painting, installing new carpet, or others!

Unsure if you have a mold problem? Mold typically produces a strong, musty odor. Smell that, follow your nose and you find your mold problem areas quick.

Call The BIOClean Team today and we’ll remediate your space to safe conditions quickly and correctly.

 

Contact BIOClean Today!

Health Effects of Mold

When it comes to things that are biohazardous, remains and waste aren’t the only things to worry about. Another frequent problem for many people, especially in more wet environments is mold. Left unchecked and mold can grow past its normal, natural levels and create a hazardous living condition. Here’s what to know about the health effects of mold!

The Basics of Mold

Mold covers a huge range of different fungal species. Mold spores are all around us as they’re microscopic. When water gets into your property, that increase in moisture allows the mold spores to take hold and start growing. 

Mold in the home is found in damp, dark areas such as kitchens, laundry rooms, bathrooms, plumbing areas, and any areas with poor ventilation and potential flooding.

Here are some more mold facts to give you a baseline of mold knowledge

  • Mold is present just about everywhere – indoors and out.
  • Mold can grow in as little as 48 hours! 
  • Mold can enter your home through windows, doors, HVAC, or in the fur of your pet.
  • Mold colonies may produce allergens and irritants and have the potential to cause other health effects when inhaled.
  • Indoor humidity above even 45% is enough to support mold growth.

Health Effects of Mold

Molds may be a common enough thing out there in the world but that doesn’t mean they are healthy obviously. When present in sufficient quantities, mold spores are a health hazard causing all manner of health troubles such as respiratory problems or allergic reactions, and more.

Certain molds produce mycotoxins – toxins that can cause serious trouble for humans and pets. These mycotoxins can cause neurological disorders, even potentially death. Extended exposure, such as from being present in your home and daily exposure, is particularly harmful.  

Common allergic reactions to mold include symptoms such as itchy, watery eyes, chronic coughs, headaches or migraines, breathing troubles, rashes, sinus issues, tiredness, and sneezing.

Who Is Most At Risk For Health Problems from Mold Exposure

People with allergies are certainly likely to be more sensitive to molds. Those with immune disorders, or have underlying lung diseases are particularly susceptible to the infections caused by mold. Anyone with a chronic respiratory disease can experience increased difficulty breathing.

How Do You Keep Mold Out Of Buildings And Homes?

Let’s say you don’t have any mold yet and now after reading this you want to do your best to keep that from happening – we wouldn’t blame you! Here are a few things you can implement right now to keep it out of your home.

Inside your home, you can control mold growth by:

  • Control humidity levels
  • Fixing any leaky roofs, windows, and pipes when they develop
  • Clean and dry after flooding
  • Have great ventilation in the humid rooms

Think you have a mold problem? Experiencing health complications that point towards mold?

Call The BIOClean Team today and we’ll remediate your space to safe conditions quickly and correctly.

Contact BIOClean Today

Crime Scene Cleanup Jobs – How You Get Into the Biz

Last time on the blog we talked about what goes into crime scene cleanup jobs. This time we’re going to talk about how you end up with a crime scene cleanup job if you follow. It’s not a career that comes up in the high school career fair but working as a crime scene cleaner is absolutely a career available! This time on the BIOClean blog – how to get crime scene cleanup jobs.

How to Make Crime Scene Cleanup Your Career

Whatever your inspiration, whether it be CSI or the movie Sunshine Cleaning, becoming a crime scene cleaner takes a bit of work, but nothing more than most jobs. Like most careers, becoming a crime scene cleaner requires specific qualifications and certifications. Remember the job at hand is cleaning up biohazardous waste. To do that you’re going to need specific training to perform it safely and correctly. 

While there’s no formal degree (no Doctorate of Remediation out there) the certifications are plenty. You’ll need specific certifications that show you know how to safely and correctly remediate spaces following biohazardous exposures, bloodborne pathogen training, and more. 

If you’d like to find out more how to become a crime scene cleaner we have a full blog on just that.

How to Get Crime Scene Cleanup Jobs

Wherever people live, there is going to be a need for biohazardous cleaner and crime scene cleanups. That’s just the unfortunate nature of people. So you’ve got yourself some certifications and equipment and now you’re ready to do the work.

So how do you get crime scene cleanup jobs? 

Well, we can tell you from our experience – it helps to know people for sure, but you know what’s better?  Being known as reliable, trustworthy, and caring!

First, get out there and market your business like you would any other, and then once you get that first job do the job right! You want anyone who considers you to be able to trust your speed, reliability, and discretion.

When you’ve done it enough, you’ll become a known entity to the people who are in the area to make these kinds of recommendations.  Emergency personnel, property managers, hotel managers, these are people who are more likely to need your services.

That’s just good business. Word of mouth, reliable reviews, and becoming a trusted provider of the service is how you land the work.

If you’re in the San Diego or Las Vegas area, and you want to join the best crew of crime scene cleanup techs give us a call. If you’re looking to start a business in your own area, best of luck! You’ll need grit, determination, and attention to detail to deliver what people need. This job isn’t for the faint of heart, and it’s not for the lazy or messy either. It’s a necessary service that has to be done right to ensure safety for everyone!