When the electricity goes off... - REO Property Preservation Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-28-2013, 06:45 PM Thread Starter
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When the electricity goes off...

I mow a yard for a retired couple who spends a few months each year up north with their children. This year there was a mix up with paying the electric bill and the power got cut off. They are hoarders and this includes food in two refrigerators and one freezer. All three are packed solid with perishable food.

Needless to say once the power got cut off the food thawed, then began to decompose. Today they called me to see if I could clean it up for them and how much it would cost.

I was in the house for less than 10 minutes. I duct taped two of the freezers shut (the third one would not close) and left.

I had to go straight home and scrub myself from head to toe to get the smell out of me. My clothes went straight into the washer.

I do not think any of the refrigerators or the freezer can be cleaned up. I told the homeowner this and told them that I would have to empty the garage (single car stacked to the ceiling with stuff) and sort out and dispose of what is contaminated by the fluids that have run out of the fridges. Then we have to remove all three units, clean up the floor as best we can, move the one on the back porch that is currently not being used and is clean to the kitchen and put every thing back in to the garage. The power should be back on in a day or two.

So any advice on how to do this?

I am thinking respirators, Tyvek suits and rubber gloves.

How would you get the smell out of the house? Every room looks like an episode of hoarders. They are not going to clean it all out. My plan for the short term is about a dozen extra strength air fresheners.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-28-2013, 07:04 PM
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You have a solid plan. Use Lysol on top of the air fresheners. The Lysol will subdue whatever is producing the smell. Don't use rubber gloves use heavy duty cloth gloves. Rubber gloves will pierce easily
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-28-2013, 08:36 PM
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Mr Lon,

1st) Call Ins Co. Its a covered loss and you are talking apprx $500/freezer plus replacement.
The ins co has the right to inspect so dont pitch until they say so.

2) full protection. Double latex or rubber glove.
3) Concrete clean with a 19% Peroxide cleaner (modec 500, MMR or similar) so it can "almost" etch the staining off.
4) Rent a vaportek vaporshark for 4-5 days. We charge $70/day + $90/membrane.
5) Have fun buddy
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-28-2013, 10:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gypsos View Post
I mow a yard for a retired couple who spends a few months each year up north with their children. This year there was a mix up with paying the electric bill and the power got cut off. They are hoarders and this includes food in two refrigerators and one freezer. All three are packed solid with perishable food.

Needless to say once the power got cut off the food thawed, then began to decompose. Today they called me to see if I could clean it up for them and how much it would cost.

I was in the house for less than 10 minutes. I duct taped two of the freezers shut (the third one would not close) and left.

I had to go straight home and scrub myself from head to toe to get the smell out of me. My clothes went straight into the washer.

I do not think any of the refrigerators or the freezer can be cleaned up. I told the homeowner this and told them that I would have to empty the garage (single car stacked to the ceiling with stuff) and sort out and dispose of what is contaminated by the fluids that have run out of the fridges. Then we have to remove all three units, clean up the floor as best we can, move the one on the back porch that is currently not being used and is clean to the kitchen and put every thing back in to the garage. The power should be back on in a day or two.

So any advice on how to do this?

I am thinking respirators, Tyvek suits and rubber gloves.

How would you get the smell out of the house? Every room looks like an episode of hoarders. They are not going to clean it all out. My plan for the short term is about a dozen extra strength air fresheners.
Exactly....it all becomes hazmat at this point....make sure you get the charchol filters so you don't gag on smell should the doors somehow open....

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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-28-2013, 10:55 PM
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Let the freezer freeze back up before you haul them

In the meantime spray the nasty stuff with a good agricultural disinfectant. And charge a lot.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-29-2013, 05:02 AM
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In the meantime they are in the recliners in their underwear watching America's Got Talent reaching for the bag of ice they sat on the tv tray/litterbox.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-29-2013, 06:14 PM
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Vic's vapor rub under your nose with mask. Good luck
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-30-2013, 06:53 AM
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Some things aint worth it!!!!

Unless you are getting paid huge bux!!!!






In 09 I was paid $250 to remove a fridge/freezer that had been sitting months with no electricity during 95 degree summer days.
New value of the unit was $1200 at Lowes.
As you mentioned the smell was horrendous!!!!!
I ratchet strapped the doors shut to get it out of the house and loaded.

Brought it home and plugged it in freezing every thing solid. That helped the smell about one notch on the stink scale.
Cleaned all the frozen stuff out and pressure washed it. Left it doors open sitting in the sun for a couple months.
I could never get rid of the smell until I changed the door gaskets and put in new ones I found online for about $130.
I still use that fridge/freezer in my garage today. 4 yrs later.
Hell of a deal? yes............. would I do it again considering the smell??????? I doubt it.

Professionals are people who can do their job when they don't feel like it.
Amateurs are people that can't do their job even when they do feel like it.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-30-2013, 07:06 AM
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Not related, but I bought I split level to flip in 2011. House was a foreclosure on a 25 year long hoarder. Owner came back while we were cleaning out the filth in the kitchen. Asked if we had seen his wife's spaniel running around anywhere. Dog had been missing for weeks before they were evicted. My guys are tilting the refrigerator onto the dolly and I hear him "Well, there she is." Dog had gone behind the icebox and died. That no one ever noticed the smell should be all I need to say.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-30-2013, 07:15 AM
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Dog had gone behind the icebox and died. That no one ever noticed the smell should be all I need to say.



WOW, I'll pass.

Professionals are people who can do their job when they don't feel like it.
Amateurs are people that can't do their job even when they do feel like it.
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