Why Time is a Factor in Body Decomposition Cleanup Costs

Bio Recovery HelpDate Posted:
Last Updated: Biohazards, Bodily Fluids, End of Life

It’s unpleasant to think about, but time and dead body decomposition is an important part of what we do. It’s one of the first questions we ask when we receive an unattended death call. “How long has the human body has been left unattended?”

Even in death, a timeliness response determines every aspect of a clean up from the type of equipment used, the supplies needed, the number of technicians on site, and of course, the overall cost.

Why Does a Quick Response Matter?

When a living animal or human dies, the body undergoes several stages of decomposition immediately. Unless the body has been embalmed, there is no lapse. With each stage comes with the potential for surrounding environmental damage. This is common in cases of both suicide and unattended death.

For example, when someone dies and isn’t discovered until the later stages of putrefaction, the amount of resources needed to restore an area grows significantly.

Depending on the climate, three to ten days after the stages of dead body decomposition begin, the body bloats from internal gases in the stomach and the surrounding organs liquefy, eventually spilling into the area. It’s a grotesque part of life we don’t want to think about, but useful for forensics to approximate the date and time of death, and for us to determine what’s needed to recondition the area.

How Late Dead Body Discovery Affects Our Estimates

When a body is discovered later in decomposition, our initial estimates will be based on the square footage of the environment.  The liquids we mentioned seep into the surrounding carpet, tile, or wood flooring, and down to the sub-flooring and supporting joists. Our body cleanup crews will remove surrounding walls and flooring in these cases. Harmful bacteria and pests spread into the area everywhere, even if it cannot be seen with the naked eye. Therefore, we have to assume worst, especially in late of after death remediation.

If a body has sat for more than a month, which is sadly the case with many unattended death cleanup situations, it can be assumed that full decomposition has been reached. At this point surrounding bodily fluids including blood solidify into a tar-like substance.

Decomposition Cleanup is Generally Covered by Homeowner’s Insurance

Although it may seem like it’s worth saving the money, no one should ever attempt to clean the job themselves. And if you’re covered by homeowner’s insurance, why would you want to? Decomposition poses a serious bio-hazard since bodily fluids, blood and bile are present posing a possible risk for infectious diseases to be transmitted. Improper cleaning supplies and techniques can lead to further damage as well. This is why it’s so important for home and property owner’s to be aware of companies like Bio Recovery, we make sure assets are saved from further damage.

If this is the case than technicians at Bio Recovery take on more specific tools to handle the job. Scrapers and solvents are used to remove any solid materials including brain matter which turns to a cement like consistency once fully dried. Again, tools and assessments made on the assumption of time that has passed.

Once all panels, carpets, and tile have been removed we then work with your insurance company and adjusters to determine the coverage that will be provided. If you’re in this situation now, don’t hesitate to give us a call. You clearly don’t want to delay the process and in the end, you’ll be glad that you called professionals to do the job, rather than attempting to yourself.