The cleanup of biological hazards is important work and involves safety practices and protocols that make it an expensive service. Biohazard and “hazmat” refer to potentially hazardous materials and substances, typically from living organisms like people or animals. Biohazard cleanup entails the removal of these dangers safely by trained and qualified professionals.
Plan on an average cost of $3,000 to $5,000 to hire a biohazard cleanup company. The average customer pays $4,000 to clean up biohazardous waste in a 2,000 square foot home, such as a hoarding situation or virus decontamination. Some unique situations allow for the low cost of $1,500. For example, sanitizing high traffic areas and surfaces from a virus would be a low cost biohazard cleanup. On the other hand, the highest cost of $25,000 is possible for homes that need extensive cleanup and restoration. A few examples include a major sewer backup or a crime scene occurring in the home.
|Hazmat Cleanup Cost|
|National average cost||$4,000|
When biohazard comes to mind, you may think of a laboratory with hundreds of dangerous chemicals. However, biohazard cleanup is more common than you think. Anytime a death, chemical spill, sewage backup, or other event potentially exposes people to pathogens, viruses, or chemicals, a biohazard cleanup must be scheduled.
Some events are more serious than others and require immediate emergency services. These include but are not limited to flooding, chemical spills, and sewage issues. Other events, while serious, do not require such haste in the cleanup process. Crime scenes, hoarder houses, and dead animals need to be cleaned as quickly as possible, but they can wait if necessary.
During a hazmat cleanup, all hazardous materials are removed from the area. Once they are removed, the space is fully sanitized and disinfected to prevent contamination. From there, odors are likely to linger. A separate service handles odor control, ensuring no one in your home will smell a trace of the event that led to the biohazard cleanup. This is a task best left to individuals with training in the removal of such materials. They have the PPE (personal protection equipment), skills, and knowledge to safely and effectively restore your home to its former glory.
When it comes to hazmat cleanup, various levels of safety must be addressed. The riskier it is to clean a space, the higher the cost you will pay. This is because the professionals going into the space must adjust their PPE and decontamination protocols to ensure their safety.
According to the CDC, there are four different biohazard safety levels. Starting at level one, the least risk, to level four, the highest risk, a biohazard removal cleaning service varies in price. Unfortunately, there is little room for negotiation with these prices. The cost for PPE and decontamination for the company increases as the level of risk increases.
|Biosafety Level||Average Cost per Hour|
|BSL-1||$25 - $50|
|BSL-2||$25 - $75|
|BSL-3||$50 - $150|
|BSL-4||$150 - $600|
The average cost of biohazard cleanup in a level 1 situation is between $25 and $50 per hour. At this level, biohazard materials and microbes are less likely to cause disease or a threat to an individual’s health or wellbeing. For example, microbes like E.coli or the Chicken Pox virus fall in this category. Cleaning professionals could be called to handle a BSL-1 case when someone in the home is immunocompromised and at a higher risk of serious complications if they are contained with these microbes. Basic PPE (gloves and eye protection) must be worn at all times.
Cleaning up level 2 biohazard materials usually costs around $25 to $75 per hour. Building from the first level, microbes and biohazard materials in this category can cause severe illness through direct contact. Examples include measles, mumps, and staph infections. Cleaning professionals would be called to handle this situation to ensure homeowners do not fall ill themselves. It is far too easy to miss crevices or small corners that could harbor the microbes. In addition to basic PPE, cleanup professionals must be prepared to decontaminate themselves if they contact any of these materials.
Level 3 situations are more complicated and require more protection, so professionals charge between $50 and $150. In addition to the safety precautions in levels 1 and 2, biohazard cleaning professionals must take additional steps to ensure their safety. Microbes and biohazard material at this level are airborne pathogens. They can cause serious or fatal diseases, such as SARS. However, a vaccine is available. All skin and orifices must be covered at all times. Professionals must wear a respirator mask that does not allow air recirculation back into the mask.
This biosafety level is the riskiest level of cleaning that a biohazard professional experiences in their career. Professionals charge around $150 to $600 per hour in this kind of situations. The materials and microbes in this class cause a high risk of a life-threatening disease with no current approved vaccine, like Ebola and Marburg. Cleaning professionals must wear a complete body suit and decontaminate at the end of each day after entering the space. BSL-4 situations cannot be cleaned up by a homeowner. No one will remain in the home until the structure is cleared for habitation.
Biohazard remediation is not a one size fits all solution. Different types of materials and issues require various services. Some remediations require combining multiple services to restore the home to its former glory. A different cost is associated with each type of service. This is due to the time, materials, and level of safety that must be considered before the service begins.
|Biohazard Remediation Services||Average Cost|
|Medical Waste||$2 - $20/pound|
|Animal Waste or Remains||$20 - $25/50 lbs bag|
|Hoarder Cleanup||$25 - $150/hour|
|Hazardous Chemicals||$30 - $50/barrel|
|Odor control||$75 - $100/hour|
|Unattended Death||$200 - $300/hour|
|Crime Scene and After Death||$400 - $600/hour|
|Virus Decontamination||$1,500 - $3,500/project|
|Sewage Backup||$2,000 - $10,000/project|
The average cost to clean a severe hoarder's house by professional cleaners runs $1,000 per day, though estimates average anywhere from $25 to $150 per hour. Hoarding cleaning differs from regular cleaning as, typically, the situation involves biohazardous materials, like rotting trash, animal waste, food waste, and items that could otherwise be potentially unhealthy or dangerous. It is not uncommon for biohazard teams to find deceased pets and pest infestations when cleaning extreme hoarder homes. Sometimes, they even offer human waste cleanup services.
Hoarding cleanups can run into some considerable expense, depending on the severity of the situation. In the case of a hoarding home, the waste and biohazardous materials must be removed first before any actual cleaning occurs. This reveals the extent of any structural damage to the property (as is common in hoarding situations) that needs repair once the site has had biohazards removed.
The average cost for controlling and removing odor during a biohazard restoration cleanup averages $75 to $100 per hour for sanitization, plus the cost of supplies and solvents. More often than not, odor is one of the first red flags that indicate a biohazard situation. Decomposing flesh, fecal matter, mounds of trash, and other biohazard material do not smell pleasant. The longer they sit and fester, the worse they smell. Should sunlight touch these biohazard materials, the smell intensifies. Worse, these smells seem to remain in fibers longer than any other smells.
On average, the cost of unattended death cleanup ranges from $200 to $300 per hour. When someone dies at home, it may be a few hours before they are discovered. Time is of the essence when it comes to unattended death cleanup. Failure to promptly remove the body and any waste impacts how livable the property becomes. Odors from decompensation in warm conditions wreak havoc on the home, requiring professional cleaning, sanitizing, and deodorizing. Depending on how long the individual was deceased in the home, thorough cleaning runs into thousands of dollars.
Crime scene cleanup companies charge up to $400 to $600 per hour. This typically includes the cost to clean, disinfect the site, remove and transport waste, and dispose of any hazardous substances or materials.
Cleaning up blood and bodily fluid, such as at a crime scene, is expensive and quite involved. First, many of these sites have sat for prolonged times as there are often legal and investigative protocols that must be followed before cleanup commences. The safety measures required to curb exposure to the hazards make crime scene cleanup costly. Homicide or suicide cleanup costs can run to $25,000 to clean and restore the site.
On average, medical waste will be removed at $2 to $20 per pound. Medical waste means any potentially infectious material or waste, usually from a hospital site, clinic, doctor or dentist’s office, lab, or similar source. Removing medical waste requires special handling and certification. In many regions, medical waste must be disposed of at hospital sites only. Medical waste must be bagged in special red bags that identify that it is medical waste with warnings. Some examples of medical waste include used wound dressings and hypodermic needles. Medical waste removal fees are often separate and can run into thousands of dollars for extreme cases.
Waste removal professionals are specially trained in safety gear and equipment, including the proper use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Medical waste disposal companies arrange for scheduled waste pick-up, usually on a monthly or quarterly contract. The prices for these services vary depending on many factors. Compare costs among providers in your region online.
On average, transfer stations where animal waste or remains are disposed charge around $20 to $25 per 50 pounds of disposed waste. Deceased animals, both wild and domestic, that weigh under 50 pounds, can typically be bagged tightly and disposed of at these transfer stations by homeowners or residents in their city. No special permit is required. This is the same protocol for self-disposing of animal feces. However, many transfer stations require that you double-bag the waste. In extreme cases, such as in animal hoarding situations, the waste and fecal matter should be removed and disposed of by a biohazard professional to prevent cross-contamination and possible disease.
Removing hazardous chemicals cost around $30 to $50 per barrel. Removing and cleaning up chemical hazards, such as waste from dismantling a methamphetamine laboratory, is dangerous work that requires hazmat suits and specialized equipment. Drug labs are very dangerous scenes that can take around five days to contain and clean. First, everything is removed from the site. Then, it is thoroughly cleaned. Before the job is complete, the biohazard cleaners test the site for hazardous materials or substances. The fumes are toxic, even fatal. Some chemicals can be absorbed through skin contact.
Another instance where you might need chemical biohazards removed is in the event of a spill or leak of a dangerous substance, like a gas spill at a business or home. The highly flammable nature of gasoline makes it a public safety issue that requires an immediate response from a spill cleanup company. Some chemicals are considered to be highly hazardous, meaning that they are toxic and reactive. According to OSHA, they must be removed by professionals in a very precise way.
Preventing transmission of contaminants and viruses requires carefully attentive cleaning processes. Some bacteria and viruses survive on certain surfaces for up to 72 hours, so decontaminating requires follow-up visits, at an estimated $1,500 to $3,500 for the entire job. Additionally, hazmat suits cost an estimated $80 each. This is an expense passed on to the customer. This process requires that property owners leave the premises for several days and/or tent the home to limit who goes in and out effectively. Special antibacterial/antiviral cleaning agents are used. Some items, belongings, and fixtures require special handling and laundering.
Depending on the severity, cleaning up a sewage backup costs between $2,000 and $10,000 to resolve, primarily due to the hazardous nature of this waste. In the event of a sewage backup, your first call should be to your local public works department to immediately notify them of the issue. A sewage backup could be localized to your home or affect a larger section of pipes in the neighborhood.
Once the public works department has been notified, you need to call your insurance carrier immediately. Unfortunately, accidents rarely happen at convenient times. If your insurance company is not open when the backup occurs, call them as soon as they open the next day. Make sure you document the time the backup began and take as many pictures/videos as possible.
Fortunately, your home insurance most likely covers sewage backup. If biohazard restoration cleanup is covered by your policy, you will only be responsible for your deductible.
Biohazardous waste should only be addressed and cleaned up by a professional for the sake of safety. These individuals are specially trained, have the necessary PPE on hand, and have access to the specialty equipment required for such situations. The process can take a couple of hours to remove pet odors, up to several days to clean up a crime scene. While many work in pairs, some companies enlist a biohazard team. This makes the job much faster, charging a per-hour rate of $25 to $600. It is common for biohazard professionals to garner $200 to $300 each per hour. The rates vary based on the biohazard safety level of the project. Waste removal fees are often separate and can run into thousands of dollars for extreme cases. Know that the costs for removal run the gamut as there are many variables involved that add to the expense of biohazard remediation. For example, it costs significantly more to hire professionals to clean up a chemical spill than it will to remove the smell of pet urine from your home.
The biohazard cleanup process is very intricate and may involve more than one professional. The steps involved in the cleanup may vary depending on the type of hazard that they are dealing with. However, most situations will require:
The first stage of the process is for a biohazard cleanup professional to assess and evaluate the damage. During this time, they create a detailed report. This report includes the biohazard safety level, any PPE the professionals need, the extent of the damage/cleanup, and the estimated completion time. This information will be used to create a quote.
Next, the technician implements safety measures to prevent cross-contamination and reduce the risk of toxicity. This may include setting up tarps, creating decontamination zones, and backup safety protocols. These protocols protect everyone in the event of a spill during cleanup.
An overall cleaning to all surfaces occurs next. All large materials will be removed from the area first. Once they are removed, smaller items will be the next focus. Once the materials are removed, the extent of liquid or chemical damage will be evident.
The hazmat cleanup company determines which items can be saved and which ones are contaminated. Those that are contaminated will be disposed of immediately. Any items that can be salvaged will be presented to the homeowners. If they do not want them, they will be disposed of as well.
Biohazard waste must be handled carefully and disposed of at specialized treatment facilities. Hoarder items often go straight to the dump. However, biohazard materials can only be placed in specific containers. These containers cannot be stored anywhere once even one ounce of waste is placed in them. Generally, the cost for waste disposal for biohazard removal cleaning service ranges from $2 to $20 per pound. Some companies charge a flat rate of $200 to $300 per 20 gallon waste bin. The cost of the containers and removal will be included in your biohazard removal quote and is part of the service.
After the waste has been removed, the site will be neutralized and disinfected, which helps control and remedy odor issues. Every effort will be made to ensure the entire home is safe for reentry. This includes sanitizing smaller details like switches, bulbs, etc. Doing this prevents any risk of contamination in the future.
A thorough cleaning restores and remediates the space before anything is brought back in. While all effort is made in the previous step to neutralize odors, some smells linger without deodorization. This add-on eliminates all odors, which ensures no foul memories linger in the home.
Restoring the property to the original condition is the final goal, including repairing the damage that may have occurred. Restoration can take weeks or months to complete. It depends on the extent of the damage. Unfortunately, this process cannot be started until all previous steps are complete.
Some common damage costs include replacing flooring, which may be warranted due to damage from biohazards in the home. Carpenters charge around $70 per hour to make basic repairs, plus the cost of flooring materials. Paint may require touch-ups at an estimated cost of $50 per hour. Drywall should be repaired, as needed, which costs around $200 to $550. In severe cases, structural damage may merit the services of a structural engineer to assess and plan for the safety and integrity of your home. Expect to pay from $500 to $2,000 for an engineer to evaluate and design plans for your renovations due to extensive damage.
While costs for biohazard cleanup have not increased much since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, business has picked up as more places are being treated as contaminated if there was recent exposure to COVID-19. Biohazard crews are already prepared to face contaminated areas. However, they faced a unique challenge at the beginning of the pandemic.
With shutdowns in many states and a lack of physical interaction during the early days of the pandemic, it took days and weeks for some bodies to be reported, leading to much more extensive cleanups for biohazard crews. They also sometimes had to perform more extensive cleaning if the decedent died from COVID-19 and the whole house was considered possibly contaminated.
Several factors affect the cost of your biohazard cleanup, with certain factors having a more significant impact than others. The factors affecting the overall expense include the type of contamination, the type of residue left behind, and what needs to be cleaned. Blood and blood borne pathogens are more expensive to clean than other types of contamination.
Another factor that plays a significant role in the expense is the type of surface. Special flooring and materials require more care and possibly restoration or replacement. Porous materials provide an extra challenge.
Companies consider how long the area has been contaminated before cleanup has begun. The longer stains and odors are left unaddressed, the longer and more difficult it is to eradicate them. You also will likely pay a surcharge if the cleanup is needed urgently. Other considerations include the types of equipment needed and the disposal of the biohazard. While these factors play less of a role than the others, they can cause the overall cost to be higher or lower. The table and visualization below estimates the importance of each factor when calculating the price to cleanup biohazard materials.
|Factor||Percentage of Total Cost|
|Length of Contamination||15%|
|Type of Surface||25%|
|Type of Contaminant||35%|
You do not have to do much when preparing for biohazard cleanup. In fact, there are more things to avoid doing than things to prepare. One thing you want to do is take pictures if you plan to file a claim with your insurance company. You also may want to make a list of anything sentimental, valuable, or extremely important that you may wish the cleanup specialist to salvage if they can safely.
Do not remove any items from the area, even if they are ones you want to keep. They are likely contaminated and need to be assessed to see if they can be made safe before being returned to you. Also, avoid using any of your own cleaning products. The specialists will have their products. You want to make sure that no chemicals are present that might interact with them.
You may be wondering which hazmat cleanup companies are best suited to handle your situation. Below, you will find more information about the most well-known hazmat companies in the United States. While many of these companies offer similar services, some offer additional services. Each of these companies offers biohazard cleanup services at all four biohazard safety levels (BSL). Depending on the type of cleanup required and the BSL, the hourly rates for the companies range from $25 to $600 per hour. Please note that emergency services may incur a higher hourly rate.
In addition to biohazard removal cleaning services, some companies offer additional services once the cleanup is complete. Some companies are remediation experts, while others can assist with vehicles, unattended deaths, and crime scenes. Regardless of the company selected, every cleaning professional at these national organizations is highly skilled and prepared to finish the job at hand as efficiently as possible.
National Crime Scene Cleanup has served customers across the United States for over 65 years. Available every day of the year, every member of the team is fully trained in the safest, most effective cleanup services. The company offers various services, including trauma, accidents, sewage backflows, viruses, contaminations, and biohazard cleanup.
Aftermath provides top-rated trauma cleaning and biohazard remediation across the United States. In their 25 years of service, they have assisted over 30,000 customers. Their 50 regional offices and 75 mobile units allow their team to be ready any day of the year to handle unattended deaths, accidents, and biohazard situations. While the company specializes in crime scenes, teams are more than capable of assisting homeowners in their time of need.
Bio Recovery offers nationwide services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The company requires its team to exceed OSHA standards to ensure every member is completely safe while completing the job at hand. Bio Recovery offers biohazard cleanup, hoarding cleanup, unattended deaths, blood cleanup, and more. The company specializes in handling cleanup scenarios with pathogens involving blood, urine, and fecal matter.
Steri-Clean was established in 1995 to serve clients across the nation. With their focus on the human factor, Steri-Clean provides efficient services while being cognizant of the customer’s emotions. From clutter cleanup and animal removal to biohazard services and crime scene cleanup, Steri-Clean serves a wide range of clients. Steri-Clean specializes in assisting homeowners with removing any trace of biohazard materials and odors that linger in the home.
ServiceMaster Restore is a ServiceMaster Company. With more than 60+ years of experience, their nationwide teams provide a range of supportive, expert, effective services to clients in their times of need. Every member of the team goes through rigorous training and company certifications. Hoarding, biohazard material removal, and restoration services are just a few of the company’s specialties.
Biohazard cleanup is often required in response to a complicated situation. Many cleanup professionals will not enter and clean a site if the owner is present due to the ethical dilemmas this can cause. Some cleanup professionals enlist the help of a qualified counselor or therapist to accompany them to situations, such as hoarding homes, to help with the emotional issues. This increases the overall cost. An independent therapist typically charges around $100 per hour.
The professionals who complete your biohazard cleanup have many safety precautions to keep in mind. First, they will never enter a space or touch any materials without wearing the appropriate PPE for the biohazard safety level of the project. These individuals want to clean your home as quickly as possible, but they will not risk their own safety to do so. Aside from their PPE, these individuals always have a safety plan in place for accidental spills of biohazard materials. These materials must go in specially marked bins and be dropped off at specific treatment plans. Should these bins spill on site, the cleaning professionals have a plan in place to quickly clean the mess and ensure no one risks contamination.
While homeowners wait for the biohazard team to arrive, they should avoid affected areas at all costs. If the whole home is affected, it may be best to stay with friends or family or go to a hotel. Those who will not leave their home should make sure the areas they are interacting with are free of any contaminants. No one should touch anything that is covered in fluids or chemicals. You should always act like anything you are about to touch is contaminated and can cause serious illness. If you have any questions about what you should be doing while you wait, call the cleaning company and ask for their recommendations.
Cars often need to have biohazard cleaning to be deemed safe for use. Whether they were the scene of a crime or found abandoned, cars must be fully decontaminated and cleaned before anyone is permitted to buy, sell, or use the vehicle. Blood pathogens, diseases, infections, fecal matter, needles, and biohazard chemicals damage a car. The method of cleanup and the cost varies greatly.
When the cleanup team begins working on the car, they start by removing all materials in the vehicle. Once the tangible items have been removed, all fluids or chemicals will be cleaned up. From there, the disinfection process begins to ensure that anyone who enters the vehicle without PPE will not become ill. Finally, the odor issue is handled so the vehicle’s new owner will not have to deal with any smells.
Due to the nature of the project, costs vary. Many cleaning companies focus on crime scenes and larger projects because these tend to bring in more revenue. It is safe to say that the cost of a biohazard car cleaning service runs the same hourly rate as biohazard remediation in a home, which averages around $25 to $600 per hour (depending on the biohazard safety level of the car).
Anyone who has a crime scene at their home has understandable concerns about the cost of crime scene cleanup. Fortunately, most homeowner’s insurance policies cover biohazard removal cleaning services. Since every policy is different, the amount of coverage varies from homeowner to homeowner. The cleanup company deals directly with your insurance carrier. You will only be responsible for your deductible.
Should your homeowner’s insurance policy not cover this type of event, most cleanup companies will work with you. They understand this is not something most individuals’ budget for in their lifetime. Most offer affordable payment plans and only require a small percentage up front before services begin.
An emergency hazmat situation is any event in which biohazard materials are exposed or spilled, and individuals can accidentally touch these materials. Sewer backups, chemical spills, floodwater, and extreme, traumatic accidents are considered emergencies. If blood pathogens, chemical contaminants, pesticides, or other harmful materials are exposed, an emergency cleanup team should be called immediately. If the situation is life-threatening, immediately call 911 first.
A 24-hour emergency hazmat cleanup team costs considerably more, sometimes as much as $500 to $1,000 per visit. A similar service charge is assessed when you require fast service, such as for a sewage backup. A 30-minute response time may cost similar to an emergency service call, depending on the situation.
Until an emergency cleanup team arrives, you and anyone else involved should proceed with extreme caution. It is best to stay away from affected areas. If possible, vacate the premises. If you remain in the building, treat all fluids like they are contaminated. You do not want anything to touch you. Be sure to keep details of the situation so that you can explain everything when the cleanup team arrives.
Hazmat stands for hazardous materials. It is an abbreviation used throughout the industry because it is quicker and easier to say. If you hear someone say hazmat, they are referring to the hazardous materials of the job. Specifically, hazmat refers to materials that cause harm if you come in contact with them. Examples include fuel, chemicals, viruses, and radioactive agents. They appear in solid, liquid, and gas states. Hazmat includes feces and urine.
Hoarding cleaning costs vary depending on the actual condition and severity of the situation. Some hoarding cleaning professionals charge $1,000 per day to clean and remove waste from hoarding homes. Other hoarding professionals charge between $25 and $150 per hour.
Crime scene cleanup companies make between $400 and $600 per hour, plus waste disposal, transportation, and equipment costs.
The first thing to do is complete training through OSHA for exposure to bloodborne pathogens and the use of PPE, which is required for anyone working with biohazardous materials or waste. It also makes sense to work with experienced biohazard cleaners before launching your own business.
Certainly, whether a crime scene cleaner makes good money depends on many different factors, but many cleaners report earning an average of $80,000 per year.
Unfortunately, crimes, homicides, and suicides happen across the United States every day. Many of these lead to crime scenes that require biohazard cleanup due to bodily fluids, blood pathogens, needles, and other biohazard material. So, yes, this can be a good, profitable business. However, it is a mentally, physically, and emotionally draining profession. It is not meant for everyone.
Biohazard cleanup is costly because it requires a high level of experience when handling the needed chemicals and following specific disposal methods. It also requires expensive equipment.
Hazmat cleaners are professionals. Professionals do not disclose information about their clients and jobs to others. If a job requires discretion, you can rest assured you will have it.