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Biohazard Cleanup Cost

Biohazard Cleanup Cost

National average
$3,000 - $5,000
(cleanup and waste removal of a 2,000 square foot hoarder home, minor related repairs)
Low: $1,500 - $2,500

(decontaminate a home from virus by cleaning all surfaces in two visits, plus waste removal)

High: $15,000 - $25,000

(cleanup and restoration of crime scene, bodily waste removal, and repairs to site)

Cost to hire a biohazard cleanup company varies greatly by region (and even by zip code).
Get free estimates from local contractors in your city.

The average cost to hire a biohazard cleanup company is $3,000 - $5,000.

In this guide

Biohazard Cleanup Costs Per Hour
Cost Factors
Labor Costs by Biohazard Safety Level
Virus Decontamination and Protection Costs
Medical Waste Disposal
Chemical Hazards
Animal Waste or Remains Cleanup Costs
Unattended Death Cleanup
Crime Scene and After Death Cleaning Services Costs
Sewage Backups Cleanup Costs
Hoarding Cleanup Costs
Odor Control Costs
Biohazard Cleanup Process
Empathy and Ethics
Reconstruction Work Costs
Additional Considerations and Costs
FAQ

How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Biohazard Cleanup Company?

The cleanup of biological hazards is important work, and it involves safety practices and protocols that can make it an expensive service. Biohazard and “hazmat” refers to potentially hazardous materials and substances, typically from living organisms like people or animals. Biohazard cleanup entails removal of these dangers in a safe way by trained and qualified professionals.

Plan on an average cost of $3,000 - $5,000 to hire a biohazard cleanup company, with the average customer paying $4,000 to clean up biohazardous waste in a 2,000 square foot home, such as a hoarding situation or virus decontamination.

Biohazard Cleanup

Biohazard cleanup costs
National average cost$4,000
Average range$3,000 - $5,000
Minimum cost$1,500
Maximum cost$25,000


Biohazard Cleanup Costs Per Hour

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 that is required for such situations. The process can take a couple hours for removing pet odors, up to several days to clean up a crime scene. While many work in pairs, some companies enlist a biohazard team which makes the job much faster, charging a per-hour rate of up to $600, as it is common for biohazard professionals to garner $250 each, per hour. 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 will cost significantly more to hire professionals to clean up a chemical spill than it will to remove the smell of pet urine from your home.

Disposal fees are also applied if you want to get rid of a great amount of waste. Normally, using a 20 gallon waste bin costs around $250.

Cost Factors

There are some factors that can make your biohazard cleanup project more expensive:

  • Type of surface to be cleaned. The surface to be cleaned makes a big difference, as some flooring or materials may require special care and additional labor. Porous surfaces, like a mattress, carpet, or concrete, can be more challenging to clean effectively. Building materials, such as sub-flooring, drywall 2, and paint, may also require restoration or replacement.
  • Size of surface to be cleaned. The longer the area has been tainted or contaminated, the more difficult it will be to restore, thus affecting the overall cost. Removing odors and stubborn stains can be more laborious and time-consuming, causing increased hourly costs in some instances.
  • Specialized equipment. You will also have to figure in that there is specialized equipment required for biohazard cleanup, including ozone machines, air scrubbers, negative air machines, hospital grade 3 disinfectants, respirators, and of course, special suits and masks, that may drive up the cost of the job.
  • Disposal costs. You also need to calculate disposal costs for biohazardous waste, which vary by location and are typically charged by the pound. For waste that can be disposed of at a transfer station, you will likely pay between $2 and $20 per pound; for biohazardous waste that requires containment in a metal drum, you will pay an average of $50 per drum to dispose of it safely.
  • Waste pick-up. Depending on where you live and who you call, you may be able to secure pick-up for your biohazardous waste, which costs an additional $50-$200 to transport. Based on what you are disposing of, special packaging or containment may be required which may also cost money. Your local biohazard waste transportation service can provide more information upon request.

Labor Costs by Biohazard Safety Level

Consider the following safety levels and costs when it comes to biohazardous waste cleanup:

Biosafety levelWaste materialAverage cost
BSL-1Minimal threat to health and wellbeing, such as Chicken Pox virus$25- $50 per hour
BSL-2Can cause severe illness through direct contact, such as measles and mumps

$25- $75 per hour

BSL-3Contains airborne pathogens that can cause serious or fatal disease, such as SARS, but for which a vaccine is available$50-$150 per hour
BSL-4High-risk of life-threatening disease, such as COVID-19, with no current vaccine$150-$600 per hour

Virus Decontamination and Protection Costs

Preventing transmission of contaminants and viruses requires carefully attentive cleaning processes. Some bacteria and viruses can survive on certain surfaces for up to 72 hours, so decontaminating requires follow-up visits, at an estimated $1,500-$3,500 for the entire job. Additionally, hazmat suits cost an estimated $80 each, an expense passed on to the customer. This process may require that property owners leave the premises for several days, and/or tenting the home to effectively limit who goes in and out. Special antibacterial/antiviral cleaning agents are used and some items, belongings, fixtures will require special handling and laundering.

Medical Waste Disposal

Medical waste means any potentially-infectious material or waste, usually from a hospital site, clinic, doctor or dentist’s office, lab, or other 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 will arrange for scheduled pick-up for this waste, 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.

Chemical Hazards

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, and can some chemicals 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, and, according to OSHA, must be removed by professionals in a very precise way.

Animal Waste or Remains Cleanup Costs

Deceased animals, both wild and domestic, that weigh under 50 pounds can typically be bagged tightly and disposed of at transfer stations by homeowners or residents in the city that they live in. On average, the transfer station charges around $25 per bag disposed and there is no special permit required. This is the same protocol for self-disposing of animal feces, though 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.

Unattended Death Cleanup

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 can impact how livable the property becomes. Odors from decompensation in warm conditions can wreak havoc on the home, requiring professional cleaning, sanitizing, and deodorizing. Depending on how long the individual was deceased in the home, thorough cleaning can run into thousands of dollars.

Crime Scene and After Death Cleaning Services Costs

In extreme cases, crime scene cleanup companies charge up 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 need to be followed before cleanup may commence. The safety measures required to curb exposure to the hazards make crime scene cleanup costly. In the case of suicides or homicides, it can cost up to $25,000 to clean and restore the site.

Sewage Backups Cleanup Costs

In the event of a sewage backup, your first call should be to your local public works department and the second should be to your insurance carrier. Depending on the severity, cleaning up a sewage backup can cost between $2,000 and $10,000 to resolve, primarily due to the hazardous nature of this waste.

Hoarding Cleanup Costs

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 can occur. This will also reveal 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. Many professional cleaners charge up to $1,000 per day, though estimates average anywhere from $25-$150 per hour.

Odor Control Costs

Some odors, such as pet odors or the smell of urine, seem impossible to get rid of. Depending on what causes the odor, you will likely pay up to $100 per hour for sanitization plus the cost of supplies and solvents.

Biohazard Cleanup Process

There are numerous steps to the biohazard cleanup process which are fairly standard in most, if not all, situations:

  • Assessment. The first stage of the process is for a biohazard cleanup professional to assess and evaluate the damage.
  • Control and setup. Next, the technician must implement safety measures to prevent cross-contamination and to reduce risk of toxicity.
  • Remove surface contamination. An overall cleaning to all surfaces occurs next.
  • Salvage items without compromising safety. The hazmat cleanup company will determine which items can be saved as well as which ones are contaminated and should be disposed of.
  • Safe and legal disposal of hazardous materials. Your hired hazmat cleaning company will dispose of tainted items in accordance with legal regulations.
  • Odor-neutralizing and disinfection. After the waste has been removed, the site will be neutralized and disinfected, which helps control and remedy odor issues.
  • Inspection, cleanup, sanitation, and deodorization. A thorough cleaning restores and remediates the space before anything is brought back in.
  • Restoration of property. Restoring the property to the original condition is the final goal, including repairing damage that may have occurred.

Empathy and Ethics

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 that can come up. This will increase the overall cost, and an independent therapist typically charges around $100 per hour.

Reconstruction Work Costs

Biohazards can also wreak havoc on the structural integrity of a home. Often-times, there are reconstruction and repairs that must occur after the cleanup to remediate the situation. 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 a rough cost of $50 per hour. Drywall should be repaired, as needed, which costs around $200-$280. 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-$2,000 for an engineer to evaluate and design plans for your renovations due to extensive damage.

Additional Considerations and Costs

  • There is no certification required to become a biohazard cleaner, however you will need a permit to dispose of biohazardous material per OSHA standards and other laws. Anyone who touts themselves as providing biohazard cleanup and removal has the potential of being exposed to deadly pathogens, so training in bloodborne pathogens-safe PPE is mandated.
  • In many instances, removing biohazards is covered by homeowner’s insurance. Talk to your carrier to learn more.
  • It is best not to attempt to remove biohazards on your own as you could be exposed to dangerous, even deadly, pathogens and substances. Professionals are trained in the use of special protective equipment to help keep them safe.
  • In the event of a crisis, 24-hour emergency hazmat cleanup may be required. This service will cost considerably more, sometimes fetching an additional service charge of $500-$1,000 per visit. There is a similar service charge when you require fast service, such as for a sewage backup; 30-minute response time may cost similarly to an emergency service call, depending on the situation.
  • Additional consideration needs to be given to areas of the home or property that can be contaminated yet go undetected. Careful inspection of fixtures, switches, vents, ducts, and belongings, like knick knacks or accent items, needs to occur to prevent further contamination.
  • Legal guidelines were set in 1991 providing standards for safe biohazard cleanup and removal. The Blood or Other Potentially Infectious Materials (BOPIM) standards dictated by OSHA establish that anyone in contact with the cleanup has current biohazard remediation training. Additionally, it is mandated that biohazard cleaners wear proper protective gear and equipment in these situations.
  • Decontamination costs can run up the overall expense of a cleanup considerably. This is due to the need for a decontamination chamber for the entire home or structure in order to isolate the hazard. This also involves biohazard cleaners wearing hazmat suits, gear, and equipment throughout the biohazard remediation.

FAQ

  • What is hazmat cleanup?

Hazmat cleanup refers to hazardous materials cleanup and removal. It is necessary to have a hazmat company safely remove potentially dangerous substances, like body fluid or bacteria, from a home or property. It is a task best left to individuals with training in the removal of such materials.

  • How much does it cost to clean out a hoarder house?

Hoarding cleaning costs vary depending on the actual condition and severity of the situation. Some hoarding cleaning professionals garner $1,000 per day to clean and remove waste from hoarding homes; other hoarding professionals charge between $25 and $150 per hour.

  • How much do crime scene cleanup companies make?

Crime scene cleanup companies make between $100 and $600 per hour, plus waste disposal, transportation, and equipment costs.

  • How do I start a biohazard cleanup business?

The first thing to do is complete training through OSHA for exposure to bloodborne pathogens and 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.

  • Is crime scene cleanup covered by insurance?

Yes, depending on the circumstances, biohazard cleanup is often covered by insurance. For instance, if someone dies in a home, the homeowner’s insurance will typically pay for cleanup.

  • Do crime scene cleaners make good money?

Certainly whether a crime scene cleaner makes good money depends on many different factors, but many report earning an average of $80,000 per year.

  • Is crime scene cleanup a good business?

Crime scene cleanup is a good business that pays well. It is not a conventional job in terms of hours, but many biohazard removal contractors report annual incomes of $80,000 and up. Many cleanup companies command up to $600 per hour for their services in extreme cases.

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Cost to hire a biohazard cleanup company varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

Man wearing protective biological suit to make disinfection and ventilation of hospital room
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