Crime scene cleanup rates can range anywhere from $150 upwards to $600 per hour and are normally billed by the hour.
The price will depend on the required cleaning specifications, scope of work, complexity of the cleanup and how long it will take to bring the site back to its original pre-incident condition. Costs can include transportation, transport permits, medical/biohazard waste disposal, supplies, chemicals, and equipment.
When a violent crime happens, the damage it leaves behind can negatively affect people, both physically and psychologically. One part that a good number of people do not think about is the mess that a violent crime leaves behind.
The victims of a violent crime are just one part of the damage equation. The crime scene location also suffers damage that can linger for a long time. That is why most turn to a professional when it comes to crime scene cleanup.
Have it in mind that a violent crime can cause damage in various ways. Property damage is just one aspect. The scene may also have biological hazards that are left behind in cases where violence or a death occurred. The investigation by the police also leaves more mess to clean up, such as fingerprint dust or tear gas.
Therefore, it is necessary to make sure that the entire crime scene is properly cleaned and all the hazards from the crime scene are completely removed. Professional crime scene cleaners have the knowledge and the tools to make this happen.
Indeed, so many factors go into determining the cost of cleaning up a crime scene. It is not possible to list all these factors as each crime scene and every situation is unique with many variables to take into consideration.
Note that every crime scene cleanup is different and that is why it is necessary to get the professional out to the site as soon as possible. There is a common misconception that police or forensic investigators clean up once the scene has been released, but in reality, the burden falls on the owner of the property.
6 Factors that Influence the Cost of Cleaning Up a Crime Scene
Any damage to a home caused by a homicide or suicide should be covered by homeowner’s insurance. But if you live in an apartment, it is not covered at all. Cleanup can be quite costly, and can range from roughly $2,500 to $25,000 generally.
However, each crime scene is different, so therefore, the cost varies as well. Here are some of the key factors that affect the cost of a cleaning up a crime scene.
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Size of Scene
Notably, bigger cleanups sites will require more time and cost than smaller scenes. The more rooms that need to be cleaned, the more it will cost. Most companies or cleaners in this business tend to charge hourly, and the size of a crime scene means it will take longer hours to cover and clean. Depending on the method of death, the size of the area that requires cleanup varies.
Scope of Damage
Unfortunately, some crime scenes are more damaged and require more work than others. The level of damage will impact the cost as particular work might be needed. An example would be if the victim’s body is left unattended for too long.
Sometimes bodily fluids can compromise the grooves in the hardwood floor and also blood can go through the floor to the apartment below.
The likes of hoarding, machinery, drug leftover and other complications might impact the cost of the job. A shotgun suicide, or say, a week to 10-day unattended death or decomposition clean, will typically be much more than say, a handgun homicide, or something like that.
Also note that cost is typically driven by two things: labour and personal protective equipment. Suits, masks, and disposal costs all have to be covered. Items collected from a scene have to be incinerated and go along with state and federal regulations.
While the other factors above focus on the crime scene itself, you also have to consider the crime scene cleaners themselves. The more experienced the professional, the more they will charge. However, in something as important as cleaning a crime scene, people want people that know what to do and they prefer to go with experience.
Training and Qualifications
Training is a significant factor in a crime scene cleaner’s skill set. The number of qualifications and licences they have will also impact their fee as there could be some regulations to where and what they can do. It might affect the cost. There are schools that provide training in these areas.
Charges vary depending on the type of training and prices range from $900 to $3000 for a three-day or 40-hour training course.
Chemical and Equipment
Some crime scene cleaners use luminol or blacklight to locate human fluids. Some also leverage or use a very strong hydrogen peroxide-based product which will foam up if there is blood. Some crime scene cleaning companies also make use of hospital-grade disinfectants, which should kill 99.9 percent of all pathogens in blood, including HIV and Hepatitis C.
Indeed it can be difficult to determine the cost of hiring a crime scene cleaner in the United States. The site of the crime, as well as the experience and qualifications of the professional, can impact the final cost.
On average, it can cost around $150 to $600 an hour for hiring a professional. This price will depend on the required cleaning specifications, scope of work, complexity of the cleanup and how long it will take to bring the site back to its original pre-incident condition.
Costs can include transportation, transport permits, medical/biohazard waste disposal, supplies, chemicals, and equipment.