What Lies Beneath
From the outside the house looks normal. Soon a for sale sign will go in the yard and a new family will move in. The only thing that indicates something was awry is our big red truck and trailer advertising our company, Spotless Crime Clean. Today we are here to clean up the scene of a suicide via gunshot. When we first enter the home, the scene does not appear bad. We have seen much worse. There is a small area (size of a frisbee) of blood on the carpet and a bit of blood on the couch. The family member who called us to clean the home states that it shouldn’t take us long because it isn’t much of a mess. To the normal eye, it wouldn’t appear all that bad. But working in this profession, we knew better. We know that you cannot “clean” blood from carpet or porous flooring. Most professional carpet cleaning companies will refuse to clean blood and bodily fluids from carpet due to the high chances of contaminating their equipment and in turn cross contaminating another home. We know that the small circle of blood on the carpet doesn’t show the whole picture. We carefully cut the carpet and begin peeling it back. It is similar to peeling the layers of an onion. You must pull the carpet back and observe if there is damage to the next layer which is the padding. In this case, we were a bit surprised by how saturated the carpet padding was. The blood was still wet and had completely soaked into the padding. We continued to pull the carpet back to investigate how much of the padding was saturated. We pulled the carpet a foot at a time. We continued to pull back the layer of carpet until we saw dry carpet padding. We cut the carpet, rolled it, and properly placed it in our biohazard bins for proper incineration. Next, we had to pull up the carpet padding. Thank goodness, the flooring beneath was concrete. The concrete was wet and stained with blood. We properly disposed of the contaminated carpet padding and started the job of disinfecting the concrete foundation with special cleaning agents that are stronger than bleach. We left the concrete to dry overnight while we used our industrial ozone machine to sanitize the air in the room where the scent of blood still lingered. We returned the following day and used a special paint that not only seals the concrete but also takes away any visual that was left on the concrete. The exact measurement of the contaminated concrete and carpet padding was 5 feet wide by 5 feet long. If an ordinary person would have tried to clean the small blood stain on the carpet themselves, they would have left 25 square feet of blood and bodily fluids under the carpet. Not only would the home begin to smell, but there would be many hazards lying just below their feet. At first glance a stain, no matter how small, may not tell the whole story.