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Blog Environmental Issues Methamphetamine Contamination Home Inspections
Methamphetamine Contamination Home Inspections
Environmental Issues
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Homes that are contaminated with methamphetamine can pose health risks to those who reside in them. The methamphetamine problem can be found throughout the United States, as well as in many other countries. Contamination not only occurs in homes where it has been produced, but homes in which it was consumed. Some states have established guidelines for clean up, but these do not fully address the problem.
meth-lab-discovered-during-a-home-inspectionPure meth puts off no odor and is colorless. Sampling and testing may be the only way to determine if contamination has occurred. There are some visual signs that home inspectors can look for in order to determine if the home has been used to produce methamphetamine or if the drug has been used within the home. These include:
  • Yellow discoloration on interior walls, ceilings, drains, showers, and bathtubs
  • Blue discoloration on fire extinguishers or propane tanks
  • Stained or etched marks on stoves, tubs, sinks, or toilets
  • The addition of extra ventilation systems in basements and attics
  • Removal of smoke detectors, or detectors that have been covered
  • Burn marks on surfaces
  • Odors that resemble that of paint thinning products or chlorine
  • Hidden rooms
Each of these may be present inside the home. The exterior of the home may provide clues as well. Dead spots on the lawn could be the result of dumped chemicals. The use of extra security measures such as purposeful overgrowth of bushes or multiple "Keep Out" signs may be another sign. Burn piles or dug up areas where meth trash is buried are solid clues as well. A home inspector that is trained to detect methamphetamine will know exactly what to look for.
The home itself may not be the only risk. Property may also be contaminated when hazardous waste is buried on the property. During the cooking process one pound of meth will produce as much as six pounds of waste. Since meth producers may risk getting caught by disposing of their waste in public places, yard burial is not uncommon.
Methamphetamine home inspection is needed not only to protect the health of those who are considering purchasing a contaminated home, but to protect their finances as well. Depending on the severity of the contamination, the cost of cleanup can exceed $60,000. The lowest one might expect to pay is around $4,000, which is still a significant amount. Note that is it not only old or run-down homes that are used as meth labs. Newer homes are used as labs as well.
Property owners who have chosen to rent their home should consider having a methamphetamine home inspection completed prior to listing the home. Voluntary cleanup should be done if meth is detected within the home. Decontamination is the only way to render the home livable again. Though the cost may be high, this is something that a seller must deal with if the home has been used to produce or consume methamphetamine.

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Darin Redding
Written on Thursday, 17 January 2013 00:00 by Darin Redding

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