- What is Methamphetamine?
- What are some of the signs that meth has been used in or around a property?
- Is it important for someone buying a home to request a meth test?
- What are the health affects of methamphetamine if it is found in a home, apartment or property? How much is dangerous?
- I am worried my home was a meth lab or someone has smoked meth in it. What should I do to find out?
- I am buying or selling a home and the meth tests came back positive. Now what should I do?
- Who can I call to clean up my property?
- Can a property owner cleanup and remediate the meth them self?
- What is the approximate cost of remediation?
- How long does the decontamination process take?
- Will I be expected to move out of my home during the decontamination process?
- What are my state decontamination standards?
- What is the difference in level of contamination between a lab and a home that only has had meth use?
- Why should I be concerned with meth contaminated properties?
- What are some signs that meth has been used or around the property?
- What is considered acceptable testing?
What is Methamphetamine?
+ Back to top +Methamphetamine is a highly addictive drug that activates the pleasures centers in the brain. Meth may be sold as a powder or rock like substance. The most common names for meth are: Crystal, Crank, Ice, Glass. It is very dangerous and it can create many health problems. Second hand use also can create many health problems by breathing, touching or being around meth contaminants.
What are some of the signs that meth has been used in or around a property?
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- Yellow discoloration on walls, showers, sinks and drains.
- Blue discoloration on valves of propane tanks and fire extinguishers.
- Smoke or fire detectors are removed or have been taped over.
- Symptoms while inside the house:, burning eyes or throat, itching, a metallic taste in your mouth and breathing problems.
- Unusual strong odors that smell like materials from a garage.
- The use of security cameras and surveillance equipment.
Is it important for someone buying a home to request a meth test?
+ Back to top +It is very important to request a meth test. For a few hundred dollars it could give a person much comfort knowing if the home is safe or could be a death trap or a health hazard.
What are the health affects of methamphetamine if it is found in a home, apartment or property? How much is dangerous?
+ Back to top +From what we have heard and read to this date there is currently no research that determines specific health effects at various levels of surface meth contamination exposure. Methamphetamine works on the centers of the brain that increase the risk of dopamine, which is a chemical that normally helps regulate and elevate the mood. It is important to check with your state to see what their minimum recommended levels might be. Every state seems to have different minimum standards before they require clean-up action to take place. Because of the way meth interacts with the body, even small amounts of meth can cause any variety of the following:
- Irregular heart beat
- Decrease in the appetite
- Increased body temperature
- Rapid heart rate
I am worried my home was a meth lab or someone has smoked meth in it. What should I do to find out?
+ Back to top +First it is recommend contacting the local police department to see if any reports have been filed. The next step would be to do one of the following: 1. Have your property tested by a qualified, licensed inspector. They could cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars depending on how many locations they test and the type of company you are using. 2. For less than a hundred dollars you can test the property yourself by using a company such as HomeMethTest.com. If your samples are tested by a qualified lab this type of test can give you a good idea if you need further testing by a qualified inspector or can feel fairly safe. Without using a professional lab, you will not know if the person testing followed the correct testing procedures.
I am buying or selling a home and the meth tests came back positive. Now what should I do?
+ Back to top +The property owner is always responsible for the remediation costs but clean-up it can be negotiated into the purchase price. Most times lender will not lend money on a piece of property if it has high levels of meth. Recommend contacting your local health department to see what the local ordinances and standards are to see what additional steps need to be taken.
Who can I call to clean up my property?
+ Back to top +Certified decontamination specialists have passed a test and been certified by the Department of Environmental Quality to remediate properties contaminated with meth. Please check with your local government for a list of certified specialists. Sometimes the meth inspection company can also do the clean-up but be aware there could be a conflict of interest in some cases. It might be wise to get a few bids for clean-up of a property.
Can a property owner cleanup and remediate the meth them self?
+ Back to top +As long as protocols are followed and the final sampling falls below the decontamination standard, the owner of record can remediate their own property. If you are the owner of record and choose to remediate your property, you must comply with all federal, state, municipal, and local laws, rules, ordinances, and regulations in the decontamination process. You will be required after clean-up to get the property retested and have test results come in at safe standards.
What is the approximate cost of remediation?
+ Back to top +Remediation costs vary depending on the size of the home, the extent of the contamination, and the company decontaminating your home. It is recommended you call at least 3 decontamination specialists and obtaining bids to begin the process. Make sure you know what each company is going to do so you can compare apples to apples. It is important that these companies are licensed qualified businesses.
How long does the decontamination process take?
+ Back to top +The timing and length of the decontamination process varies from several weeks to several months. The time needed is dependent on the size of the property, extent of the contamination, and the company performing the decontamination. Be sure to ask the specialists about their estimated time of completion.
Will I be expected to move out of my home during the decontamination process?
+ Back to top +If the property has high levels of meth, you should not want to live in the home for a second until it has been cleaned up. The decontamination process requires securing the contaminated areas against unauthorized access until the decontamination is complete.
What are my state decontamination standards?
+ Back to top +We recommend contacting your local government agency for current standards. Each local health department is authorized to create ordinances specific to their jurisdiction. Contacting your local health department before beginning the remediation process (clean up) is recommended.
What is the difference in level of contamination between a lab and a home that only has had meth use?
+ Back to top +If meth has been produced in the home, then generally meth sample test results are very high. Additionally, meth labs introduce many hazardous chemicals into the home and the environment. Homes with only meth use often test at lower, but still significant levels of meth might be present. Often it is difficult to distinguish between a lab and a use situation because meth is now being produced in ways where typical visual signs do not occur.
Why should I be concerned with meth contaminated properties?
+ Back to top +Meth labs leave harmful, hazardous chemical residues on building structures. Even just using meth can leave high levels of meth residue. It is recorded every pound of meth produced in a lab leaves 5-6 pounds of toxic waste. Meth can be made from household items which are toxic, flammable, and otherwise hazardous in combination.
What are some signs that meth has been used or around the property?
+ Back to top +Some signs that a property warrants further testing include: Jars containing clear liquid with white or red colored solid on the bottom. Large amounts of lithium batteries, especially ones that have been stripped. Propane tanks with fittings that have turned blue. Occupants of residence going outside to smoke. Large amount of cold tablet containers that list Ephedrine or Pseudoephedrine as ingredients. Coffee filters containing Sulfuric, Muriatic or Hydrochloric Acid. Bottles or jars with rubber tubing attached.
What is considered acceptable testing?
+ Back to top +In order for a health department to accept test results, the test must be performed by a Certified Decontamination Specialist. Many drug testing companies, home inspectors, and other entities offer meth test kits. These kits may be useful as a screening tool for evaluating a property. Be sure to check with your health department that is over your state or county for additional information.
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