When you are purchasing an old home, you must always take necessary precautions to be able to know if there are dangers around it. Sure we always check on pipes, cladding, foundation, and walls; however, we might now know that toxic substances might be present around our soon-to-be homes. When you aren’t able to meticulously check the surface of your homes, you will end up living in a risky environment not being able to think about what it can bring to you and your family.
Meth houses are a thing nowadays. Previous owners may have used or produced methamphetamine, a recreational drug that is deemed illegal all over the world if without a prescription. When inhaled, it can cause considerable health adversities that can even lead up to instant death. Thus, it’s always essential to check old homes from top to bottom, and even surfaces to avoid moving in and unknowingly living around its presence.
Household Meth Contamination
The extent of contamination leading to risks depends on how meth was used indoors. It may be that it has been used for recreational purposes, or the house may have been used for the production of such drugs. Nevertheless, the health risk it promulgates only applies to the latter and the former can have less to no risks at all for anyone.
The manufacture of meth is typically done in clandestine laboratories or meth labs. They can be built-in commercial buildings, household dwellings, and even sheds and cars as well. However, domestic dwelling such as houses has been found to have at least 68.4% of the total meth production spaces, which can be done in residential buildings for more than half of the total. Because of this, an old home can be considered a meth lab, without you even knowing about it. Consequently, it is shown that most that are at risk are children rather than adults, and it can lead to serious nervous system complications which can lead to death ultimately.
Still, meth contamination around your homes can be present, but you just have to check to what extent meth is produced to be able to assess whether or not it should have a complete clean-up or just okay to not be dealt with. Nevertheless, when the presence of meth is seen, you must take necessary precautions and have it cleaned regardless of how much meth is present around a residential home.
Signs of Meth in a House
If you suspect that the residential unit is a little bit sketchy or you just want to be extra careful about it, it’s best to check for signs of meth around.
For starters, you need to trust your sense of smell. Sniff around and look for strong odours around your home, and check for the smell of ammonia, rotten eggs, or vinegar. Yes, it may be normal for homes to smell musty and dusty, but meth leaves a signature scent that’s way beyond the normal smell of old scents.
On another note, check for stains anywhere. Meth can stain walls and surfaces and are also very crucial on carpets. If you see stains that do not look like the normal stains you see at home, it can be a good indicator that something’s off with the house and your realtor is just not telling you about it.
3. Authorities know
You can always contact your local government to check whether or not the house has been used for meth production. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is your answer to this, as they have a database that lists all the meth houses around a particular neighbourhood, under the National Clandestine Laboratory Register. Needless to say, you can also ask your neighbours about the previous owners of the house, as they might be able to have contact with them day by day or may have a negative observation about the most recent residents of a home.
4. Meth testing kits
If you’re still sceptical about a specific residence before you finally buy it, might as well buy your own meth testing kits. They can be available online, and tests can be done conveniently. You can have results in an instant, or if you want to be extra sure, you can send your sample to testing labs for checking.
How to Clean Meth Residue
Precautionary cleaning is always necessary between occupancies. When meth is present or suspected inside a residential unit, cleaning it thoroughly should always be done.
1. Clean Stains using sugar soap, bleach, or an alkaline detergent. You must brush off the stains and make sure it’s not evident anymore, to ensure that it’s fully cleaned.
2. If stains and odours from meth are evident in carpets and soft spaces, wash them and steam them as well. Steaming lets off bacteria and contamination, however, it is recommended to do them outdoors and use a dust mask to ensure you’re not inhaling the substance.
3. When you feel like what you’ve done is not yet enough, you can ask for cleaning professionals to do the job for you. Cleaning meth requires intensive cleaning, so make sure to notify them to clean all the surfaces, and ask for a deep and thorough cleaning for this. This ensures a lovely home that’s toxic-free and bacteria-free as well.
Nevertheless, just as there is no regulatory board to formally file complaints about meth contamination, there are also no specific indications on how to substantially clean meth residue in any space. Therefore, cleaning your home as much as possible might just do the trick but if ever you don’t want extra charges or efforts for cleaning, make sure you’re not buying a meth house in the first place.
One certain thing about meth homes is they are usually priced lower than most homes. Accordingly, you must see to it that your realtor is trusted, and always ask questions about the previous owners of your home. With this, prevention of buying meth homes is better than doing efforts to clean them —- it entails that suspected meth homes must be avoided to prevent risks, however big or small they may be.
Photo by Monica Silvestre: https://www.pexels.com/photo/brown-broom-and-white-plastic-bucket-3562689/