On Sep 8, 12:05 pm, email@example.com wrote:
Since you don't know anything about meth labs
you shouldn't be saying that YOU think just scrubbing
and painting is enough to clean up the TOXIC waste
residues which are deposited on EVERY surface
by the vapors given off by the cook is enough to
declare the property "clean"... The proper response
is dictated by how long the meth lab was in operation
and how high the residual concentration of toxic
chemicals at the site... For a lab used only once
or twice perhaps removing all fabrics/carpets from
the house and scrubbing/painting as well as having
any HVAC ductwork professionally cleaned would
suffice but if the lab was in operation long enough so
that the soils around the perimeter of the house have
dangerous levels of chemicals present then the
structure is not worth saving and all the contaminated
soils would have to be removed...
Considering the community where this home is located, I have my doubts
that the lab existed on the property for very long. That said, I did
more searching and found the regs for cleanup in my state...property
must undergo very specific sampling and testing before and after
cleanup, same for disposal of materials removed. Cleanup must be by
cert. contractors, although the law allows the owner to participate
under supervision by the contractor.
Little bit here:
Considering how often rental properties are mentioned on the ng, I
wonder how many owners know whether cleanup is covered by their
insurance co? In Indiana, the property cannot be sold or occupied until
it is clean :o)
Without the meth lab problem, the property would be ideal for
remodelling; it is a stable neighborhood with a lot of rehab going on
and properties selling fairly quickly :o(
Considering all of the gov. agencies involved in the meth problem, it
has to be a hugely expensive problem....the local gendarmes grab a lab
about every week or so around here.
It's so wrong you can't even categorize it as to how wrong - off the
Time the cost of cleanup is factored in, they could give the house
away and it wouild still be a losing game.
Well, sort of....several sites suggest first contacting police to get a
report of the conditions in the structure. They should have a handle on
how long it operated, and when labs are discovered it is a big fat deal
to get it closed, the chemicals disposed of, etc. I am certainly not
highly interested in buying a meth lab, but if the owner had a renter
that operated there a week or two, I'd be much more interested than if
it was a cabin in the boonies cooking meth for months or years. Also of
interest is the condition of the structure and how much the chems might
permeate. State regs here are very exact on sampling surfaces before
and after cleanup. There are industries in the area (do you know YOUR
neighborhood?) that pump out thousands of tons of chemicals that I
breathe every day, not to mention the neighbor's fireplace :o)
Besides the cleanup issue, there is the issue of what you have to
disclose to buyers when you go to flip it. Like, if it's been
to all state regulations, procedures, etc, do you then still have to
disclose to buyers that it was a meth lab? My guess would be that
there might be laws specific to the state that might address that
and that absent that, it's still to me of such major significance that
think you should disclose it. I could think of hypothetical cases
even if it's not required, if you didn't dsiclose and something were
in the cleanup, it could come back to bite you.
And then having disclosed it, the next question is how do you figure
what impact that is going to have on the price? I'm not particularly
afraid of chemicals, but if there are similar houses selling for X,
one would have to be at a substantial discount to interest me. So,
you have multiple unknowns. How much it will cost to clean it up
and what the house will later sell for. I would not get involved in
this unless there was plenty of margin to cover all the above.
If I did decide to purchase, I would be most interested (at the outset)
in learning the conditions found when the cops went in...there is a
whole special task force dealing with disposal. Considering the state
statutes, the residue before and after cleanup would be next. I am not
by any means leaning toward this property, but without the meth lab
problem, it would be an ideal cheap property to remodel extensively
(good bones, good stable neighborhood, increasing prop. values;
properties are moving here). That said, it had never before occurred to
me that a home might have once been contaminated with drugs.
I've read various descriptions of the meth lab odor, and cat urine is
mentioned....a former neighbor who had extensive knowledge (and who is
probably dead) said it was just a sickening sweet smell. I've had
neighbors who dealt in coke, one of whom died at a young age of heart
attack, and now I wonder what the danger of coke residue is. Come to
think of it, mebbe that has something to do with the "autism epidemic".
I put that in quotes because I expect that autism is pretty badly
overdiagnosed for access to social services. Coke probably vastly more
pervasive than meth until fairly recently.
Good grief. Trying to link coke residue with autism?
Coke and meth are two very different things. Cocaine
is imported as such, already processed, not made in
a lab here. The processing lab is typically in South America.
You hear about meth lab operations being busted all the time. I've
never heard of a similar coke lab being busted in the USA.
And if there were an association between cocaine and
autism, then one would expect the huge increase in
numbers to be centered around populations where
cocaine usage is highest. Instead it seems to be
Good grief is right :o) For the record, I didn't have coke mfg. in
mind; it was the end product which allegedly contaminates most of the
currency in the US (and what else?).
Where is cocaine usage highest? Isolated there? How many college age
and older have never tried the stuff or come in contact with faint residues?
After all the hysteria trying to link vaccines with autism, coke seemed
a slightly more logical suspect :o) I once had a neighbor with two
severly autistic children....they were wild! The rate of autism
diagnosis nowadays is about 1%....an epidemic like that should be
getting a lot more scientific study! Jeez!
There are many homes in rural Oregon that have been torn down and 6 to 12
inches of topsoil removed in order to decontaminate the property. You're
absolutely right; it's expensive and there are plenty of problems with
reusing a former meth lab property.
Not just meth labs.
Homes use for marijuana grow-ops usually have substantial internal
dammage and problems.
And I'm sure that most buyers have access to police reports (because
police departments are monetizing their crime and incident data) and
buyers will check to see if the property has a history with the police.
Real estate disclosure laws in your area might compel you to make the
buyer aware of the home's history. Disclosure laws such as urea
formaldehyde insulation, asbestos (etc) are being updated to include
meth labs and marijana grow ops.
I would not invest in this property unless you know how extensive the
The standards for cleanup are nothing like what would be required if the
meth were legally made in a laboratory. The problem you will be facing is
that the cookers were not concerned with confining their cook to one area of
the house. Waste products and spilled raw materials may be in all the
rooms. By "in all the rooms" I mean possibly spilled on the floors. A
house is filled with porous surfaces so a simple wipe down is not going to
do it. The various chemicals and solvents may have been absorbed into wood
or fiber (think drapes and carpeting) and may have become trapped in dead
spaces in the ventilation system and plumbing. Vapors could have traveled
up to the attic where they will slowly be released over time. I won't even
discuss what may have been poured into the soil around the house. Unless
every, and I do mean every, part of the house is scrubbed and treated with a
kill solution, you will never be sure that you have removed or destroyed any
residual raw materials including solvents, intermediates, or the meth
itself. If the contamination was localized to just one part of the house,
you MIGHT be able to have it decontaminated and sealed for less than it
takes to turn a profit upon flipping the house. Please keep in mind that
even after decontamination, which MUST be proven by proper testing, you may
still need to seal or encapsulate various parts of the structure. If this
doesn't work, that part of the structure must be removed and replaced. It
is equivalent to what is done in soil remediation. The soil is removed and
new fresh soil is used as the replacement.
Some homes have been torn down because it was less expensive to rebuild
than to do an environmental cleanup.
Thus the reason landlords do such extensive background checks these days
on potential tenants and anyone who will be living in a rental (criminal
background, renter check, driving record [DUI], credit, etc.)
Just mold cleanup can cost thousands of dollars. And I saw an asbestos
cleanup of a business cost $1M! (That is MILLION!)
They totally seal off the building so no air can escape, then go to work
on a building wearing space like suits, etc. Big bucks!!!
I would RUN from anything like that. Look at the following...
Is there a residual odor? I've asked around [sheriff's dept,
incarcerated individuals, neighbors, etc] and no one will either
confirm, nor deny that a meth lab stinks and you can smell it in the
I ask, because several times at night I've smelled a strange smell
lingering in the air and am VERY concerned.
There is more than one way to cook meth, but if you see or smell these
chemicals together, they might indicate a meth lab.
-isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol or Iso-Heet fuel treatment)
-methyl alcohol (wood spirits or Heet fuel treatment)
-lye as in Red Devil lye
-crystal or liquid iodine
-sulfuric acid (car battery acid)
-hydrochloric acid (muriatic acid)
-matches/match box strikers (for red phosphorus)
-cold tablets containing ephedrine or pseudoephedrine
-lithium (from lithium batteries)
-trichloroethane (solvent for gun cleaning)
-sodium metal or rock or table salt
-ether (starter fluid)
Thank you for excellent list.
We live in a very rural area of sparse residential housing. In other
words, no farming and no livestock. It's just that sometimes
throughout our valley I smell a 'sour milk' smell hanging in the air.
Only twice within a year, but little wind, so couldn't tell direction,
just a 'wet' sour milk odor.
Not having taken part in the drug era, I didn't know. ...maybe it's
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