There are a few things to keep in mind when you purchase a new home or property. Usually there are processes put in place to ensure the move is a smooth transition, like a home inspection. In some cases, you might not be able to spot some areas of danger with your own eyes.
It’s important to ask as many questions as you can in relation to what was on the property beforehand, and if there are any areas that need some extra work. There are important aspects of a home to consider that can have negative impacts on your health and safety.
The Dangers of Meth Labs
There are a few things involved in both the process of making meth and the possibility of people engaging in drug related activities that can be dangerous to others. If you consider the aftermath of both these instances, it can cause a lot of damage to your health and physical property.
The chemicals involved in any sort of drug-making processes can cause structural damage to a property. It can also result in long-lasting or permanent damage. The vapors of these chemicals seep into walls, floors, furniture, and more. Structural pieces of a home are compromised as well, leaving the space unsafe.
The impact on your health can be just as dangerous. The same airborne toxins affecting the walls and floors can be getting into your lungs as you breathe it in. You might touch something unknowingly corrosive that burns your skin – even this can get toxic chemicals deep into your skin. Biohazardous and harmful chemicals can be everywhere, unseen to the naked eye.
The Dangers of Living in a Compromised Space
Imagine a situation where you have a property that you’re building – usually, you would leave the property for days at a time. Sometimes these properties are being built from the ground-up, so they are unfinished, empty, and in most cases not completely secure. This results in a very easy spot for squatters or transients to make it a permanent spot.
Alternatively, you might leave your home to go on a family vacation and return to a damaged place resulting from a break-in. Or for example, your new tenant has turned the basement into a temporary drug lab and then skipped town. It’s very unfortunate but it does happen.
This can be very dangerous to the residents of a property. You might not initially realize that this has happened and continue living in the space for some time without noticing anything is off. It’s possible that you are constantly breathing in toxic fumes, cooking food and eating in a compromised space, or even sitting on compromised furniture.
Although it’s difficult to spot without physical evidence or knowledge in the area, there are things you can look out for as signs of a temporary meth lab.
What You Should Look Out For
It isn’t recommended that you touch or try to clean up anything on your own, but you can look out for a few signs of possible danger.
In some cases, without proper ventilation you might notice paint or wallpaper appearing discolored. There are also instances where wall paint can start peeling off. Depending on the length of time these airborne toxins have been floating around, this could be completely unnoticeable.
Chemical spills can affect flooring, especially if it’s carpet. Carpet is super absorbent and can attract scents and be difficult to clean completely. If a liquid has gotten into the fibres of a carpet, it could be next to impossible to thoroughly clean the area without professional help.
There could also be black or yellow spots on tile or wood; a result of a potent (and dangerous) chemical encountering it.
There is another way that you can spot something being “off” on your property. Usually meth has a strong smell, generally being described like cat urine. When a smell is this strong, it can attach to furniture, bed sheets, pillows, and more.
Additionally, if it’s a situation where someone has broken in and used your kitchen to make meth, you might notice your everyday utensils are compromised. The intruders may have used your kitchen towels to haphazardly clean up.
This smell of meth will most likely be one of the first things you notice when you enter a property that has been affected. Usually, people can spot when their home doesn’t smell normal. Again, this scent is strong and specific and can be easily pinpointed.
The smell can be anywhere from on the floor, on counters, spilled on furniture, or sitting in a container on the floor. If you can safely identify the source of the smell, keep your distance and be ready to lead professionals to it.
- Objects and Materials
One of the easiest ways to spot that something isn’t right about your property, or that someone has intruded, is objects and materials being left behind. When it comes to a meth lab, you could see things like buckets, measuring cups, different vats of chemicals, mixing utensils, and more.
Again, it’s very important to spot these out of place items before you try to pick them up at all to avoid any harm to yourself.
When Should Professionals Get Involved?
This is a great question to be asking and one you should decide from the get-go. This decision should er on the side of extreme caution too. It generally comes down to, if you don’t know, call someone. Use the points above when checking on a property after some time away to identify anything that is out of place. You want to be certain whether something is dangerous or not.
It’s important to immediately reach out to professionals if you notice a bad smell, see discoloration, or notice items that weren’t there when you left. Stop before you try to touch things, and immediately remove yourself and anyone else from the premises. Your next step should be to call for assistance.
A professional cleaning company will be able to spot dangerous chemicals and items with expertise. They will know how to handle different items, and what tools might be necessary to properly dispose of them. Also, they will be able to completely clean and disinfect areas that have been compromised and give you the OK to return to your space.
When in Doubt, Call the Experts
There is no reason for you to risk hurting yourself by trying to examine whether something is dangerous. Avoid any possible unfortunate results of someone using your space for drug-related activities trying to restore it yourself.
It’s always better to assume that something is dangerous when it isn’t yours. If you see a container of liquid, you shouldn’t even put your face close enough to smell it. This is sometimes our first instinct when we don’t recognize something. You could be inhaling toxic fumes and really be harming yourself.
Calling in professional cleaners will not only ensure you are completely safe to return to a property but will give you peace of mind. It is very dangerous to not be completely aware of what has been compromised and then try to live in the space. You will also want to avoid being in the space for too long. Don’t pass things off as you possibly over-thinking a situation and let yourself sleep at home before being sure.
For the health and safety of its residents, contact your local professional cleaning company that specializes in restoring spaces.
You can expect to be visited by a team of experts suited-up in protective equipment to canvas your home. They will be able to easily spot dangerous areas, look out for any dangerous objects and high-risk areas where they should focus their attention.
Sometimes there is special equipment needed to remove biohazardous materials safely. You can’t throw a glass beaker lined with a chemical substance into a plastic garbage bag. You also can’t spill chemicals down your kitchen sink. Things like this might be overlooked and are very important to leave to experts.