Drug lab cleanup is a tricky business. Whether one is tackling the job one’s self or hiring a professional to do it for them, knowing the facts about drug lab cleanup is essential to keeping one’s self safe. From meth labs to any other drug labs there are many things one needs to know when it comes to cleanup.
Hiring Professionals Is the Safest Way to Clean up a Drug Lab
Drug lab cleanup is a daunting task. Beyond it being difficult for a lay person to do, it can be impossible. Most people do not have access to the tools or chemicals needed to properly clean a clandestine drug lab, which is why hiring a professional is the simplest and most effective way to take care of the problem.
Airing Out the Property Is a Must
Before cleaning begins on the property, all doors and windows should be opened and left as such for a period. This will begin the cleaning process as well as help make the air less toxic when the decontamination begins.
Drug Residue Is Everywhere
When cleaning up a drug lab the easy part is equipment removal, but that is not all. If meth or other drugs were made in or around a property, the whole property is contaminated. The Home Ventilation and Cooling (HVAC) System, carpet, drywall, and even subfloor will be contaminated. That is why a professional team should always be hired.
Every State Does Not Regulate Drug Lab Cleanup
Over half the states in the US have some sort of remediation guidelines. One can go online to find out whether one’s state has regulations regarding cleanup.
Some States Do Not Require Disclosure
Less than half of the 50 states require that the knowledge of a former drug lab on a property be disclosed to a seller. This means that in twenty-four states one could purchase a property that was a drug lab and not know.
Disclosure Does Not Always Equal Safe
If a state requires disclosure that means the seller must notify the buyer a drug lab was present on the property. This does not mean that it was decontaminated properly. Some states have no remediation guidelines, so a property may still be dangerous to inhabit. Hiring a company to test the property is the best way to protect one’s self from buying a toxic property.
“Clean” Does Not Mean “No Residual Trace”
In states where drug lab cleanup is regulated, there are set levels deemed as “safe,” but that does not mean there are no traces of the former drug lab. In some states, such as California, 1.5 milligrams per 100 square centimeters is allowed after a drug lab cleanup. Thus, one should do their due diligence and test the property themselves if one has any concerns.
Any Contact with Illegal Drugs Is Dangerous
When performing a cleanup on a drug lab, safety is key. Just because drugs are no longer being made on the property does not mean one is safe. Inhaling chemicals leftover from the process or touching surfaces the drug maker used can be equally bad as taking the drug yourself. Be careful to avoid skin exposure and wear a respirator when in a property that was the site of a clandestine drug lab.
Proper Disposal Is Imperative
If a professional company is hired to clean the property, the owner is all set. If one is attempting self-cleanup, then there are dangers in the improper disposal of waste. Leaving items with drug residue at the curbside for trash pickup is not only dangerous but can be illegal. At the curb, people and animals who come in contact with the trash are susceptible to the harmful effects of residual drug traces. Finding a local landfill and taking the waste there is the proper way to dispose of items from the lab.
Insurance Companies May Help Cover Costs
Many people assume that the drug lab cleanup solely falls onto them, but that is not always the case. If one is the victim of the residual traces of a drug lab, insurance may cover the cleanup and health costs, so long as one is not the person who created the lab. If one is already in the cleanup process, make sure to document every action one’s take, which may help the claim. Contact your insurance company to see if you are covered for drug lab cleanup; it may save you thousands of dollars.
Repainting and Sealing
After the decontamination of the property, surfaces remaining in the property should be painted and/or sealed. It is near impossible for every trace of residue to be removed. Even once a property has been cleaned, tested for residual traces, and deemed safe for habitation, painting and sealing surfaces offers an extra barrier of protection.