Meth testing property is not on many people’s to-do list, but soon you’ll see why it should be. Meth and other drug residue can severely affect not only the safety of a home, but the value of the property as well. Discover this growing service and make sure your potential dream home isn’t a meth lab nightmare.
1. What is meth testing?Meth testing involves inspecting a house for drug residue by assessing accessible areas that include walls, carpets, ceilings, insulation, ventilation systems, even things like wiring and plumbing, for traces of narcotics. Australian guidelines state that removal of contaminated parts of a drug house must occur when levels are 0.5 micrograms per 100 square centre meters of the contaminated surface.
2. Drug residue and the impact on property valueAccording to a 2018 article published by the Australian Financial Review, it was reported that the presence of meth residue could hurt a house’s property value by an estimated 10 per cent, similar to the damage and stigma of termite infestations. The health hazards caused by meth contamination are the clear leading cause of people avoiding these homes on the market, with symptoms such as nausea, dizziness, respiratory illness among some of the physical effects people might experience living with meth and drug residue. However, social and safety concerns are also impacting property values on these drug houses. Another risk involved in buying a house or leasing a rental property that has previously been used as a meth lab, or a hub for people smoking the drug, is that those tenants may return. The threat or fear of meth users and buyers returning to a drug house, even after it is sold or re-leased, has been reported as a major reason why people drop out of contract negotiations or opt out of applying for a property altogether. Additionally, there’s the physical damage to the house which can significantly devalue the property. Meth residue can take up to a decade to break down if left untreated, leading to degradation and rot of areas of the house, affecting the market value of the property.
3. How does meth residue affect a house?There are many ways in which meth residue can damage a house’s structure and safety. Not only can the toxic traces be harmful to human and animal tenants of the home, the house itself is often likely to suffer. Some signs that your house was previously used as a meth lab or drug house include:
- Strong odours (acrid, sour, solvents, ammonia)
- Discolouration of structures, soil and pavement or driveway
- Burned, stained or yellowed walls
- Rust in uncommon places such as window fittings or door handles
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