It is becoming more likely every day that your work order may be for a property that was formerly used as a meth lab. Only a small percentage of home owners may be operating a meth lab in their home but it does happen. More likey you may find out that the property was rented and used as a meth lab and of course vacant properties, especially those that have been vacant for a while, are often used as temporary meth labs.
Tests have proven that dangerous chemicals may remain even after a “meth lab cleanup.” The tests indicate that fumes from the meth cooking process can imbed themselves in sheetrock and insulation.
All cleanups or trashouts should start with a critical observation of the property and debris. There may be dangerous materials present. Please try to find if there is a local source that can educate you and all crew members about meth labs. Try your local Police Department or Sheriff’s Office.
Never assume that an object was used for it’s manufactured purpose. Common everyday items are used in meth labs. Here are just a few things to keep an eye open for:
- one gallon and 1/2 gallon gas cans, especially those with tubing attached
- an unusally large number of ziploc bags, empty blister packs and plastic medicine containers
- batteries and battery casings
- cylinders normally used for propane, oxygen, freon, etc. If the valves have been modified or have a blue tint, stay well away
- insulated coolers are used to store anhdrous amonia
- unusual stains on floors or walls
- burned grass, stained soil or dead vegitation may be an outside area where meth was cooked
- kitty litter is used in meth labs to soak up spills
- covered or blacked-out windows
- unusually modified plumbing or electrical
- ductwork, exhaust fans or venting systems in unusual places
- lots of plastic bottles or glass ware
If you’ve been looking for some good news about the property preservation business here is some: After explaining who I am and what I do, I have never been denied an answer from local law enforcement when I ask if there has ever been any drug activity reported at an address. Often you can get a report containing all law enforcement responses to an address.