Why Check for Meth Contamination in Rental Properties?
The use of methamphetamine, more popularly referred to as ‘meth’ or ‘ice’, is on the rise in Australia. Based on the 2013 National Drug Strategy Household Survey, 7% of the population (equivalent to around 1.3 million Australians) have used meth in the past 12 months. Given this, meth contamination in rental properties may be inevitable because of the increase in demand. The higher the demand means there are more illegal drug laboratories being setup all over the country.
Top 4 reasons you need to check for meth contamination in a property for rent
A home that’s been contaminated by meth will have drastic effects on the lives of the people who own or live in it. Here are 4 reasons why checking for it in rental properties is important:
1. Meth contamination is silent and sly.
Meth contamination in a home or building is not easy to detect. Often times it can go undetected with no obvious signs. People think that meth is like cannabis and cigarette smoke, which you can see or smell. Meth does not behave like these drugs and because of this, lack of information about its contamination can cause health problems to you and your family.
The most common meth exposure symptoms are similar to allergy symptoms, you may be caught off guard. It includes headache, eye irritation, chest pain, or constant feeling of weakness. Doing a meth contamination test on a property you are eyeing is the best way to determine if it’s contaminated or not.
2. It stays for quite a long time.
Methamphetamine is chemical-based and does not go away. It doesn’t disappear nor is it biodegradable. Because of these characteristics, the contamination remains in the home even after the manufacturers or users have moved out. It can stay for several years even if renovations have been done to the house.
3. The children are particularly susceptible.
Meth contamination affects both adults and children but sometimes, the children have it worse. The common exposure to meth is through skin contact with surfaces that have been contaminated.
Another way is through inhalation. With children’s developing immune systems and the likelihood that they are at home more than adults, make them more susceptible to contamination. Some side effects specific to children are inattention or ADHD-like behaviour, psychosis and damage to the brain, liver, and kidneys.
4. It is difficult to remove.
Removal of the contamination depends on how heavy the damage is. It can range from chemical washes to replacement of materials. At worst, rebuilds and complete knockdown of the property may be needed.
The most common scenario is removal of plaster boards and pulling up of the most absorbent materials in the house. These are the carpets and insulation around the house. However, heavy contamination is a different matter altogether. When methamphetamine is heavily present in your house, it can seep right into the wood. This is rare but in worst-case scenarios, knocking down a house may be the only way to remove contamination.
Remember, meth does not easily go away. You can try and paint over the plaster but it will still leak back through the paint. You may have brand new carpets and newly installed kitchen counters but it might still be underneath. With all the trouble of removing the traces of meth, it’s best to properly detect it in the first place.
Contact Exceptional Building Inspections for reliable house inspection
As we’ve mentioned, meth contamination is difficult to detect and can be risky to you and your family. This is why you need an inspector that delivers exceptional results. Look no further than Exceptional Building Inspections! Whether you are just about to rent or to buy a property, our pre purchase building inspection services are what you need. Talk to our staff today for more info.