With the recent discovery of the remnants of a meth lab in a dumpster outside a house being renovated here in Colorado Springs, you might be wondering how to tell if a house has been used as a meth lab. With a long list of dangerous side effects, a lot of people don’t want to live in a home that has been used as a meth house.
One of the new Colorado real estate laws that went into effect on July 1st concerned remediation of meth houses. In addition to homes that were used as meth labs being required to be remediated, homes in which meth was used (not just produced) in are now also now required to be remediated to the same standards.
Some of the more obvious signs of meth production are yellow discoloration on surfaces, taped off fire detectors,strong odors similar to solvent, cat urine, or ammonia; and the presence of security cameras or other surveillance equipment. You should also be cautious if you have burning eyes, an itchy throat, or a metallic taste in the mouth while in the property. [via Realtor.org]
Of course, if a house has been properly remediated, the above signs shouldn’t exist. It’s important to note that Colorado law does not require a home’s history as a meth lab to be disclosed if it has been remediated to state standards.
If you’re concerned about buying a meth home even if it’s been cleaned up, you might want to investigate further if you are interested in a home that appears to have been completely and thoroughly renovated – passing rigorous remediation standards often requires stripping a home down to the studs and replacing sheetrock, ceilings, carpet, etc. Of course, that’s not always the case, but it’s something to look out for. There is due diligence that you can do if you have reason to suspect methamphetamine use or production in a home.
The City of Colorado Springs also has a Google Map with locations of known meth labs in Colorado Springs. It could be helpful in pinpointing some former meth lab locations, but of course it only includes known labs, and is only current as of 2008.