Drug Residue Testing
Drug residue testing is a protocol for buildings previously utilised as makeshift laboratories for illicit drugs – otherwise known as clandestine (‘clan’) drug laboratories.
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Why Drug Residue Testing Services?
When illicit drugs are manufactured, chemicals can become airborne and deposit into surfaces of the property. This can include benchtops, tiles, walls, ceilings, HVAC systems, septic systems, floors, carpets and pipes.
Therefore, meth labs (also known as clan labs), cannabis grow houses and other properties that have been used as drug houses will require drug residue testing.
Australian homebuyers might be surprised to know that 1 in 50 homes are affected by methamphetamine residue. Many homeowners and residents may not be aware that they’ve been exposed to potentially toxic chemicals leftover from the manufacture of meth.
Even if it’s been years since your property was used in such a manner, drug residue may still be present, causing risk to anyone that lives on the property.
Here at Clear View, we offer high-quality drug residue testing to ensure that your property is free from all illicit drug residue.
We highly recommend a drug residue test for a new property you are purchasing or occupying.
Contact us today if you’d like more information on our drug residue testing services!
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Building Inspections NSW | Local Service | Certified for Quality
What is drug residue testing?
Drug residue testing is a type of building inspection that examines a property that was previously used to manufacture or grow illicit drugs by testing for drug residue that may cause a danger to those living on the property.
Whether your property is a known “drug house” or it’s suspected that drugs may have been used or manufactured in your property, drug residue testing is essential so you are aware and can arrange specialised cleaning to remove potentially harmful toxins from the structure.
The most common sources of drug contamination in a building include:
- Meth labs (clan labs)
- Meth smokehouses
- Cannabis grow houses
However, other illicit drugs may also have been previously present in a property in large quantities including:
- Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)
Signs Your Property Needs Drug Residue Testing
While some drugs like cannabis can be detected by an odour, many other potentially dangerous drugs are odourless and can be hard to detect by the naked eye.
So, if you’re unsure whether your property should undergo drug residue testing, some signs to look out for include:
- Strong odours
- Discolouration around the property including structures, soil, pavement or driveway
- Burnt, stained or yellowed walls and structures
- Rust in uncommon places like window fittings or door handles
However, the best way to detect the existence of drug residue within your property is to schedule a professional drug residue test.
Contact us today for more information about drug residue testing
Drug Residue Testing Step by Step
Let’s go over what exactly happens during drug residue testing.
The first step is that your property and the surrounding area will be fully examined. This stage gives your inspector insight into the level of drug residue and contamination in the building. It also helps set the expectations for the cleaning process.
Using suitable test kits and personal protective equipment, your inspector will ensure that they can do a thorough examination without fear of exposure.
Pending our findings below is a process that should take place if a positive finding has been found.
Clean up Preparation
Now it’s time to prepare for clean up. Your inspector will assess the scope of the proposed clean up based on their initial reports. The clean up prep will involve going over:
- Contamination levels in each room and area
- Protective equipment needed to do the clean up
- Cleaning machines need to do the clean up
- Concerns regarding security or structural integrity
- Methods of waste disposal
- Cost estimates
- Timeline for the clean up process
The clean up process begins by removing any objects that were deemed contaminated. This includes furniture and carpeting. In most cases, contaminated objects won’t be able to be cleaned and therefore will need to be discarded.
Once the contamination removal is complete, the property will be ventilated for at least another 24 hours.
Vacuuming Above-Ground Surfaces
At this stage, using commercial-grade vacuums with specialised HEPA filters, all flooring, walls and above-ground areas will be vacuumed. This initial cleaning stage removes any loose particles or debris from surfaces, which is necessary before deep cleaning begins.
Start the Deep Clean Process
Once the vacuuming stage is complete, the deep clean process begins. This means that all hard and soft surfaces will be washed completely using a systematic approach, making sure to reach all the nooks and crannies of the property.
We’ll also make sure to use specific high-quality cleaners that we know won’t react with the drug residue. For example, when cleaning a former meth lab, we use detergent cleaners versus bleach. This is because when bleach is mixed with meth, it creates a toxic gas, therefore defeating the whole purpose of the cleaning process.
Details like this are just another reason why professional drug residue testing is so important.
Address HVAC System
During the ventilation stage, you’ll recall that your HVAC system will be shut down. To check if the system has been contaminated, it will also undergo special drug residue testing.
At this stage, the ducts will be disinfected using high-quality equipment as not to compromise the overall cleaning and decontamination process once the HVAC system reboots.
Second Stage Cleaning
Again, using a cleaning agent that won’t react with any drug residue, the second stage of cleaning will start with another thorough wash of the property.
The cleaning process starts at the ceilings and works its way down to prevent further contamination. As any residue is released from the higher levels, it will fall to the ground to be picked up later.
The detergent will be rinsed using clean, uncontaminated water. Then, in the final stages, your property’s exhaust vents, light fittings and hard surfaces will be cleaned several times.
Address Plumbing and Septic Systems
Finally, it’s time to address your plumbing and septic systems since drug manufacturers typically dispose of waste in sinks and toilets. Drug residue from drugs like meth can make your plumbing system flammable which is dangerous for obvious reasons.
With professional drug residue testing, we’ll check your plumbing and septic systems, testing them for drug residue so as not to put your life or property in danger.
Once the clean up process is complete, your property will undergo final drug residue testing to ensure the clearance levels are satisfactory and in compliance with council laws.
If at this stage, the property fails to pass the final testing, the site will undergo another deep cleaning process. In some extreme cases, the walls and ceilings may need to be encapsulated with primer and paint to reduce the residue levels in order to pass this final test.
Why is drug residue testing important?
Drug residue testing is important due to the risk of drug residue to your health and its risks to your property.
Toxicity and Potential Health Effects
One of the main reasons to complete drug residue testing for your property is to avoid toxicity and potential health effects including:
- Respiratory effects from corrosive or poisonous gases
- Developmental risks to the central nervous system, especially for babies and children
- Danger to a fetus in uterus
- Eye and skin irritation
- Dizziness, nausea, vomiting, headache and insomnia
Risk of Property Damage and Fire
Another reason it’s important to do drug residue testing is that these chemical drug residues can cause property damage and fire due to:
- Corrosive elements can eat away at structures and furniture
- Some illicit substances are flammable and therefore pose a fire risk in large quantities
- Can cause damage to surrounding landscaping
Contact Clear View today for a dilapidation report quote!
Drug Residue Testing | Clear View
No one really wants to deal with drug residue testing, and it’s certainly not the ideal situation to find yourself in.
However, to ensure the safety of the building and protect the safety of your health, it’s essential that you arrange a complete drug residue testing.
Discreetly and using only the best equipment, we’ll do our due diligence to ensure your home is checked for any potentially dangerous drug residue from top to bottom. We take it back to basics with high-quality customer service and by providing building inspections with strong attention to detail.
- Fully Licensed and Insured
- Family Owned and Operated
- Easy to Understand Reports
- Inspection Consultation
- Fast, Friendly Response to Enquiries
- Trusted, Quality, Personalised Service
Leave it to us to do your drug reside testing and your home will be in good hands.
Book drug residue testing with Clear View today!
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