While adding a fresh coat of paint to your house can increase both the sale value and rental return, it isn’t always the best idea. In considering a meth residue contaminated property, painting is certainly the poorest decision you can make.
Why is Painting Over Meth Residue a Problem?
The reason that painting over methamphetamine is not an effective means of treatment is because meth will bleed through the paint layers over an extended period and become detectable on the surface. This affects all areas of properties including the sale of a property and the renting of a safe and habitable property.
How it Affects Buyers
No one wants to feel as though they have put their family in harm’s way by purchasing a newly renovated property that has not had a meth residue test completed before the changes took place. If a meth test is taken on top of renovations and receives a positive detection, most buyers will immediately become suspicious of the vendor who has “covered up the meth” whether it be true or not. The risk for the buyers is that they purchase a house, which increases in meth concentrations over their period of ownership and affects the sale of the property in the future, or increases to a significant extent that vulnerable persons such as children could be compromised.
How it Affects Landlords & Tenants
In consideration of rental properties, a negative or low meth test at the beginning of the tenancy can easily turn into a considerably higher concentration at the end of the tenancy, even though no meth has been introduced to the property. If no official and considered meth test is done before the renovations, the tenant can have a meth test done which shows an unacceptable amount at any time during the tenancy to which the landlord will be held responsible. Potentially repercussions of this could be complete repayment of the bond and rent to that point in the tenancy. Tenancy tribunal can impose fines for failure to provide a safe and habitable property as well as other infringements.
Cleaning a Painted Meth Residue Contaminated Surface is an Expensive Endeavour
If meth is suspected under the paint, the clean up can be extremely expensive. Because there is no certain way to reduce meth under the paint, the only way to deal with such contamination with any certainty is to remove and replace painted surfaces.
Because the waste is potentially hazardous, dumping will be expensive requiring the property waste is crushed and bury and will not be reused. Replacement costs for all removed surfaces for the entire dwelling including repainting of the surfaces can end up in the tens of thousands of dollars on average for even small concentrations of methamphetamine.
Always Have Meth Residue Testing Completed Before Purchasing or Renting
BioHaz Forensic Cleaning recommends always meth residue testing before renovations begin. If a positive result is returned, we can then direct you in your renovations and cleaning to mitigate risk of a positive result in the future. Many options are available for helping to fix the problem and the costs aren’t always as high as people think. However, these options are only available before painting of the property.