If you are a property owner who leases or rents out the premises, you have a lot of issues to deal with. Between collecting rent on time, making repairs, and ensuring tenants are happy are some that are a priority.

But what if you suspect your home or commercial property is being used to produce illegal drugs? If your suspicions are valid, a drug lab is not only an illegal operation, it can be dangerous to those living or working in the area, as well as cause property damage.

Indications of an Active Drug Lab

There are warning signs that there may be a drug lab operating on your premises. Some of these can be noticeable from the outside of the property; others will need access to the interior to be sure. If you or neighbors notice the following issues, you may want to investigate further.

1. Odor

There is a distinct chemical odor that is emitted from an active drug lab. Even though some of the following smells can occur without a drug lab present, if the odor is constant and very strong, you may want to investigate further.

  • Ammonia
  • Ether
  • Rotten eggs
  • Cat urine
  • Skunk spray
  • Nail polish remover

2. Property Changes

There are some signs of drug activity or processing that can be noticed from the exterior of the property.

  • Hoses hanging from windows used for ventilation
  • Extra security system and components installed
  • Warning signs on property, like “no trespassing” “beware of dog”, etc.
  • Excessive garbage and clutter (may even be putting some in neighbors’ bins)
  • Covered or blacked-out windows
  • Dead grass spots or concrete stains from dumping chemicals
  • Empty containers that are larger than most typical households would need, that are for chemicals like paint thinner, lye, freon, acetone, iodine, hydrogen peroxide, sulfuric acid, phosphoric acid, and ammonia.
  • Unusual items of quantity such as rubber hoses, duct table, bottles and containers, pressurized cylinders, camp stoves, fuel containers, propane tanks, and respiratory masks.

3. Unusual Activity

If there are a variety of frequent visitors who come at odd hours and stay for short periods, they are probably there to purchase drugs. There may also be individuals (or dogs) guarding and watching the property for unwelcome visitors.

4. Behaviors

The individuals who operate drug labs want to hide their illegal activity. They will go to extra measures to ensure they are not discovered. Some behaviors to watch for include:

  • Standoffish and paranoid attitude
  • Smoking outdoors to avoid the flammable fumes inside
  • Reluctance to allow you to enter the premises

Is Your Property Being Used as a Drug Lab?

If you suspect your property is the site of an active drub lab, it’s important to call the police and not approach the residents yourself. They are often armed and dangerous, so you need to take extreme caution and leave it to the professionals to handle.

Once the property has been vacated, you’re left with the remnants to clean up. Again, don’t attempt to clean it yourself! The chemicals and equipment used to produce the drugs can be toxic and hazardous if you don’t have the proper experience and materials to clean it up properly and safely.

Exposure to meth residue occurs via inhalation, absorption through the skin, and ingestion by hand-to-mouth contamination. Exposure to the residue, even in very small amounts can cause numerous health problems, including:

  • Disorientation
  • Respiratory issues
  • Behavioral changes
  • Neurological damage
  • Liver damage
  • Kidney damage
  • Dizziness
  • Skin irritations

These effects are experienced especially by individuals at higher risk, like the elderly, ill, immune-compromised, and young children.

Get Professional Drug Lab Cleanup

If you do find yourself in the unfortunate position of cleaning up after a drug lab, it’s not a do-it-yourself job. Leave it to the professionals at PureOne Services of Central Minnesota. We follow a strict process to completely remove all dangerous materials and restore your property so that it’s once more safely inhabitable.

It’s important for you to avoid contact with anything inside the building that you suspect was a drug lab. DO NOT:

  • touch anything
  • turn on or off any electrical power or light switches
  • eat or drink in or around the property
  • open or move containers with chemicals or suspected chemicals
  • smoke anywhere near the property

As remediation experts we are trained and certified in handling any biohazards and toxins that are present. We will work to restore your property to a livable condition as quickly as possible.

In addition to professional drug lab cleanup, PureOne Services of Central Minnesota also offers several additional cleanup and restoration services when you’re faced with devastating or overwhelming situations. These situations can include biohazard/trauma (crime scenes, deaths), water damage, mold remediation, hoarding cleanup, and more. We’re available 24/7 because there are times when immediate response is mandatory.