Methamphetamine Laboratory Cleanup

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Methamphetamine Cleaning & Decontamination for properties and vehicles are available in Central West, Orange, Molong, Bathurst, Kelso, Oberon, Lithgow, Blayney, Cudal, Canowindra, Cowra, Forbes, Parkes, Wellington, Dubbo, Mid-West Regional, Weddin areas.

Between 2009 and 2010 there were 41,087 illicit drug offenses in Australia. Between 2013 and 2014 this number increased by over 25 percent to 50,854 drug offenses; furthermore, drug use increased from 22,842 to 28,409 over the same period of time. This portrays an increasing trend in the amount of drug use in Australia and drug offenses. However, since methamphetamine has become more available in the drug scene in Australia, it has developed and stronger forms of methamphetamine such as Crystal Methamphetamine has in turn increased in the usages over the past decade.

In studies conducted by the Australian Government, between 1998 and 2010 there has been a slight decrease in the methamphetamine drug use in Australia; furthermore, between 2007 and 2010 methamphetamine use in males decreased from 9.8% to 6.8%. Since 2007, the trend has decreased in association to drug use with methamphetamine; however, after 2010 the trend according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics indicate an increase in drug use and drug offenses occurring in Australia.

But these numbers can be deceiving.

Some methamphetamine labs literally go up in flames as fires and explosions are telltale signs of chemistry gone bad. However, most go undetected by police. In reality, law enforcement busts only a fraction of clandestine laboratories. So what happens to undetected labs and what are the procedures for identifying contamination and cleaning the structures so they are safe for re-occupancy?

This first step is identifying the danger. Here are some things to watch for before entering a suspect structure:

  • Police Activity
  • Pungent Odours
  • Unkempt Property
  • Empty Chemical Containers
Meth Cleaning Orange NSW Central West NSW

Australia is one of the highest number of meth users in the English speaking world, and that science study was recorded in 2011. In NSW, the number of meth labs has doubled over the past six years; You may not realise it, but the biggest threat to rental properties is not meth labs, it’s meth users. Smoking meth inside a property on a regular basis can contaminate a home and regular smoking of the drug can return contamination readings as high as those produced by a meth lab.

Methamphetamine testing & screening for properties and vehicles are available in Central West, Orange, Molong, Bathurst, Kelso, Oberon, Lithgow, Blayney, Cudal, Canowindra, Cowra, Forbes, Parkes, Wellington, Dubbo, Mid-West Regional, Weddin areas.

The problem of meth manufacturing and use in Australia grows every year. As well as destroying lives, it is devaluing homes. The best way for property owners to protect themselves from liability and financial loss is through meth residue screening conducted by a credible professional.

Step 1: Secure the Property:
If a structure is suspect, do not enter the building. Instead, allow local law enforcement and first responder hazmat teams to remove toxic and hazardous drug paraphernalia and chemicals. After this is complete, the testing and remediation process can begin. Personnel who enter a former meth lab should have safety and health training. Appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) such as eye glasses, heavy gloves, foot coverings, steel toe boots and long-sleeved coveralls or a disposable protective suit must be worn.

Step 2: Ventilate:
Air out meth labs with fresh, outdoor air by opening doors and windows and using blowers and/or a negative air unit with HEPA filtration before, during and after the remediation process. HVAC systems should be completely shut down before and during the remediation process to avoid re-contamination.

Step 3: Assess & Test, Scope of Work:
Why do pre-remediation sampling? Pre-remediation sampling can reduce costs by streamlining the cleanup process and identifying materials that are too contaminated to clean. Pre-remediation sampling also can be useful in identifying uncontaminated areas. An industrial hygienist with the proper certifications should perform sampling. All rooms serviced by HVAC systems should be considered for testing. Pre-remediation testing is important for many reasons. It can ensure safety of workers and levels of PPE necessary. It establishes whether or not contamination levels exceed state and local requirements and if remediation is necessary. Sampling can also show the reach of the contamination and present a scope of work for remediation contractors for developing cost estimates. It can also highlight other hazardous materials relevant to the reconstruction process.

Step 4: Develop a Cleanup Plan:
Use the scope of work provided by the environmental consultant to formulate a plan for cleanup. The plan should show security concerns, status of utilities on site, levels of PPE for workers and a shoring plan if structural integrity is an issue. Outline cleanup methods including removal vs. cleaning, encapsulations if any and procedures for on-site and off-site contamination including a waste disposal plan.

Step 5: Remove Contaminated Materials:
The EPA suggests gross removal followed by 24 hours of ventilation and removal of all meth paraphernalia. This is when the determination is made to clean or discard contents.

Step 6: Vacuum:
Vacuum the floors with a commercial-grade vacuum with a HEPA filter after carpet removal. Standard canister or non-commercial grade vacuums are not recommended. In addition, vacuum walls to remove dirt and cobwebs prior to washing. This will remove particulate contamination but will not remove contamination entirely.

Step 7: Preliminary Washing of Hard Surfaces:
After items have been removed and vacuumed, wash walls and hard surfaces using a detergent water solution. This helps prevents re-contamination during the remediation process. Bleach should not be used in the cleaning process as the reaction between bleach and the chemicals used in producing meth can create a toxic gas. Consider testing wash water to determine if it qualifies as hazardous waste or can be disposed of onsite.

Step 8: Clean and Seal HVAC System:
Shut down the HVAC system immediately and leave it off during the remediation process. Sample all areas and rooms serviced by the system to determine the spread of contamination. Test ducts to determine scope of contamination. Cleaning can be difficult as many times duct work can be porous and can re-contaminate the structure after remediation is complete. Cleaning methods should be left to the discretion of ventilation contractors but experts agree that no chemicals should be added to disinfect ducts.

Step 9: Thorough Detergent Water Washing:
Use a household all-purpose cleaner, follow manufacturer concentration guidelines and start with the ceilings, walls and finish with floors. Clean other hard-surfaced items like counters and furniture. Clean the entire surface using either hot or cold water and repeat each wash with a thorough rinse using clean water and a clean cloth. The use of harsh chemicals is not advised as many of the pre-cursor chemicals used in meth production can have adverse chemical reactions. Bleach, for example, can become very toxic.

Step 10: Consider Encapsulating Walls & Ceilings:
Sealing contaminated walls and surfaced with primers and paint can provide a protective barrier but should be done in conjunction with proper cleaning techniques. Several states recommend that products applied to encapsulate surfaces be sprayed on and not hand-rolled.

Step 11: Flush Plumbing & Septic Systems:
Meth chemicals are frequently poured into sink drains and flushed down toilets. As a result, plumbing systems can be compromised via corrosion or even become flammable. Flush plumbing traps with generous amounts of water during the cleaning process and again after remediation if wash water is disposed of on site. Sinks, bathtubs and toilets with visible discoloration and etching should be disposed of. Large amounts of chemical waste can be problematic if they remain in septic systems or private wastewater systems. If there is evidence of contamination, an industrial hygienist should sample the tank for volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and/or pH levels outside the normal range. Expert field screening should be used to evaluate septic system contamination. Remediation of septic systems should be done last.

Step 12: Clearance Testing:
It is very important to show that cleanup effectively reduced contamination. Check with local governments to determine re-occupancy clearance levels. If cleaning does not meet the state standard, the site should be cleaned again or encapsulation or removal should be considered.

Meth Lab Cleaning 

We Offer a Thorough Meth Lab Cleaning Service

The need for meth lab cleaning has increased dramatically in recent times. Unfortunately, a 2011 study showed that Australia has one of the highest numbers of meth users in the world. Focusing on New South Wales specifically, there have been twice as many meth labs in the past six years. This is where McArdles Cleaning and Restoration Services can assist homeowners. 

Problems McArdles Cleaning and Restoration Services Addresses Regarding Meth Lab Cleaning

Apart from the social impact of meth labs, they’re also affecting the value of properties and causing several homeowners to suffer huge financial loss. The threat from meth labs comes from the users smoking meth regularly. It contaminates the property and can cause significant health problems and adds legal risks. 

  • We recommend screening your property for meth regularly. You’re well within your rights as an owner to hire a reputable cleaning company to conduct meth testing to detect the problem early. As a result, remediation is less costly and tenants will hopefully refrain from illegal activities on your premises. 
  • There have been numerous cases where tenants have fallen ill, and upon the completion of an investigation, the remnants of meth were responsible. Cleaning the property in between occupations is a wise idea to protect the building, your future tenants, and your finances in the case of legal action brought against you. 
  • If you’re about to sell your property in an area known for meth activity, it’s a difficult task. However, getting the space professionally cleaned and advertising that fact increases the chances of offloading the property. On the other hand, when you’re about to buy a property, it doesn’t hurt to have it cleaned for meth contamination to ensure your family will be safe. 

What Sets McArdles Cleaning and Restoration Services Apart Regarding Meth Testing

Our customers are our primary concern in our industry. We strive to ensure they’re satisfied with our service and we’d like to take care of their interests by cleaning their properties to be free from any meth residue. 

  • We invest in our business to ensure that our methods are refreshed and current. Our staff are professional and trained by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification as well as the Australian Cleaning and Restoration Academy and RIA. 
  • Only the best will do in terms of our equipment, and we always acquire the best cleaning equipment on the market, such as the HEPA filtered vacuum cleaners. 
  • We understand how busy life is and are flexible with appointments to fit your schedule. As a result, we’re timeous and always striving to meet all appointments. Our team understands that not everyone can afford mass cleaning, thus we’ll tailor-make packages to suit your budget. 

About McArdles Cleaning and Restoration Services

Since 1972 we’ve been providing cleaning services to become a preferred provider. We’re certified, available at any time, and offer multiple services. Contact us for your next cleaning job.