Protecting yourself from purchasing a home that has been used for producing illegal drugs is becoming more and more of an issue these days. This kind of home can easily be concealed and no neighborhood is exempt from this kind of activity.
Photo is one tweeted by Dutch Police showing melted snow from lights used to grow marijuana – any more than five plants is illegal in their country.
On the exterior these homes generally appear completely average and normal, but they can be concealing some potentially hazardous conditions. A regular home inspection, even done by a professional, may not turn up any evidence of any past illegal activity. A home inspector cannot start taking things apart looking for issues and generally reports on what is visible.
Just one indicator of a marijuana growing operation is the presence of mould as these growing operations (grow-ops) need heated and moist conditions for plants to grow. This is precisely the very same conditions that produces the development of mould. Of course this will negatively impact the air quality in the home, causing various health related problems. Removing the mould will usually be costly and escalate dependent upon the extent of the problem. Hiring an air quality testing professional could be well worth it if there is any suspicion of mould.
Yet another indication of a grow-op can be issues with the home’s wiring. A drug growing location demands lots of electrical power, generally meaning the home’s wiring will have been modified to manage the requirements. in rare cases the hydro meter is bypassed to conceal the excessive electricity being consumed. Even if th wiring has been removed, an experienced electrician can often tell that changes have been made. Irregular wiring can also be a sign of DIY renovation work which can be just as scary.
The length of time the house was used for drug manufacturing will also have a bearing on any possible long term damage that may have been caused. Knowing who lived in the home previously is always a good place to start. If it was a family who lived there for many years, chances are they did not grow drugs in the basement. However, if the house has been a rental, then anything is possible. Doing a quick internet search on the address can also bring up any police activity involving the property.
If a property is known and disclosed as being a former grow-op, obtaining financing and insurance can be difficult and costly. The excellent deal you are getting on the place may not be worth it.