Former Drug Labs

Identifying Former Grow-ops

Would you recognize the signs of a former grow-op? As a realtor, you should be aware of the visible evidence these destructive activities leave behind so you can advise buyers accordingly. James Dobney Inspections offers the following list of signs that could indicate a previous grow-op:

drug labs fireplace venting drug labs mould drug labs duct work
A fireplace is sealed off for venting through the chimney. Extensive mould damage in a grow-op. Ductwork has been connected to the serve system.

• round holes or patches about a foot in diameter in walls, floors, or ceilings (from ventilation ducting)

• excessive mould or stains from condensation

• abandoned and poorly supported wiring

• extra water lines with no apparent purpose

• rows of staples on ceilings and/or walls

• abandoned flexible ducting about 12″ in diameter

• wall patching in the area of the electrical panel or meter

• circular marks or stains (from pots) on the floor

Of course, there could be explanations other than a grow-op existed for any of the above conditions, but the presence of several of them in the same house should sound an alarm and suggests the need for further inquiries. Our home inspectors will point out evidence of a possible grow-op if they are visible. In these cases, we suggest clients check to determine if the authorities were involved with the city. If police were aware this home was a grow-op, there’s a greater chance that the grow-op has gone on for a long time and has caused more damage to the house. Our inspectors also make sure potential buyers are aware that the cultivation of marijuana often causes high humidity levels, resulting in mould and damage. Invasive testing, such as an environmental or engineering inspection, may be recommended.