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Meth Cleanup Helpful Q’s and A’s

Meth Cleanup in Chicago by Chicago Meth Remediation can restore the safety of your home or business and help provide a healthy environment for your family and/or tenants. We are your certified meth decontamination specialists and have the equipment and training to rid your property of the hazardous materials that could be threatening you and your loved ones.

Because Methamphetamine contamination and its effects can create health problems that could potentially last for years, meth cleanup in Chicago is a serious matter. The only way to know if you have a problem is by hiring a certified decontamination specialist. Chicago Meth Remediation is certified with the state of Illinois as a professional meth remediation company.

Methamphetamine, commonly called “meth,” is a highly addictive drug which can result in severe health problems for anyone who is exposed to it; either as a first-hand user or even unintended second-hand exposure. Chicago Meth Remediation, meth cleanup & decontamination specialists in Illinois will take care of the problem.

Manufacturing or “cooking” meth has resulting byproducts that are lingering and toxic. Interestingly, five to seven pounds of chemical waste result from each pound of methamphetamine produced. To enumerate, some of these chemicals are hydrochloric acid, phosphoric acid, chloroform and many other poisonous compounds. Even after the lab has been disbanded, if not decontaminated properly, people who may move in can be susceptible to:

  • Damage to the liver
  • Kidney Problems
  • Lung Disorders
  • Psychological illness
  • Coma
  • Death

The meth Lab site is host to a myriad of problems. The entire structure and its contents are potentially contaminated; from furniture to drywall to plumbing. It is also possible for the contamination to spread out from the site itself.

Our meth decontamination FAQ’s come from our desire to provide continuing community education about the dangers and threats associated with this deadly drug. We hope this information will educate you and your loves ones about meth abuse, contamination and remediation.

Our meth decontamination team has been involved with meth site restoration; both residential and commercial, for many years. Chicago Meth Remediation’s key to quality decontamination is attention to detail and knowledge of what harmful substances exist We are proficient in both areas!

Helpful Q’s and A’s:

Q: My house might be contaminated with meth, what do I do?

A: The first thing is to test. Proper testing is the only way to know for sure if the property is contaminated. Anyone can do the testing but depending on the situation you may want someone who is licensed with the State of Illinois to handle the testing – like Chicago Meth Remediation. Give us a call and we can help point you in the right direction.

Q: How do I read the meth test lab report and what does it mean?

A: There are usually 4 numbers on a lab report that are important to know:
1- “Sampling Parameter: Area” This refers to the total area tested on an individual swab. Each area tested should total 100cm². So, if the Sampling Parameter: Area is 300cm² then 3 areas were tested on 1 swab.
2- “ug/sample” This number is the total amount of meth found on the swab that was turned into the lab. If this number is greater than 1.0, the property might be in need of proper meth cleanup and decontamination.
3- “ug/100cm²” This number is the “ug/sample” divided by the “Sampling Parameter”. When sampling is done correctly, this number can be a more definitive guide to the actual concentration levels of contamination in the property.
4- “RL ug/sample” is the Reporting Limit of the lab. In most cases it will be .10 meaning any results less than .1 will be reported as “ND” or Non-Detectable.

Please feel free to contact anyone at Chicago Meth Remediation if you have questions or need pricing on a decontamination.

Q: My house tested positive for methamphetamine, what are my options?

A: The State of Illinois has a threshold of 1.0ug (microgram) per 100cm². So, it is important to have a copy of the test results to review after the testing has been completed. A house can test positive but still be below the State standard. If the results are low enough, meth cleanup work may not be required. However, if the results are over 1.0ug most likely the property needs to be decontaminated. If you are unsure how to read the test report or just have general questions please give us a call and we will be happy to help.

Q: What are the Illinois state regulations and requirements for meth cleanup?

A: The Illinois State action level has been set at 1.0ug (microgram) per 100cm². Simply put, all hard surfaces can be decontaminated and soft porous items cannot be saved, they must be disposed of with special handling requirements. Once the decontamination is complete all rooms, HVAC systems, and all hard items that were part of the decontamination work plan need to be tested. If all results are less than 1.0ug the property is considered safe to occupy and the meth cleanup work is deemed to have been successful.

You can call us for a much more in depth understanding of the requirements here in Illinois or with any questions.

Q: My property needs to be decontaminated, what stays and what goes?

A: During a meth cleanup project, only hard non-porous items can be decontaminated. Such as, sheet rocked walls and ceiling, subfloors, hard surface flooring, doors, cabinets, countertops, metal ductwork, furnaces etc. Items to be removed and disposed of include carpet, carpet pad, drop ceiling tiles, acoustical ceiling tiles, insulated or flex ductwork, and exposed insulation. To schedule a time for us to come and look at your property and talk with you about your options, give us a call.

Q: My rental property tested positive for meth, what is next?

A: After making sure everyone is safe, there are several questions that need to be looked at when moving forward. For example:
-Q: Is the damage covered by insurance?
-A: Generally, contacting your insurance company is one of the first steps. Usually when dealing with insurance adjusters, meth contamination is not covered, however, vandalism and/or smoke damage might be. Be persistent and know your policy.

Q: Is the property vacant or occupied?

A: If the property is vacant the process of decontaminating can start right away. If occupied, the tenant needs to be relocated or must leave during the meth cleanup process. The Decontamination Specialist will need to remove and dispose of the porous items and decontaminate and test the non-porous item for the tenant.

Q: A potential buyer tested my newly remodeled property and found meth residue, what are my options?

A: Depending on the levels found, you have two options.

-Option 1: Retest. If the levels found are low it is best to retest and verify the findings. If the levels are high, testing again is still a good idea but may need to consist of more areas to narrow down the decontamination areas.

-Option 2: If the levels are High, moving forward with meth cleanup and decontamination will allow you to put your money into the decontamination process required to make the home habitable, and not be used on extensive testing. Feel free to call with any questions.

Q: What are the disclosure requirements when selling my house?

A: This question is best answered by consulting a real estate attorney. But, it is our understanding that once the property has been decontaminated by a Decontamination Specialist and all the correct permits were issued, and the property has been cleared by the health department and the meth cleanup process is documented as complete and successful, the owner does not need to disclose the property was a meth house. However, based on years of experience, honesty is always the best way to approach any situation.

Q: How long does the meth cleanup process take and what are the steps?

A: Most properties can be decontaminated in about two weeks. First a work plan needs to be created and submitted to the local health department for a permit. Next the decontamination process begins and depending on the size of the house can take anywhere from a few days to a week. Then all areas need to be tested and the tests submitted to the lab for analysis, this can take up to 5 business days to get results back. After all that a final meeting is scheduled with the health department to go over the results and clear the property then you have your house back. Not all health departments have the same protocols so give us a call and we can discuss your situation and time frames.

Q: Can meth use in one apartment contaminate adjacent units?

A: Usually the answer to this question is no. However, if the units share a heating system or have any other means by which air can migrate between units, then it would be best to test all units that share heat ducts or other air supply.

Q: How much does it cost to decontaminate a meth house?

A: Decontamination costs are based on a number factors: How large is the House? Does the decontamination need to be completed in the garage or outbuildings as well as the main structure? What is the contamination level? Was a “Meth Lab” found at the property or is it just a “user site”? Is the property full of debris? These are the main question you need to be prepared to answer when you request estimates. For a free estimate please call.

Q: What personal items can be decontaminated and what can’t?

A: Items considered Non-Porous, such as most tables, dressers, head boards or other hard items can be decontaminated. Also, items that can fit into a washing machine can be saved with proper meth cleanup procedures. Item considered Porous cannot be. Mattresses, couches, anything with a cushion or upholstery, pillows, stuffed animals, most electronics and kids toys can generally not be decontaminated. If you have specific questions please give us a call.

Q: Who can complete meth testing?

A: Meth testing can be completed by anyone. Meth test kits are readily available online or locally. Homeowners can test their own properties if they are at all suspicious of meth use or contamination. Consulting a professional before testing is always a good idea. When purchasing a property most home inspectors can complete a general test to indicate whether or not a problem might be present. If meth is found, you would want to consult with an expert. If your property was the site of a criminal act or if the test might be used in a lawsuit, it is best to contact a licensed Decontamination Specialist as our test results will hold up in a court of law. Also, most health departments will only accept testing completed by a Decontamination Specialist when clearing a property for habitation and removing it from the contaminated property list. If you have any questions concerning a test that was completed or you need to have a test completed please give us a call.

Q: I’m buying a house, do I need to test it for meth?

A: The short answer is yes. Illinois was once the highest producer of meth in the country. Meth has a long half-life, so many of the houses that are contaminated have been that way for years. Many non-users are unknowingly living in houses that were either contaminated years ago or possibly more recently by friends, acquaintances, or even family members. It is astonishing how many kids, nephews, nieces, uncles, visiting friends or relatives, or others have contaminated grandmas’ house. For more answers concerning testing please call.


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