The illegal hard drug trade is not only harming those who get addicted to it. Even those who own the property where a meth lab is found have to deal with the consequences. After all, once the lab has been shut down, property owners have to decide the next course of action.
According to the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, property owners have to choose between decontaminating or demolishing the property. Both these steps are a must since leaving the site as is can pose a health hazard to the next tenant of the space. Unfortunately, the owners have to shoulder all the costs for decontamination or demolition, though some insurance carriers do shoulder some of the expenses.
Cleaning Up Is Hard to Do
Should property owners decide to have the place decontaminated, hiring professionals to do the cleanup is the best course of action. In Indiana, property owners are required to do the cleanup under the supervision of a qualified inspector or have a qualified inspector do it himself/herself.
However, in case that professional services are not immediately available, one can do a preliminary clean up. Here are some steps recommended by the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality on decontaminating the site:
- Air out the entire place for several days. This can help remove the contaminants that may have remained in the air. Ensure good ventilation all throughout the cleanup.
- Make residual chemicals evaporate. To do this, close everything and crank up the heat on the furnace to about 90 degrees, then leave the property. (This step is not necessary during summertime.) After several days, start cleaning with all windows and doors open, with the heat turned off.
- Remove visibly contaminated items from the property and dispose of them in a landfill. Don’t leave the items out on the curb and susceptible to dumpster divers trying to retrieve them.
- Wear personal protective equipment and clothing during the cleanup. These include the following:
- Eye protection, such as goggles
- Long sleeves and pants
- Shoe covers
- Be careful in using bleach during the cleanup, as it may react with the acid remnants in the area.
- Replace the furnace filters, especially if there was a need to evaporate the chemicals in the property via heating.
- Dispose of everything—rags, clothing, carpeting, drapes, etc.—that has come into contact with contaminated materials. This includes clothing (hence the need for shoe covers).
As one can see, the entire cleanup process can be long and tedious. Hence, as advised at the beginning of the article, it is still best to seek the services of a professional cleanup crew to deal with a former meth lab. For cases like this in Indianapolis, Indiana, call the 24/7 Emergency Service hotline of Midwest Remediation at (317) 826-0940.