Avoid Buying a Meth House…

Most Home Inspectors including myself are typically not certified in Meth Inspections but here is some information and signs to look for when you are in the process of purchasing a new home.

Certain levels of meth can cause serious illness, birth defects or even kill and yet most buyers do not have their homes tested for one reason or the other. Sometimes not getting a meth test is justified because the home is clean or in a good neighborhood. What many people do not realize is that many of the meth labs are located in ”well to do” residential neighborhoods. After all what better place to hide a nice lab than in suburban America? Reports indicate that the most likely user is usually under the age of 35. It has also been reported that once you smoke meth there is a 90% chance of getting addicted to it.

So as you make your way through what may be your future home, and are taking in the scenery along with considering how to decorate here are signs to look for.
Yellow discoloration on walls, ceilings, floors, drains, sinks and showers. Staining and etching marks on sinks, toilets, bathtubs or stoves should be of concern. Look for added ventilation over work benches, in attics or basements. If you notice there are no smoke detectors or that they have been removed or taped off that is a bad sign. Other signs are unusual chemical odors such as paint thinner or chlorine or if you find a trapdoor or a hidden room. Blue discoloration on valves or propane tanks and fire extinguishers may also be a sign.

On the outside of the property look for extensive security measures such as ”No Trespassing or Beware of Dog signs”, tall fencing, large trees or shrubs close to or hiding windows and parts of the yard. Other things in the yard to look for is burn piles, buried trash with signs of meth ingredients, dead spots or areas where chemicals may have killed the grass.

The problem with many properties is the owners have tried to clean up any trash, smells, stains by painting or replacing carpets or flooring. They might knowingly be covering up a problem or unknowingly covering it up. Property owners who are aware of a meth problem may choose not to disclose it due to the costly expense of clean up.

Sometimes there are obvious signs a home has been used as a meth lab or had meth smoked in it but often there are no signs or clues to suggest this. Good luck in your search and just be aware of your surroundings and all should work out.


Greg Drago, ASHI Certified Inspector
Proudly serving St. Louis County and City, Jefferson County, St. Charles County and Northern Ste. Genevieve County,
And the entire 63129 and 63010 zip code area.