There’s no question about it. The effects of crystal meth on its users are devastating. This synthetic stimulant is highly addictive, made of toxic ingredients, and can cause permanent mental and physical damage.
Here in Montana, 1% of adults reported using methamphetamine in 2016. When the COVID-19 pandemic drove Treasure State residents into their homes, laboratory and law enforcement reports indicated an increase in the use of this highly addictive drug. One lab even reported a 34% increase in urine samples testing positive for meth use just after the national emergency was declared in March 2020.
Tragically, it’s not always just the meth users and those who make it that are harmed. Meth can damage the properties, causing unwitting tenants or new owners to suffer horrible side effects from lingering chemicals that are hiding in the walls, carpets, or furniture. In recent years, anecdotal information from Billings-area abatement specialists reported signs of meth contamination in more than half of the rental properties they are testing.
If you are planning to buy, sell or rent property in Montana, you must understand how this toxic stimulant can damage property, what insurance will and will not cover, and what you should do if a property has meth contamination. To ensure a smooth, successful sale or purchase, begin by employing a Montana-certified methamphetamine lab cleanup contractor to test the space and remediate it if necessary. Here’s what you need to know about cleanup and insurance coverage for a meth contaminated property.
Hidden Dangers Of Meth Use At Your Property
Both cooking meth and using meth can destroy any home or business. The toxins can seep into the carpet and walls, infiltrate upholstery, linger in air ducts, penetrate drapes, and remain in any part of a home where it was used or made. Even the air itself can become toxic. The implications are nothing short of terrifying.
Small children who crawl around on a carpet are especially vulnerable as it can damage their neurological development or immune system. Other possible side effects of exposure for children and adults include kidney and lung disorders, liver damage, breathing problems, burning, itchy or dry skin, eye infections, brain damage, and even death.
Meth houses don’t always look the part. They may be in great condition with no visible signs of meth use or production but have hidden dangers lurking below the surface. The best way to ensure a property is free of meth contamination is to hire a professional tester.
Does Insurance Cover Cleanup From Meth Contamination?
The short answer is “maybe.” Insurance policies don’t include separate coverage for meth contamination. Whether they do cover it depends on your contract, so you’ll need to check with your policyholder to understand what is excluded. Some policies exclude items that are “prohibitively expensive.”
Vandalism, criminal mischief, and smoke damage may be covered under an insurance peril policy, a type of home or business insurance that provides coverage for losses incurred on your property from certain specified hazards or events. Peril policies may cover damage caused by meth use or a meth lab under those categories. For example, meth use or meth-cooking often causes smoke damage, therefore, that portion of the cleanup would be covered by your peril policy. If you rent a property regularly, you may want to purchase separate landlord insurance.
Why You Need Professional Help With Meth Use Testing And Clean Up
If you learn that a property you own or wish to buy is contaminated with meth, the only prudent course of action is to contact a Montana Certified Methamphetamine lab cleanup contractor for assistance. These highly trained professionals have all of the gear and tools necessary to remediate a meth contaminated structure. The process includes the removal of all of the contents and sanitization of every surface. If you try to clean it yourself, you risk exposing yourself to toxic chemicals that can cause irreparable health problems.
Expert Biohazard Restoration For The Billings Community
Alpha-Omega Disaster Restoration is the preferred local commercial and residential disaster restoration company serving south-central Montana including Billings West End, Billings Heights, Laurel, and Red Lodge. As a Montana-Certified methamphetamine lab cleanup contractor, Alpha-Omega has the knowledge and tools to decontaminate your property so it is safe for occupants. We also provide fire restoration, water damage restoration, mold remediation, and cleaning services to Billings-area residents and businesses. Let us know how we can help!