Some of the homes we feature on Burbed are in craptacular shape. They’re held together only by the termites hugging, or they’ve been exposed to weather, or pets ran amok without benefit of a dedicated rest area.
And we’ve even made jokes about homes that might have been meth labs. But there’s a site out there that shows you what to look for in case a home really was used as a drug factory. Let’s take a look at a web site devoted to the problem of buying a property and discovering it is uninhabitable due to former methamphetamine production. Welcome to Meth Lab Homes.
The site was started by someone whose son unknowingly bought a Tennessee house that was a former meth lab. (No Tennessee jokes, please. Meth labs are found all over the United States, including the Bay Area. Including the REAL Bay Area.)
So here, as a public service to all you househunters, are some ways to tell if the house you want to buy might have had a former life as a meth lab. Thanks very much to Meth Lab Homes for the photos and initial guidance on identifying signs that a home was used to produce meth.
Since this is Burbed, we couldn’t help but add more advice.
It’s hard to make an omelet without breaking some eggs, and it’s hard to make meth without spilling some hydrochloric acid. If you see floors or walls with stains like this, you may have found yourself in a meth lab. Of course, if you see brand news floors or carpets, you may also be looking at a meth lab. Burbed advises that you rip up all the carpets and floors to check. You can never be too sure!
Burnt Grass or Plants
One way to avoid telltale meth cooking odors is to cook outdoors. Even if the house had meth cooked inside, the chemicals may be dumped in the yard. Any sign of burning probably means you’re looking at a meth lab, because no Californian would otherwise start a fire outdoors in a drought climate.
Meth lab cooks use household kitty litter to absorb the chemicals they work with. So if you see any sign of kitty litter in, around, or near a house, there’s a good chance it was a former meth lab.
They probably kept actual cats to mislead you, so don’t believe any excuses about the former owners being pet lovers. Also pet urine does a fantastic job hiding any meth chemical odors, so be on the lookout and give your potential house a good sniff test.
According to the website, meth users and makers don’t care about anything except meth. Keeping the house clean and neat will not be a priority. So if you see something like this when you inspect a home, the former owners or tenants were probably meth-heads.
Don’t believe nonsense about how engineers and software developers don’t care about hygiene. Engineers and software developers don’t bother coming home to make a mess in the first place.
This is a great toilet shot. We should send this one in to this website, as they seem to enjoy these kinds of pictures.
Bizarre Plumbing, Venting, and Electrical
If you’re considering a house and any of the pipes, vents, or electrical connections make you wonder if the contractor was on meth when putting them together, it’s a good bet you’re looking at a meth house. Bizarre plumbing and venting could point to the need to keep telltale odors away from nosy neighbors.
If you find electrical outlets in places where nobody would want to plug in a television or a toaster, you may be looking at a meth lab. Why else would anyone need an outlet in a garage?
Buy yourself a brand new condo instead. Trust us, it will produce much fewer headaches.
Covered and/or Painted Windows
Meth lab operators don’t want attention, and often cover or paint all windows near operations. If you tour a house and see covered or painted-over windows, RUN, do not walk away.
You do realize that by “covered windows” we most certainly do mean draperies, curtains, blinds, and shades. Remember, only people who live in glass houses have nothing to hide. A covered window means a damaged homelife!
Glass and Plastic Containers
Meth is produced in containers, usually in glass or plastic. If you find any glassware or plastic bottles in a house you are considering, there’s an excellent chance you’re looking at a former meth lab.
Be sure to check all cabinets for any sign of glasses or plastic bottles. Don’t be fooled by bottles with liquids in them. Meth lab operators will fill their empties to lull buyers into a false sense of home security.
Danger, Will Robinson! Danger!
Just about every house you consider could have been a meth lab at one point. To be absolutely 100% sure you are not moving into a dangerous, chemically-infested hellhole, we suggest that if you must purchase a used home, that you burn the entire structure and grounds to fully consume all latent chemical byproducts.