How meth contaminates a home and what to do about it

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DENVER — A Five Points townhome up for sale had multiple offers within three days of its listing despite being contaminated with methamphetamine. The home is listed at $500,000 — about $300,000 below market value.

“I have actually seen cases where people sat in their car, drove around while they were cooking it and venting it until they got their finished product,” said Agent Tim Scott with the Drug Enforcement Agency.

Scott says Colorado has long been meth country, and while the number of meth labs has gone down significantly in the last decade, use remains high with product coming in from Mexico.

“What we’re seeing now is the one-pot method, which is literally a two-liter soda pop bottle and they dump a bunch of chemicals that you can buy in any store,” Scott said.

Howard Schenker and his team at Premier Environmental LLC decontaminate homes from meth across the Denver metro. He says homes are mostly contaminated from people smoking inside, since the meth will seep into the walls and carpet.

“You can’t see it,” Schenker said. “You know, you could have everything spotless, do the procedures we’re supposed to do for decontamination, but in the end, until you actually do physical samples of random areas, you don’t know it’s gone.”

Schenker says you should always test for meth before purchasing a home because you may be held responsible for the decontamination.

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