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Test Before You Buy: Toxic Meth Residue on the Rise in Denver Area Homes


By Peter Psotny - July 7, 2017

You’re getting ready to buy the home of your dreams. It’s been inspected from foundation to roof. It’s been tested for lead and radon. As far as you can tell, it’s a clean and sturdy structure and you’re ready to sign the papers. But wait. Did you remember to test for…meth?

A Real and Present Danger

If meth testing didn’t cross your mind, you’re not alone. This is not a subject many people are talking about. Homeowners are simply unaware of the potential hazard. It’s hard to tell just how wide-spread the problem is, but the presence of meth being detected in homes is undoubtedly on the rise in Denver and throughout the entire Front Range. At Colorado Home Sales we’ve already seen 4 out of 25 homes test positive for meth so far this year.

It’s impossible to determine a property’s meth risk by the way it looks or by the neighborhood it’s located in. Sure, meth has been a problem in rentals and foreclosures, but it’s been detected in plenty of high-end homes as well. The stuff is everywhere.

What you need to know about meth residue:

  • Exposure to even a small amount of the toxic residue can make you and your family sick.

  • Smoking meth in a home just a few times can leave behind harmful amounts of residue.

  • You will not detect it during a walkthrough; it cannot be seen or smelled.

  • If it’s painted over, the residue will continue to seep through and the painted rooms must be gutted in order to remove it.

Meth Testing and Remediation

Professional testing is not particularly cheap, costing around $600 to prescreen for the presence of meth and upwards of $3,000 for a Colorado certified test, depending on the size of the home. But consider the cost of remediation. The cleanup process may require demolition work and can run anywhere from $7,000 - $40,000…maybe more. That’s enough to bankrupt a homeowner.

Protect Yourself…and Your Family

Although Colorado law states that a seller must disclose meth contamination that has not yet been remediated, liability hinges on the seller’s knowledge of meth use within the property. It is very difficult to win a suit after purchasing a contaminated home. You need to test before you buy!

We aren’t afraid to address all the nitty gritty details in order to protect our clients. Call 720-220-2059 to talk to the experienced real estate agents at Colorado Home Sales, Inc. today.