Frequently Asked Questions

about testing for and cleaning up homes contaminated with meth in Australia

Commonly asked questions about meth testing and decontamination

Below are answers to some of the most common questions asked about meth in homes and the testing and decontamination processes. If you think you, or someone you know, may be living in a meth contaminated home, then the best course of action is to request a meth test conducted by certified meth testing companies or individuals

At Decon Systems we do not offer testing or decontamination services ourselves. However, we can recommend suitable meth testing companies or individuals that have undergone the extensive meth testing and decontamination training offered by Decon Systems. We run meth testing and decontamination courses Australia wide with courses running in all the main centres: Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide

What is meth?

Methamphetamine is also known as meth or ice and is a very addictive drug which affects the central nervous system. Meth is usually smoked but it can also be dissolved in liquid and injected or snorted. People can become addicted to meth from the first time they try it. 

Meth is fairly easy to make and can be manufactured from common household items almost anywhere, including suburban homes.

Is there a difference between a house lived in by a meth user and a property used as a meth lab for manufacture?

If the house has been used as a meth lab then the levels of contamination are likely to be higher than in a property that has just been used by people who smoke the drug. If the manufacture has been on a large scale, contamination may be even higher.

Is there a difference between a house lived in by a meth user and a property used as a meth lab for manufacture?

If the house has been used as a meth lab then the levels of contamination are likely to be higher than in a property that has just been used by people who smoke the drug. If the manufacture has been on a large scale, contamination may be even higher.

Does living in a meth contaminated house cause health problems?

There are some health issues associated with living in meth contaminated homes. These include respiratory issues, headaches, dizziness, nausea and skin problems. Often it is these unexplained issues that lead people to suspect their property may be contaminated.
Links between meth contamination and other more serious health problems are still being researched, but studies suggest it can be linked to more serious respiratory illnesses and possibly even cancer, given the toxic chemicals used during the manufacturing process.

Can I tell if my home has been used for smoking meth or as a meth lab?

It is actually very difficult to tell whether you are living in a meth contaminated house. This is especially true if it was just lived in by meth users and contamination levels are low. There may be some signs such as missing lightbulbs, a lot of rubbish around the property and reports of a high number of visitors, especially at unusual hours.

Signs that the house may have been a meth lab include:

  • chemical smells or a smell of cat urine
  • stains on the walls or floors or evidence that these have recently been cleaned to a higher level than you might reasonably expect someone leaving a property to do.
  • windows that look like that may have been blacked out
  • rubbish around the premises, especially chemical packaging or glass containers

Worried about meth in homes?

The only way to know absolutely if you have a meth contaminated home is to get professional meth testing undertaken. This will give you a definitive answer and allow you to plan your next steps, if necessary. Be well informed so can you can make smart decisions.

Who should consider getting a meth residue drug test?

Anyone who thinks they may be living in a meth contaminated home or are looking at buying a property should consider getting the home or business tested for meth. These include

  • Home buyers: getting a meth residue drug test before you agree to buy gives you important information. You can either go ahead with the sale with confidence if the result is negative, or, with a positive result, either back out or negotiate with the vendor.
  • Homeowners: if you have been having health issues or something your neighbour has said has worried you, then home meth testing could give you answers.
  • Tenants: before you agree to rent a property, ask if the landlord carries out meth testing and, if not, ask for a test before you sign a contract. This will ensure the property is safe and also protects you from potential issues further into the tenancy.
  • Landlords: think about getting meth testing carried out between tenants to ensure there are no issues and when you add a new property to your portfolio.
  • Real estate agents: offering meth testing as part of your agent services can help both vendors and buyers.

What happens when I get meth residue testing done?

The first test carried out is usually a yes/no test with swabs taken in several areas of the property. This will tell you whether meth contamination is present or not. If the result is positive, further meth tests can be carried out to show the levels in different parts of the house. This will help you decide on your next course of actions.

If decontamination work is needed, you should get the meth testing companies to run new tests once the cleaning and restoration team have completed their work to ensure levels are now safe.

How much work will it take to decontaminate a house?

This will depend on whether methamphetamine was simply smoked or whether the occupants used the property as a lab to manufacture the drug. It may also depend on the length of time the property was used and the levels of meth contamination recorded.

What might have to be removed or cleaned on the decontamination process?

In most cases, things like curtains and carpets and any remaining furniture will need to be replaced. If the contamination is more severe, then you may need to have countertops and other fixtures and fittings removed. In very severe cases, the house may need to be stripped back further with gyprock and ceilings removed. Anything removed from the house will need to be disposed of properly.

What should I check when choosing decontamination and meth testing companies?

When you are choosing a company to carry out your decontamination, it is good to ask:

  • what qualifications and training the team members have
  • whether the company can provide testimonials from previous clients
  • what meth cleaning products are used
  • how much demolition might be involved and how the waste will be disposed of
  • how long the decontamination might take
  • whether the cleaning and restoration company offers a service warranty or guarantee, i.e no charge for failed clearance tests.

What needs to be done after the property has been decontaminated?

After decontamination a further meth residue drug test should be arranged to ensure that levels are now within safe limits. The Australian Standard is 0.5µg/100cm2 of meth.

Decon Systems does not undertake meth decontamination, but we can recommend cleaning and meth testing companies for you if needed.

Meth testing companies: Who can set up to test meth contaminated homes?

Anyone can set up in business as a meth testing, but you should only employ reputable meth testing companies whose staff has undergone training. If you are interested in setting up your own meth testing or decontamination company, then Decon Systems runs thorough meth testing training courses Australia-wide. Book a course online or contact us to discuss your options.

Who are the meth testing and decontamination training courses suitable for?

The courses are aimed at anyone looking to start their own meth testing or meth decontamination business, or to add this service to an existing cleaning or restoration business.

What do the training courses cover?

The courses cover both the theoretical knowledge and practical aspects of meth decontamination and property restoration to ensure you have a thorough grounding in both the issues around meth and the ways to apply testing and decontamination methods.

Where are the methamphetamine decontamination courses and meth testing courses held?

Decon Systems offers methamphetamine decontamination courses and meth testing courses Australia-wide. You can book meth decontamination and meth detection training courses in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth. If you are outside these centres and wish to undertake training, contact us to see if a course can be arranged.

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Find out more about Decon Systems’ training courses

To find out more about our Australia-wide meth testing courses, please get in touch. Alternatively, you can book meth detection training online. Decon Systems runs meth testing training in Sydney, Melbourne and all the main centres across Australia and we can arrange courses in other locations if required. 
If you have any questions or would like us to recommend qualified, experienced decontamination or meth testing companies near you, give us a call.

Would you like Decon Systems to contact you?

Make an enquiry using the contact form and we will be in contact as soon as possible.