For months, a property you either own or have been interested in purchasing has been less of a home, and more a factory. Not designed to accommodate the commercial manufacturing of illicit organic substances, the past months have seen the equivalent to years of regular wear-and-tear. To top things off, your property woes are exacerbated by the fact that police have kicked the door down, torn it inside out, and in all likelihood cut the power. There’s a big job ahead of you if you’re interested in making this place livable again, and you’ve got no idea where to start. Exactly how do you tackle this problem?
Call First Response
When it comes to the biggest and baddest cleaning jobs in central Ontario for municipal and federal emergency services, First Response is the first call. We’ve long been specialists at crime-scene and hoarder cleanup, mold removal, and special-case cleaning services, but did you know we’re also specialists at grow-op cleanup? Consider the following advantages that First Response provides compared to DIY grow-op cleaning.
Grow Op’s – Special Requirements
When a grow-op is being run out of a residential property, typically growers will use hydroponic systems with extensive UV lighting.
Dealing with Mold and Moisture from Hydroponics
Hydroponic systems allow a person to grow plants, in this case marijuana, without the need of soil. Placing plants in a massive system of running water infused nutrients, hydroponic systems allow for the efficient growth of many plants in a tight space.
Legitimate agricultural businesses that use hydroponic technology recognize the need to purpose-build facilities that accommodate the unique consequences of hydroponic systems. They design and engineer their structures with specific materials and ventilation systems to deal with heightened moisture in the air.
Residential properties are not designed with this consideration in mind. UV lights shining at full power around the clock evaporate substantial amounts of water, and without proper ventilation, this water will find a home in and on any surface it touches. Drywall, wood, porcelain, carpet are especially exposed to accelerated mold growth. As those running grow-ops are rarely interested in the domestic value of the spaces they’re using, these problems are never addressed, and mold flourishes in a space ideal for accelerated growth.
Removing this mold is no simple matter. Often under floors, behind walls, and deep within the framing of a home, depending on how long mold has been allowed to flourish, it can represent a significant structural liability in the worst case. First Response deals with the problem by taking an air sample of each space in a home to identify the unique strains present, and uses the results of lab analysis to tailor a strategy to the unique needs of your home. Depending on the strains present, we can identify if you have structural mold with non-invasive methods, and inform you of the options guaranteed to deal with all present mold. Consider the following strains and how First Response deploys it’s extensive experience in mold removal to take care of them:
A Few Kinds of Mold:
Aspergillus is what is known as an Oligotroph. This means it requires very little nutrition to survive, and is characterized by very slow growth. It is commonly found in A/C systems and condensers, feeding on the occasional morsel of digestible material carried by airflow and ‘drinking’ condensation. This is a very common mold for grow-ops, as those that operate them usually go to great lengths to manage the massive heat emitted by UV lights.
Cladosporium is a very versatile and common household mold. Generally greenish-black, it likes to grows on porcelain, fiberglass, and certain painted surfaces. This mold does not typically care for cellulose, so if you have visible mold that lab analysis indicates is Cladosporium, there’s little cause for concern regarding the structure of a building. Cladosporium is generally surface-level, and comparatively easy to deal with.
Stachybotrys Atra grows on cellulose-rich building materials and is very thirsty, meaning it is generally found in damp or water-damaged buildings, clinging to the wood it is slowly eating away. This mold is typically found in buildings that have had grow-ops operating for extended periods of time. If you’re considering buying a former grow-op, it pays to perform an inspection for this strain. If found, it indicates the likely presence of structural damage, something you don’t want to find after investing in a property.
Dealing with Post-Police Damage
When busting a grow-op, Police will tear a home apart and turn it upside down in search of money, marijuana, and incriminating evidence. Teams of people will be in and out, boots on, tearing holes in ventilation systems, bringing down drywall, tearing up floors, ripping furniture apart, and more. Short of the equipment and contraband they take out of the home, they don’t do much to contribute to the cleanliness or livability of a space.
While it’s possible to go about cleaning up after them alone, doing so is a herculean task. This is why First Response offers it’s expertise in disaster cleanup to guarantee a quality clean that allows you to restore a home’s value in the shortest time possible.
If you’ve been a victim of criminal tenants, or are considering purchasing a property that was once a grow-op, it makes simple sense to call First Response for grow-op cleaning services. We can perform the job better, faster, and with less struggle than DIY cleaning, and bring a property back to livability quicker than any other available option. IIRC and ABRA certified, we’re central Ontario’s authority on special-case cleaning services. Make First Response your first call for grow-op cleanup by getting in touch.