Meth test in the house

A DENMARK man has started up a new business testing houses, caravans and cars for traces of methylamphetamine to alert buyers to any contamination.

“If there’s one or two really heavy [meth] smokers, it can really contaminate a house,” says Stephen Roberts who commences his business this week.

“Because the smoke rises, the main contamination is high in the house, but the smoke still spreads out, so it can go into the walls, the paint, any cupboards that are wooden, and carpets.”

Meth test
Mr Roberts tests a wall after suiting up. Photo: Chris Thomson

Mr Roberts says his main target market is homebuyers.

“When you buy a house, you get a pest controller around, you get a building inspection done, and they say it’s safe to live in, but what about meth?” he poses.

“People think meth is a new drug, but it’s been around for more than 20 years.

“If you buy a house that’s been around for a few years, there’s a chance of contamination.”

He says testing can be done anywhere that people spend lots of time.

“If you’re buying a car or caravan, the cooking of the meth is not just in homes now,” he warns.

“The shake ‘n bake method is done in the boot of a car.

“If you’re paying $10,000 for a caravan, it’s best to get it tested.”

Mr Roberts offers two tests, one called a ‘rapid’ or ‘indicative’ test.

“For that one, I’ll just take a sample and it will give me a reading in one to two minutes,” he says.

“You have to know where you’re doing it, basically above head level, and in certain parts of the house.

“Mainly, I’ll do one test in each room.”

The test itself is quite simple, with swabs taken from within a 100sqcm template that Mr Roberts places on a surface. 

He exposes the swab to a meth-tracing chemical that shows on a gauge if contamination is present.

“If it says ‘no’, then buy the house,” he smiles.

The second, analytical, test Mr Roberts employs uses a kit to analyse every room. Results are sent to a laboratory and the customer receives a precise reading of meth levels.

The New Zealand Government’s homebuyer advice website says the chance of buying a property where meth has been produced or smoked in large quantities is very low.

“However, if you have a strong suspicion, or have been told by police, that a property you’re interested in has been used for methamphetamine production, you may wish to make methamphetamine testing and a satisfactory result a condition of your offer,” the site explains.

To get your property tested, call Mr Roberts on 0432 297 986.

Categories: Denmark

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