Marijuana legalization, and acceptance of the drug as a medical and/or recreational option, has come a long way in recent years. Having said that, growing marijuana inside a home isn’t exactly the safest way to access the plant. If you’re purchasing real estate for either your personal residence or as an investment, there is something important you need to know about former grow houses.

The high levels of humidity used in marijuana grow houses will encourage the growth of mold, which reproduces via spores which can be toxic if inhaled. Symptoms can range from headaches to allergic reactions, and can be dangerous in people with asthma. In some circumstances mold exposure has led to more serious illness and rarely, death.

That doesn’t mean you can’t purchase a home that has been used as a grow house. But you do want to correctly identify the property’s history and take the right steps toward mold remediation. When touring properties, look for the following signs that the home has been used as a grow house in the past:

  • Brown stains in the roof soffits, or brand-new soffits have just been installed
  • Stains on basement floors (from grow pots sitting in one spot over extended times)
  • Ductwork that doesn’t make sense (usually because it has been re-routed)
  • Circular holes in floor joists
  • Modified electrical wiring
  • Breaches in concrete walls or the foundation (for wiring around the hydro meter)
  • Warped or rotted wood structures
  • Odd plumbing for water supplies and drains
  • Parts of brick exterior have been replaced

The presence of just one or two of these signs might not mean that the home was used for growing marijuana. But if you start to notice a pattern, with many of these signs showing up, you should suspect the presence of hazardous mold. Call us right away to perform mold tests, and we can advise you on the best way to proceed with cleaning up the problem.