Grow Op Home Inspection

Grow Op Home Inspection Cover

According to some reports, 1 in every 140 houses in Canada has been used in a marijuana grow operation of some sort. With British Columbia leading Canada in Home based Grow Ops, perhaps even 1 in 100 houses in the Lower Mainland has been used as a former grow op with higher concentrations seeming to be from Maple Ridge to Mission and Chilliwack to Abbotsford.

What type of Houses do Grow Ops Operate in?

Grow operators want as much privacy as possible so they typically look for houses that have some degree of privacy from the street and neighbours. They also often have an attached garage which allows them to move equipment, plants, people, and supplies from vehicles behind closed doors. Because grow ops can be destructive to houses, grow operators typically rent properties which unfortunately can leave an unwitting landlord with a big problem to fix when the grow operators move on.

What are the clues a house is a grow op?

People may come and go at unusual hours. Garbage is erratic or non existent and does not correlate with normal domestic resident cycles. Windows are often blacked out to conceal lights on all possible hours. High levels of condensation often will gather on the windows. The mail slot on the home may be closed shut. Fences may be improved and dogs or signs indicating guard dogs may be added. 

Never approach a home that you are suspicious may be a grow operation. These homes are often run by organized criminals who are very protective of their crops and people who may try and steal the crops from them. If you are suspicious of a possible grow operation, always contact the authorities to handle the situation.

Grow Op Home Inspection

What are the implications of a former Grow Op house?

Former Grow Op houses can be left with major problems:

- Structural supports can be cut by grow operators who are trying to run ventilation, plumbing, and wires. 

- Electrical systems can be significantly compromised. Electricity is often stolen by tapping the wires before the meter. Then, household wiring will be tapped and relocated as needed for the grow op.

- A large amount of water is needed to grow these plants. Water lines are spliced, added, and relocated to bring water to each grow room. Also, there are often a large number of water spills which can damage structure.

- Chimneys, furnace exhaust lines, and roof vents may be repurposed to exhaust hot, humid air from the home. 

- Humidity and moisture from the grow operation can cause large amounts of mould growth in the home. Mould can cause problems with structure if it is severe enough and can also be a health hazard, particularly for people with low immune systems (including young children).

Does a Home Inspector Look for Grow Ops?

A good home inspector is always on the look out for suspicious clues about a house's past. There are some very good clues that often exist with the systems listed above that are particular to grow ops and when we see these clues, it does become a concern in a home inspection. An infrared inspection can be very helpful in seeing clues that may have been hidden from plain sight. Make sure your Home Inspector is trained in identifying former grow ops. All Solid State Home Inspectors have been trained and have seen many of these clues first hand in the field.

What Should I do if the House May Have Been a Grow Op?

Not all Home Inspectors are trained in looking for Grow Ops. At Solid State Inspections, all our inspectors have received this specialized training. Always have a house inspection done on any house you are considering buying and let your inspector know of your concerns. 

If you already live in a house that you think may be a former grow op, call us today at 604-722-1227 and arrange for a Grow Op inspection.

At Solid State Inspections, we are concerned for you and your families safety. Call us to give yourself the best protection when buying a new home.

For a Grow Op Home Inspection Call (604) 475-5115 today.

By James Bell