Hello again, dear readers. For those of you keeping track, we are continuing our topic from last week: How Can I remove Meth From My Home. This week we’ll discuss the cost of decontamination, and what to expect if you choose to take on such a project yourself.
People often ask us about the general price of meth removal. However, since each job is different, it’s usually better to get a quote for your unique situation. Having the following information will help us give you as accurate an estimate as possible.
- Square footage of the property.
- If the property was tested and by whom (including results).
- Whether there are sheds, garages, or other additional spaces (and if you included these during testing).
- The amount of carpeting, waste, and personal items still onsite.
Of course, there are several other factors that can impact your expenses. This can include the amount of contamination, and where you’re at in the process. I.E., will we need to do more testing, submit a work plan, etc.
The next thing people ask is whether performing the decontamination themselves will save money. Naturally, this is different for every situation as well. Even so, we’d like to provide a general break down for the cost of decontamination, and some figures to help you plan your budget.
- Pricing Your Rental: Most jobs require the use of a dump truck or dumpsters. For a truck, you can expect to pay somewhere between $300-$400 a day. For dumpsters, pricing models vary. Some have a flat fee, and others work on a system of base rates plus tonnage. You can plan on spending about $400 for a 30-yard dumpster. Remember, only the owner can be on the property. Without a team, you may need your rental for several days or even weeks.
- Sizing Your Rental: To ensure you have enough space, you’ll need to estimate the volume of the debris you need to remove. We’ve seen projects require anything from ½ of a large dumpster (15 yards) to 5 or 6 dumpsters (150 to 180 yards). It’s easy to underestimate how much space you’ll need. So, you may want to leave some wiggle room in your budget for additional rentals down the road.
- Other Factors to Consider: Be aware that some dumpster and truck rental companies may not allow their equipment to carry special waste. Furthermore, depending on where you live, you may not be able to leave your load out overnight.
City Requirements and Fees
- Permits and Work Plans: Submitting your plan to the health department will require an upfront cost. This varies by county. However, $400.00 is a reasonable estimate for fees. The work plan is not too difficult to prepare, but it is lengthy and detailed. Ours typically end up being between 10 and 20 pages long, including the photographs and floor plans. (Remember, you’ll need to understand Utah Administrative Code R392-600 and adhere to all its requirements).
- Disposal: Contaminated materials are considered special waste, so you’ll need to dispose of it properly. (In order to issue a clearance on the property, the health department will require you dump receipts. This will confirm that you disposed of the items as special waste). You’ll also need to sort out certain items. (For instance, propane tanks and other combustibles). All of this comes with various fees.
Equipment and Processes
- HVAC Systems: It’s likely you’ll need to clean your air circulation system. That requires specialized equipment. (The technical terms are air whips and air lances). Generally speaking, most owners still pay for this service. We suggest calling for a quote since prices change based on location and demand.
- Detergent: In general, we recommend using Apple Meth Remover or a comparable product. In our experience, it’s about $50.00 a bottle. The average house requires between 8-16 bottles.
- Safety Gear: Obviously, there is a cost in purchasing your gear. However, you won’t be able to reuse the majority of these items. Plan accordingly, and try to buy in bulk. At a minimum, you’ll need disposable gloves, protective suits, and a filtered respirator. You may also need a hard hat, steel-toed boots, eye protection, and protective work gloves on top of your disposable pair.
Which Is Less Expensive, Doing the Job Myself, or Hiring a
Certified Decontamination Specialist?
You may have noticed a theme in this text so far. If so, it won’t surprise you that our answer is: it varies. However, our prices are competitive. And, based on these figures, there’s a good chance we can save you money. This is because we have the proper training, we own our equipment, and we have the process down to a science. For instance, we use our own dump trailer (14 cubic yards), which is more efficient. It also allows us to avoid stacking rental fees (as well as some of the other issues that come with using rentals). Additionally, we can complete work plans quickly, and prepare them correctly the first time. Our teams can also recognize various forms of special waste, which expedites sorting and dumping.
We’ve seen owners take as long as 13 months to complete their clean-up project. (Although this was excessive. Most finish in 2-3 months). Naturally, adding time compounds the cost of decontamination (extending rentals, delaying sales, interfering with work, etc). And, we should mention that we’ve never seen an owner successfully pass their property on the first try. (Fees to re-test can be hundreds of dollars).
We can accelerate this process. What takes most owners months generally takes us two weeks. We guarantee our work, too. So or customers don’t have to worry about additional costs down the road.
We try to make this process as seamless as possible. As such, we often take payment for our services out of the closing sale of a home. Occasionally, we’ve also seen homeowner’s insurance (or landlord’s insurance) cover the cost. If you have an investment property, you may be able to write the expenses out of taxes as well.
Whether you decide to proceed on your own or hire a decontamination company, we’re sure you’ll have some questions. We’re here to help. Feel free to call us at 801-888-6698, even if you just want some pointers.