Having to go through the shock of your property being used as an illegal grow operation is stressful enough and having a property that cannot be occupied until a thorough bio-hazard clean up and decontamination process has been undertaken can increase anyone’s anxiety. Gold Coast in Queensland has seen a significant increase in illegal grow operations, this could be due to the abundance of sunshine in Queensland, but finding removalists in Gold Coast to remove what’s left behind is just the tip of the iceberg of what needs to be done after the police hand back control of the house.


The most important step to undertake after handover is to contact your insurance company to make a claim to cover any necessary expenses towards the cleanup process; this will initiate the process towards a speedy recovery.  If landlord’s insurance has not been undertaken, your priority would be to engage in professional bio-hazard cleaning companies that understand the process and can help with anything from waste removal to decontamination and sign off approval from relevant authorities.  There are many websites that can help you find a biohazard cleaning specialist, it is best to compare different cleaning quotes as prices can differ substantially and biohazard cleaning can be expensive.

There are several cleanup methods, or “remediation technologies,” available to clean up hazardous chemicals and biologically contaminated sites. Some methods or remedies include using natural heat, sunshine, or moisture which are at times are not abundant due to low temperatures and long winter seasons. The kind of treatment that will work best can be determined by several factors, such as the type of contaminant(s), the presence of permafrost, groundwater flow, the location of the site, and the interaction of these variables. Some common remediation technologies that work well for the cleanup process are discussed below:



Bioremediation utilizes microorganisms (such as bacteria) to break down organic contaminants. Additional microbes, nutrients, moisture, and oxygen may be added to the soil or groundwater to increase the breakdown rate. Oxygen is the additive utilized most frequently since most soils have adequate numbers of microbes to break down contaminants. When the soil is contaminated the soil is frequently put with additives into a container called a biocell, which confines the contamination while the microorganisms do their work. This type of cleanup is fairly inexpensive and can usually be maintained by the person responsible for the contamination.



Bioventing is a kind of bioremediation where the air is blown into or pulled out of the soil. The air supplies oxygen to help bacteria in the soil grows better and allows them to break down the contaminant. Bioventing works well with light contaminants which evaporate easily.



 Landspreading consists of tilling contaminated soil into the surface layer of a field and letting natural biological action and aeration clean up the contamination.


Soil Vapor Extraction

This method involves putting perforated pipes into the contaminated soil and pulling air through the soil and into the pipes. This works well if the contaminant is a volatile compound.


Soil Washing

As its name suggests, this method involves removing contamination from soil, gravel, or rocks through washing. Washing can be with water or a solvent that dissolves the contaminant. The contaminated soil should be shifted from its initial place to a location where the contaminated wash water may be collected and treated. Soil washing as well separates small, more unhygienic soil particles from larger gravels or soils.


Air Sparging

Air sparging is a method in which air is forced downward into a contaminated aquifer. Air bubbles move vertically and horizontally via the soil, forming an underground stripper that removes contaminants by volatilization. These air bubbles hold the toxins to a steam extraction system. Air sparging wells may as well be utilized to create a barrier stopping contaminated groundwater.


Pump and Treat

 This technique consists of blowing contaminated water out of the ground, running it via a filter or other treatment system to remove the contamination, and returning the water to the ground. It is effective for any contaminant for which there is a good filter method.


In order to return your property to safe re-occupancy, it is best to find a qualified specialist in this area as it is most important to use proper equipment, solutions and the best cleaning practices when it comes to safe decontamination to reduce liability and any health risks associated with prolong chemical exposure.

How Toxic Chemicals from Illegal Marijuana Grow Operations Can Contaminate Property Making It A Hazard and Uninhabitable

The markets for cannabis use as tripled over the last decade and this is increasing illegal grow operations within suburban housing.  Not only is demand on the rise for recreational use, in recent times we have seen an increase in demand for medicinal uses creating unforeseen problems with illegal grow operations. In particular, concealed grow operations in apartments have increased.

The poorly, enclosed and concealed ventilated operations may concentrate fumes from chemicals and pesticides. However, one of the major problems is potentially toxic levels of mold spores as a result of humid, warm conditions that are normal for growing. The number of commercial buildings and houses that are utilized for planting marijuana is rising. Grow rooms are becoming more common. Grow rooms do cause a great amount of damage to property as toxic chemicals contaminate walls, ceilings and ducts producing a chemically hazardous environment that lingers long after the operation is taken down and the police has handed back the property.

Here are some of the hazards associated with grow rooms:

The most hazardous circumstances prevalent in each grow was the existence of abnormal levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) and ultrafine particles. The growers mainly will utilize industrial grade propane powered burners to deliberately generate excessively CO2 levels to support plant growth. The Propane burners as well inadvertently generate great amounts of carbon monoxide and ultrafine particles. As a result, normal residential ventilation is not capable to handle these contaminants. The concentration of these pollutants can be so high that they can kill a person.

The electrical wiring situation of the grow operations is another most prevalent hazardous situation. Very elaborate and extensive wiring is present within these houses. It is obvious that these wiring never meets electrical code and complicated wiring arrangements and unfaithful exposed are almost always found. The residential cabling system is basically unable to handle the electrical requirements of grow, and because of this, growers often tap directly into the overhead power lines to acquire the necessary electrical power.

Next greatest hazard is the grow-lights used. The grow lights generate huge exposures to UV light. In return, the UV spectrum may not only spoil unguarded surfaces but as well, the UV light is sufficiently energetic to break down airborne materials (such as pesticides or vapors etc) into a soup of other unknown contaminants with unpredictable and unexpected health consequences.

Insufficient ventilation may also cause numerous problems. If humidity is enabled to get too high, or if ventilation exhausts in improper places, such as crawlspaces, attics, chimneys or mold, mortar damage and wood rot can result. Once moisture content attains about 19% in building materials for 48 hours rot and mold will grow to begin digesting the building materials.

Ventilated into chimneys the excess moisture can combine with creosote to produce acids that dissolve mortar. Chimney can then leak into living areas. As mortar crumbles bricks/stones are displaced and can fall out. Growers need ventilation to consume heat, odor, and moisture and bring in the fresh air, in most situations. Some growers will seal the room completely with no ventilation. A sealed room presents, even more, dangers to occupants and building.