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  1. #1
    Sheng Hsiang Chou's Avatar
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    Default Grow op suspect clues in attic

    Recently, I looked at an attic from the access hatch of a house built in the 50's. There were some clues which leads me to suspect it may have been used as a marijuana grow operation. However, as far as I know from my grow op recognition training, I have not seen or heard the first two clues below:

    1. Wooden sticks suspended on the ridge beam, and rafters. This is very unusual -- what could it have been used for? To hang light fixtures perhaps? If so, why?
    2. The insulation throughout the attic is flushed with the ceiling joists, resulting in only about an R-12 insulation level. This is somewhat unusual.
    3. Three electrical light fixtures in the attic. This isn't too out of the ordinary, as some attics may have lights to help with attic maintenance.
    4. Roof boards have many dark stains, indicating high levels of moisture. This seems quite ordinary for an attic of an old house that may have leaked in the past or has very poor ventilation.

    There does not seem to be any other clues in the house that would indicate a possible grow op.

    Does anyone here have experience in recognizing these clues in the attic to conclude it to be a grow op? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Grow op suspect clues in attic

    In my opinion, that is nothing to suspect such a weed growing operation. Be very careful in "assuming" anything or mentioning such a thing to your client. You kill a deal for something like that and the seller would have your arse in a pot.

    JMHO

    rick


  3. #3
    Sheng Hsiang Chou's Avatar
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    Default Re: Grow op suspect clues in attic

    Thanks Rick! Yes, you're right, I do need to be very careful, that's why I had advised my client to ask the seller as to why those wooden sticks were installed. This shifts the burden of responsibility to the seller to provide a reasonable explanation without having me to draw the wrong conclusion. However, for my future reference, I would like to know what other more experienced inspectors think about these clues so that we can all learn from each other.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Grow op suspect clues in attic

    All of the items you described could have several alternative possibilities, and "grow op" isn't anything I see when I look at the pics.

    I saw a shower rod installed in an attic once, but I doubt that they used the attic for a shower. (It was used to hang old clothes, so I was told.)


  5. #5
    Philip's Avatar
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    Default Re: Grow op suspect clues in attic

    'grow op recognition class'??? You should be kidding, but I know you are not. Maybe you should ask High Times. If there is nothing growing and all I see is sticks hanging from the rafters and they are not causing any problems, then there is nothing to go into the report.


  6. #6
    Bud Butczynski's Avatar
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    Default Re: Grow op suspect clues in attic

    Who would give a sha-zizzle, anyway & why?


  7. #7
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Grow op suspect clues in attic

    Hmmmm

    I would like to find a few thousand pounds, move to California and open up a corner store, sell it all, and retire


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Grow op suspect clues in attic

    Gentlemen, grow ops in attics DO EXIST -- see the pics I found after searching on the net. For the case I encountered, most of the evidence may have been removed, so we must act as detectives, open our minds by raising questions about why things look the way they do, with the evidence that remains. What I saw were things that didn't make too much sense -- things that were out of the ordinary. For example, aside from the hanging wooden sticks I mentioned previously, let's talk about the insulation. Why is there so little insulation even though the insulation looks fairly new and clean? Were they trying to reduce the insulation level so that they could lay wooden boards over the ceiling joists to make a large flat even surface? Anyhow, I don't want to just bury my head in the sand and ignore it.

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  9. #9
    Philip's Avatar
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    Default Re: Grow op suspect clues in attic

    Quote Originally Posted by Sheng Hsiang Chou View Post
    Gentlemen, grow ops in attics DO EXIST -- see the pics I found after searching on the net. For the case I encountered, most of the evidence may have been removed, so we must act as detectives, open our minds by raising questions about why things look the way they do, with the evidence that remains. What I saw were things that didn't make too much sense -- things that were out of the ordinary. For example, aside from the hanging wooden sticks I mentioned previously, let's talk about the insulation. Why is there so little insulation even though the insulation looks fairly new and clean? Were they trying to reduce the insulation level so that they could lay wooden boards over the ceiling joists to make a large flat even surface? Anyhow, I don't want to just bury my head in the sand and ignore it.
    What good does it do. The house you are thinking about buying was once used as a grow room? Are you going to report a house that once had say a child molester living there, or the first owner of the house is in pen for murder. Yes, we are detectives, but not in the manner you ascribe to yourself. What had once occured in the house not relating to costruction defects or maintenance issues is really none of your business.


  10. #10
    Mark Howe's Avatar
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    Default Re: Grow op suspect clues in attic

    Quote Originally Posted by Sheng Hsiang Chou View Post
    Gentlemen, grow ops in attics DO EXIST -- see the pics I found after searching on the net. For the case I encountered, most of the evidence may have been removed, so we must act as detectives, open our minds by raising questions about why things look the way they do, with the evidence that remains. What I saw were things that didn't make too much sense -- things that were out of the ordinary. For example, aside from the hanging wooden sticks I mentioned previously, let's talk about the insulation. Why is there so little insulation even though the insulation looks fairly new and clean? Were they trying to reduce the insulation level so that they could lay wooden boards over the ceiling joists to make a large flat even surface? Anyhow, I don't want to just bury my head in the sand and ignore it.
    So what? They exist and have existed in lots of places. Outside of some electrical or ventilation etc. issues that should be reported regardless, what relevance does the that fact that pot may have been grown there have? Do you report signs that pot may have been smoked in the house? Do you report random bong sightings? Do you report the beer can crack pipes that the crews left in the attic or under the house? Where does your detective work end?

    Nothing you have shown or said has much of anything relevant to do with a home inspection. Canadian pot laws being what they are, you probably couldn't raise a yawn out of anyone even if you determined definitively that there was a grow op. I am also curious as to why you inspected from the hatch. Looks like there is plenty of room up there and plenty of places to stick that stained wood to get a moisture reading.

    Something tells me that the people who offer 'Grow Op Recognition' classes could also help with your 'toxic mold' education.

    Seriously, there is plenty to be concerned about with a house of that age. A grow room would be at the bottom of my list of concerns. But then, I'm a home inspector, not a hero.

    Reefer madness. Indeed.


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Grow op suspect clues in attic

    Not haveing taken an Grow Op Awareness class I don't know all the signs to look for but there are a number of questions you have not answered.

    If there is a small hatch, that would imply it is difficult to access the attic space. Difficult to bring up materials to create a floored area in the attic. Difficult to transport water, potting soil, pots, plants, and difficult to extract the product when fully grown.

    There is no obvious signs of additional ventilation in the attic space. Only 3 lights? I would expect to see left over wiring and fixtures strung all about if a grow op.

    What I see is an attempt to increase the insulation to make the home more habitable by a home owner. A few odd sticks in the attic to use as a temporary storage bar for off seaon clothes or just to get them out of the way. Could have used the sticks to help install the insulation and just to lazy to bring them down when done.

    Why would a Grow Op remove any flooring in an attic before they abandoned the home? Too much labor and no payback. Ok they may be able to salavge a few sheets of plywood but it seems like the work to remove is not cost effective.

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  12. #12
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    Default Re: Grow op suspect clues in attic

    Just found some porn magazines in a crawlspace. Should I notify my client that some possible weird masturbation practice has been going on under the house.

    Anyone.

    rick


  13. #13
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    Default Re: Grow op suspect clues in attic

    I hope we got our point across, if not I suggest you join the RCMP. Rick, just how long did it take to inspect that crawlspace?


  14. #14
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    Default Re: Grow op suspect clues in attic

    Who are you? What kind of "clients" do you have? Are you a realtor? property manager? Student? What HI would not actually enter the accessible attic or use such terms, etc.?


    Those small "sticks" above and near joists below are running boards to protect the electrical cable and provide a surface to secure them running 90 degrees below rafters in unfinished attic, larger "sticks" are cross bracing, blocking, etc."

    Larger "sticks" between rafters are ties, necessary because joists below run at 90-degrees from direction of roof rafters on this hipped end attic.

    Obviously insulation doesn't blanket over the joists below because whomever needs to be able to navigate the area and wouldn't know where it is safe to step. Likely same reason for three (oh my gosh) light fixtures - to be able to see so they don't punch through the ceiling below steping between the joists!

    Insulation appears fairly new - perhaps recently replaced or uncovered prior layer above, due to old having been wetted, or even sooted, who knows? Did you look under it anywhere?

    Black appearance and delamination might also be old FRT plywood decking, does that and deteriorates when exposed in unconditioned under ventilated attics. Might also be moisture /leaking from above, bypass from below, condensation, blocked, previously meant to be open eaves by insulation, etc., might also be sooting or carbonization from heat of fire incident.

    Cannot see detail of insulation, but doubt your conclusions regarding R-12 level, etc. Looks to me to be white (or is that blown in "snow"?), you provide no details regarding depth or its make-up. Eaves look stuffed up or are those chutes can't tell with lousy photo quality.

    Your photo quality, lighting, and detail leaves much to be desired, as does your descriptions and detail. From what limited information and how you have stated it, and the poor quality of the photos provided, does not support your conclusions or theories of a grow-op.

    Why would an HI be making such conclusions? report what you see, smell, etc.

    Heck, for all you know someone could have been "cooking meth" up there, the area is still contaminated, and you've been exposed!

    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 09-14-2010 at 11:29 AM.

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    Default Re: Grow op suspect clues in attic

    Quote Originally Posted by Sheng Hsiang Chou View Post
    Gentlemen, grow ops in attics DO EXIST -- see the pics I found after searching on the net. For the case I encountered, most of the evidence may have been removed, so we must act as detectives, open our minds by raising questions about why things look the way they do, with the evidence that remains. What I saw were things that didn't make too much sense -- things that were out of the ordinary. For example, aside from the hanging wooden sticks I mentioned previously, let's talk about the insulation. Why is there so little insulation even though the insulation looks fairly new and clean? Were they trying to reduce the insulation level so that they could lay wooden boards over the ceiling joists to make a large flat even surface? Anyhow, I don't want to just bury my head in the sand and ignore it.
    Then enter the dang attic and INSPECT it, don't just poke your head up through the access hatch! "Detecting"?!??!?! that's a JOKE!

    Even if it is "under insulated" by today's standards, You think this, by itself is substantiation to suspect a GROW OP?!? LOL!

    Having such a large tall attic space - perhaps someone used the area for STORAGE? unlike you, perhaps they went in there?!? What is the basis for your "so little insulation" statements anyway? Who knows, perhaps fuel is/was cheap, prior owners never gave it a thought, who knows, who cares WHY. Report your VALID, supportable findings/observations and make repair/remediation suggestions, which you can't really have any if you never actually entered and inspected the attic in the first place, now can you?


  16. #16
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    Default Re: Grow op suspect clues in attic

    I have seen a few go ops in attics.
    Each one had the attic vents blocked off (to prevent the grow lights from being seen from the outside).
    Each one also had some weird electrical up there to power the grow lights.
    One had plastic vapor barrier all over the ceiling joists.

    I am way more concerned with meth labs. TN is 2nd in the country just behind Missouri. Our local paper has been running a story on meth labs since Sunday. You can read it at knoxnews.com

    I was once on an inspection and found a big bag of pot in an attic. I called the Sheriff and when he came out he told us he had been at this house many times before, and had busted it for being a meth lab. When he was walking around the house he pointed out where they had shot a guy, and pointed to a brown stain on the wall and said "thats where one of the perps tried to jump thru the window and got cut up on the broken glass.

    Since this was all new info for my client, and no one had mentioned it was a past meth lab, he stopped the inspection at that point. I was just wondering how much chemicals and crap I had been subjected to.


  17. #17
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    Default Re: Grow op suspect clues in attic

    Not a grow op per se but possibly the attic was being used for drying purposes either culinary herbs, Asian medicine, or even harvested marijuana curing in the heat of the attic?


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  18. #18
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    Default Re: Grow op suspect clues in attic

    Hey HG try inhaling, you might get more out of it!


  19. #19
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    Default Re: Grow op suspect clues in attic

    Grow ops are a real problem in this part of the world, so you should point it out when some of the warning signs are there. As Raymond pointed out, you probably don't want to be on the next episode of Marketplace or Holmes on Homes.

    I have called the police to confirm whether a house was a known grow op. They will tell you if they knew about it.

    The ones I have seen have all been inside the house. A cold attic is probably a poor place to grow pot in the winter. Look for spilled soil and strange smells. If all you see in the attic is the mould on the sheathing, it was most likely caused by excessive air leakage into the attic (pot lights are really bad for this), or a bathroom fan that vents into the attic.


  20. #20
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    Default Re: Grow op suspect clues in attic

    I have found some weird stuff in attics. I figure its the homeowners business and if they arent hurting anyone, who cares. I guess the thing for a "Grow Op" would be some roof decking damage from moisture, etc. If so, I would just report the decking damage and leave it at that. They may have been growing legal tomatoes for all we know.

    I dont know if the attached photo was the homeowners, kids, or AC installers.

    Maybe too small a bottle for an AC installer.........

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  21. #21
    Lucy Rabbit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Grow op suspect clues in attic

    Quote Originally Posted by Philip View Post
    What good does it do. The house you are thinking about buying was once used as a grow room? Are you going to report a house that once had say a child molester living there, or the first owner of the house is in pen for murder. Yes, we are detectives, but not in the manner you ascribe to yourself. What had once occured in the house not relating to costruction defects or maintenance issues is really none of your business.
    I guess, after reading everyone's atta boy to you for such a stupid reply the comment I am about to make will not make me very popular here ...However, complacency and stupidity are two things in which I don't tolerate well. Especially when someone has a reasonable question.
    To respond in reply to this remark ..IT IS EVERYONE INVOLVED IN THE SALE OF THE PROPERTY OR PROPERTIES BUSINESS...AT LEAST FROM AN ETHICAL STAND POINT. DOING YOUR JOB IS NOT LOOKING OVER SOME OBVIOUS QUESTIONS BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT YOUR BUSINESS. IF YOU HAVE A CONCERN OVER AN INSPECTION, FULL BLOWN APPRAISAL, OR EVEN AS ANOTHER PARTY OF THE DEAL (BROKER, BANKER, RE AGENT...OR LAWYER) YOU ONLY BECOME PART OF THE PROBLEM AND MAYBE PART OF THE NAMING PARTIES IN A LEGAL SUIT. It does not matter to me from a "don't do drugs type of rant" ..I could care less if I buy a house from a dope smoker, grower, lazy ass bum, or some organized crime bad boy...but what I do care about is the structural damage that would be a factor in just about any grow house that is put on the market. From the observations on the surface it may appear structurally sound.... but pay attention to environmental issues that the person you are representing may have on their hands. Not to mention the health problems passed on to the future owners the grow house . Grow houses are housed with lots of humidity and lots of non visible mold may be lurking. They may have small kids who crawl around the floors or sleep under venting in the house that still has remaining debris from the chemicals and moisture. You also should educate your self to the fact that they may be using the plumbing system and the chemicals are very corrosive. The chemicals may be taken away by the plumbing into a leach field that poses a whole new set of EPA issues. I could go on and on but to turn a blind eye does not make you a good inspector but questioning to protect your buyer does. It may not be your responsibility to act as law enforcement and this guy handled the situation with grace. He had the clients ask the questions. The buck stops with the first observation and if that is you then you have an ethical responsibility as well as a legal one. That is one of the problems with the whole industry now. It's not about acting like a detective...it's about doing your job and doing it right. IF you do not notice it then that is different but to turn a blind eye because your not a detective is pure bullshit.


  22. #22
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    Default Re: Grow op suspect clues in attic

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Hurst View Post
    .
    Just found some porn magazines in a crawlspace. Should I notify my client that some possible weird masturbation practice has been going on under the house.

    Anyone.

    rick
    .
    Rick,

    I thought we agreed Never to Mention that again.
    *
    .

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  23. #23
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    Default Re: Grow op suspect clues in attic

    A house used for growing is not the same thing as an attic used for drying. Should have learned that in Grow Op School.

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  24. #24
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    Default Re: Grow op suspect clues in attic

    HG's gett'n crazy...

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  25. #25
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    Default Re: Grow op suspect clues in attic

    If this was some kind of growing or drying operation - my personal inclination is that it was neither due to lack of flooring, irrigation, additional wiring and other evidence - then quick calls to the local utility company to ascertain previous utility bills and local PD should provide some clue. The damp/stained roof decking looks like it it was from a (perhaps previous) deteriorated roofing material. The seller and listing should indicate the age of the roof. The insulation may be new, (used R11 instead of R16) either because none was originally installed or it was possibly damaged by moisture due to the leaky 'old' roof and new insulation was installed following a re-roof.

    In any event - report what you see without drawing unsubstantiated conclusions and, if necessary have the agent(s) verify or disclaim by the owner. If the home had been used for some illegal purpose, then the buyer should be made aware if at all possible. They certainly would not want to be subjected to a mistaken home-invasion by unsavoury characters expecting to find the previous occupants. The buyers also have a responsibility to do their own due diligence especially with matters not related to the integrity of the structure and its components

    ip


  26. #26
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    Default Re: Grow op suspect clues in attic

    y'all c'mon down and get you a snooter full of some "joint" compound
    then we'll talk grow-ops
    unless test results are positive only the shadow knows ;-))

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  27. #27
    Darrel Hood's Avatar
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    Default Re: Grow op suspect clues in attic

    I have chosen to address the situation by simply reporting that the listed deficiencies (water staining, deterioration, permanent extension cords, etc) appear to have been caused by the use of the area to grow plants.

    That way I have identified the deficiencies and my best effort at identifying the cause. I don't care if they grew pot, pansies or just stored peat moss.

    Darrel Hood
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  28. #28
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    Default Re: Grow op suspect clues in attic

    Quote Originally Posted by Sheng Hsiang Chou View Post
    Recently, I looked at an attic from the access hatch of a house built in the 50's. There were some clues which leads me to suspect it may have been used as a marijuana grow operation. However, as far as I know from my grow op recognition training, I have not seen or heard the first two clues below:

    1. Wooden sticks suspended on the ridge beam, and rafters. This is very unusual -- what could it have been used for? To hang light fixtures perhaps? If so, why?
    2. The insulation throughout the attic is flushed with the ceiling joists, resulting in only about an R-12 insulation level. This is somewhat unusual.
    3. Three electrical light fixtures in the attic. This isn't too out of the ordinary, as some attics may have lights to help with attic maintenance.
    4. Roof boards have many dark stains, indicating high levels of moisture. This seems quite ordinary for an attic of an old house that may have leaked in the past or has very poor ventilation.

    There does not seem to be any other clues in the house that would indicate a possible grow op.

    Does anyone here have experience in recognizing these clues in the attic to conclude it to be a grow op? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
    The first signs of a grow op would be increased electrical sockets.
    most grow opp's are not suspended from ceiling but floor systems.
    Tables and catch trays to spread water.
    4 by 8 sheats of plywood with 8 inch wals that cubes of rockwool are placed in and a water system to flood the table every 12 hours.
    The venting would crawl up walls in bulkheads and chimney flues to exit the home at the highest level.
    First start with wiring panel. Some beef up to 208 3 phase
    The haylight bulbs to create warmth and rays needed for growing take large amounts of electricity.
    Then the chimney or false bulkheads.
    Normally a bunch of dryer venting laced throughout the home.
    You would spot humidity readings almost everywhere at higher than normal readings, in all materials.
    You would do an attic inspection looking for any extra holes that have been cut unprofessionally in the ceilings. sometimes continuing out the roof decking.But not always. Hench-forth the mold.
    The growing medium and plants take huge amounts of water.
    If the opp has been there some time you will spot mold in the attic quite easily.
    It a mass of hack workmanship. You will know by the first one you visit.
    .
    Everything is done in haste and the homes are left vacant quickly when the


    There would be a heavy smell of green in the air even months after a opp has left the dwelling. You will find added venting.

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  29. #29
    Mark Howe's Avatar
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    Default Re: Grow op suspect clues in attic

    Quote Originally Posted by Lucy Rabbit View Post
    I guess, after reading everyone's atta boy to you for such a stupid reply the comment I am about to make will not make me very popular here ...However, complacency and stupidity are two things in which I don't tolerate well. Especially when someone has a reasonable question.
    To respond in reply to this remark ..IT IS EVERYONE INVOLVED IN THE SALE OF THE PROPERTY OR PROPERTIES BUSINESS...AT LEAST FROM AN ETHICAL STAND POINT. DOING YOUR JOB IS NOT LOOKING OVER SOME OBVIOUS QUESTIONS BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT YOUR BUSINESS. IF YOU HAVE A CONCERN OVER AN INSPECTION, FULL BLOWN APPRAISAL, OR EVEN AS ANOTHER PARTY OF THE DEAL (BROKER, BANKER, RE AGENT...OR LAWYER) YOU ONLY BECOME PART OF THE PROBLEM AND MAYBE PART OF THE NAMING PARTIES IN A LEGAL SUIT. It does not matter to me from a "don't do drugs type of rant" ..I could care less if I buy a house from a dope smoker, grower, lazy ass bum, or some organized crime bad boy...but what I do care about is the structural damage that would be a factor in just about any grow house that is put on the market. From the observations on the surface it may appear structurally sound.... but pay attention to environmental issues that the person you are representing may have on their hands. Not to mention the health problems passed on to the future owners the grow house . Grow houses are housed with lots of humidity and lots of non visible mold may be lurking. They may have small kids who crawl around the floors or sleep under venting in the house that still has remaining debris from the chemicals and moisture. You also should educate your self to the fact that they may be using the plumbing system and the chemicals are very corrosive. The chemicals may be taken away by the plumbing into a leach field that poses a whole new set of EPA issues. I could go on and on but to turn a blind eye does not make you a good inspector but questioning to protect your buyer does. It may not be your responsibility to act as law enforcement and this guy handled the situation with grace. He had the clients ask the questions. The buck stops with the first observation and if that is you then you have an ethical responsibility as well as a legal one. That is one of the problems with the whole industry now. It's not about acting like a detective...it's about doing your job and doing it right. IF you do not notice it then that is different but to turn a blind eye because your (you’re?) not a detective is pure bullshit.
    "However, complacency and stupidity are two things in which I don't tolerate well. Especially when someone has a reasonable question." (One would think that someone with your powerful intelligence might be able to compose a complete sentence, but I digress).

    I beg to differ. I think you have an extraordinary tolerance for stupidity. Your lack of understanding makes me think that you may be somewhat complacent as well.

    First of all, while the question was reasonable, so were the responses. Almost every response included a caveat about moisture, electrical, ventilation issues etc. that might be present. I guess you missed that little point in the midst of your self-righteous fury.

    “….but what I do care about is the structural damage that would be a factor in just about any grow house that is put on the market. From the observations on the surface it may appear structurally sound.... but pay attention to environmental issues that the person you are representing may have on their hands.”

    I suppose that you can prove that there is structural damage in just about any grow house? That statement is so ridiculous I wasn’t going to respond, but I couldn’t help myself. Do you really believe that the experienced home inspectors who have posted in this thread would miss these problems even though “on the surface it may appear structurally sound”?

    Next, WHAT chemicals? Do you mean chemical fertilizers used in amounts that produced no toxicity in the plants (can't make money if you kill your product), the same chemicals that are in the fertilizer that is applied to almost every lawn in the country every year? Do you mean pesticides like the ones your neighbor uses on his tomato plants? How are these scary chemicals carried away into the plumbing? Have you ever actually seen a grow-op? Do you understand how plants grow indoors? If you have some EVIDENCE of grow ops introducing environmental hazards into a home, I am sure that we would all be interested in reviewing the EVIDENCE. And please, while you’re at it, could you provide some evidence regarding “the health problems passed on to the future owners the grow house” (I assume you mean “owners OF the grow house)?

    Forgetting for a moment your lack of understanding of what grow-ops are and are not, and your inability to read and comprehend perfectly logical posts, I would like to ask you who you are. There are no Lucy Rabbits on the roster of licensed HI's in AL. I could not find Lucy Rabbit on a google search of realtors or appraisers. I can only conclude that you don't have the courage to use your real name. It is not difficult to anonymously post on the internet. Millions of people flame away anonymously on sports and political forums every day. This however, is a professional forum. If you don’t have the balls to post your own name and stand by your asinine comments, why should anyone give weight to your rant?

    I may well be wrong (I don’t know because you are hiding behind anonymity), but you sound like someone who just got out of a third rate HI school last week. Just like a lot of noobs, you know exactly what is wrong with this profession and how to fix it. In the short time (6 years) that I have been a Home Inspector, I have seen literally hundreds of noobs expound on the problems and shortcomings of this ‘Industry’ (actually a profession, but I digress again). So far, every one of them has been as FOS as a Christmas goose. Count yourself in that number. You know where the buck stops, and what our legal and ethical responsibilities are, but you aren’t ethical enough to use your real name and stop the buck at your own desk.

    I would suggest that you educate yourself by reading and listening to those with more experience and a broader knowledge base before you come here and tell real HI’s what is and is not bullshit. I know bullshit when I run across it, and my meter is pegging after reading your post.

    Grow a set and use your real name.
    KOKO


  30. #30
    Darryl Saam's Avatar
    Darryl Saam Guest

    Default Re: Grow op suspect clues in attic

    Wow some ill comments among colleagues..Positive answers to any questions legitimate or not are more helpful and constructive. If some one has questions is it not better that they ask and get professional responses to help them learn, rather than not ask the question out of fear of sarcastic or insulting responses......


  31. #31
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Spokane, WA
    Posts
    116

    Default Re: Grow op suspect clues in attic

    Wow! How do you feel about your first post Lucy? I share the same opinion as most on this subject. Whether or not a grow op has been present in the attic is not relevant to the sale of the home or the safety of the client. When I went through the school my instructor repeated over and over “see what you report and report what you see”. That’s it. Don’t make assumptions that cannot be supported by facts. If there is evidence of high moisture, report it. If there is evidence of unnecessary ventilation systems, report it. If there is excessive electrical, report it. Now if it were a meth lab that would be a different story. As a HI you are hired to protect the best interest and health of your client. The residual effects of a meth lab are a real safety hazard to the occupants. If there was evidence of a possible meth lab, I would investigate myself to see if there is any documentation on public record to support my suspicion. I would report my findings without making assumptions. If I report that there is evidence of a meth lab and the client walks away from the house, I better be able to support that with more than “I found some camp stove fuel and cough medicine”. Doing this is a great way to get labeled as an alarmist within the Realtor community and may even wind up defendant in court. With a pot growing operation, there is little to no residual health concerns. The possibility of damage to the home exists but if it is there you report it as that. Mildew like substance found on the underside of the roof sheathing, less than adequate insulation, extension cord installed as permanent wiring. Recommend further evaluation and repair as necessary by a qualified professional. Done!
    For the record I also want to say that I very seldom write on this forum. I love to read the posts but I also like watching Jerry Springer. So many times a simple question or comment gets turned into an argument where some of you just attack and belittle each other. I think it should be a forum for discussion, not attacks. People (myself included) should not be scared to write their opinion.


  32. #32
    James Duffin's Avatar
    James Duffin Guest

    Default Re: Grow op suspect clues in attic

    You said that very well Bill....and I totally agree with what you said.


  33. #33
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    No. San Diego Co., CA
    Posts
    562

    Default Re: Grow op suspect clues in attic

    Bil

    Though I largely agree with your post - I beg to differ (somewhat) with regard to your statement of "...little or no health concerns..." etc. Though the act of growing the product - and it's short term storage - creates little ill-effect, the residual effect of potential mold growth within the growing area, is of real concern and should not be dismissed. OTH chemical labs are a whole 'nother story.

    Furthermore, as I stated in an earlier post, these Grow Ops and the growers are often the target of home-invasions by other criminal elements. It would be more than unfortunate if the new buyer, unaware of the home's previous history, was subjected to such an invasion, having not taken appropriate safety measures.

    However, like you, I fully agree to reporting what you find without jumping to conclusions or alarming the client as to an issue you may have little first-hand knowledge about.

    ip

    Last edited by Ian Page; 02-25-2011 at 02:44 PM. Reason: shcpellin and punkchuashon

  34. #34
    Darrel Hood's Avatar
    Darrel Hood Guest

    Default Re: Grow op suspect clues in attic

    Ian,
    Before I buy a home, I check the public records of the police department for the address and the neighborhood. That is how your concern about the criminal element is addressed. I don't see this as a role for a home inspector.

    Darrel Hood
    DILIGENT PROPERTY SERVICES


  35. #35
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    No. San Diego Co., CA
    Posts
    562

    Default Re: Grow op suspect clues in attic

    Darrel
    I applaud your diligence, in checking with the local law enforcement, but most home buyer's don't. I didn't mean that this avenue should be included as part of a typical HI - nor is it included in any SOP, as far as I am aware. I was merely refering to the possibility that dangers do exist when purchasing a home which has a questionable or clandestine background, (from a variety of sources - not just the integrity of the structure) and, if that comes to light during the inspection it does no harm in advising the client of your observations and knowledge, as long as you have some expertise in the matter and not just SWAG.

    ip


  36. #36
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Grow op suspect clues in attic

    I see on many occasions that the inspectors check city records for this or that......why is what I ask. Further discovery is for the clients and or Realtor. If neither party wish to partake in checking things out deeper such as criminal activity, permits, sellers disclosure.....then that's life.

    I am there to inspect and report on what I find at the time of the inspection. It is the clients duty to follow up on any of my findings. It is not my responsibility to hold anyones hand after the inspection. If they have questions afterward or a year later they are more than welcome to call and I will do my best to answer any questions they may have....without calling or going to the city hall for any reason what so ever.

    As far as the moldy or water stained underside of the sheathing, electric cords, lack of adequate or over abundant ventilation....that is what I report. Now if there were dried up hemp plants or buds lying around or books on growing weed...that would be another story but I would just report the findings and let the client/Realtor have at it.


  37. #37
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Vancouver
    Posts
    202

    Default Re: Grow op suspect clues in attic

    Before reporting a grow up, think. to me it looked like a drying operation which was done by old people for herbs and garden items in the old days. could have it been one for "weed" sure, but what is important is the stucture and the shape of things currently. Did drying anything out hurt anything? probaly not. but that is what you are there to see. could it use more insulation sure easy fix. report what you see not what could or might have been. you could fill books on could of or might have been. what matter is what you need to report. keep your report honest and smiple and fill it with pic's of what you see good and bad, not with what might have been.


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