I must admit that during my home hunt I never gave much thought as to whether any of the properties could have once been grow-ops. Someone would surely mention it, I thought. Plus, I figured any of the problems, such as mould, would come up during my home inspection.
But after watching the CBC Marketplace premiere (airing tonight at 8:30 p.m.) I feel like I was probably too optimistic.
With the help of Mike Holmes, the show takes a hard look at former grow ops and the home inspection industry - with results that had me taking a second look at my floors, ceilings and walls "just in case"!
They estimate that there's a former grow op on every block across the country. And many may be sold without the buyers having any idea of their home's past.
That's a problem because these houses can have everything from wiring issues - the show says grow ops are 40 times more likely to catch fire than a regular home - to structural damage and leaks due to the cutting of vent holes and mould, which can cause poor air quality and damage walls and beams. Repairing these can come with a hefty price tag.
Holmes says prospective buyers should look for warning signs like venting left in the attic, holes cut in the fireplace, ceilings and floors and mould, which is often visible in the attic.
Marketplace hired four home inspectors to look at a former grow op, and all of them missed all the signs - which, Holmes says, is an indication the industry needs a revamp.
I found it a fascinating - if paranoia-inducing - watch, so, if you've got more exciting plans for a Friday night, I'd recommend setting those DVRs.