No one can say that Canada’s criminals aren’t creative: grow-ops have been busted in Canadian cities including the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) in unique locations in recent years.
In September, a grow-op was found in an abandoned Saskatchewan movie theatre. In November, a GTA condominium was found to have a massive grow operation on the roof. In 2004, the former Molson Brewery in Barrie was found to contain more than 30,000 marijuana plants. (Creative locations or not, none were guarded by a brigade of actual live bears like a recent grow-op found in British Columbia).
After a home or building is used as a grow-op, it can become a health hazard because of the toxic black mold that thrives in grow-op conditions. While whoever ends up selling the building or home may clean it up, homeowners still may be in danger without a mold inspection.
Winter makes it a lot easier to spot neighbour homes that may be used as grow-ops. For one, the steam coming from the vents built throughout the grow-op is much more visible when grow-ops vent the extra heat and humidity to the outdoors. This also leads to snow not being able to build up on the roof because of the heat. If a roof has patches that are snow-free despite cold temperatures and thick snow cover on the rest of the roof, it could be a grow-op.
Canadian police have said that grow-op numbers in Ontario had reached “epidemic proportions”. Houses are still a favourite for people running grow-ops, and grow-ops don’t discriminate: everything from abandoned and run down houses to newly-built houses in the suburbs have been used as grow-ops, and with them come toxic mold infestations. There is little recourse for homeowners who buy grow-op homes after the fact. A mold inspection is always a wise investment on top of a standard home inspection before buying a home.
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