Home and Radon Inspection – What You Need to Know

When it comes to doing a home inspection, there are many who feel that testing for radon is an absolute must while others see no need for it. Radon is a natural, yet cancer-causing, radioactive gas that comes through the ground and into your home via small cracks or holes in the foundation. It’s caused by a breakdown of uranium, radium, and thorium under the earth’s surface, and like carbon monoxide, you can’t see, taste, or smell it. Before you consider testing for radon as part of your home inspection, here are some basics you should know about it.

 

The testing process

 

You can purchase a test yourself, and while they range in price, they typically cost less than $40 with some as low as $10. Another option is to have a home inspector who is a qualified radon tester come in and do the test for you. Usually, if you’re getting the radon test done as part of the home inspection, it’ll be cheaper than getting it done by itself. Alone, it’s usually around $250 while combined with the home inspection you might pay about $100 less. Should you go with the at-home option, you have to keep all the windows and doors in the house closed for at least 12 hours, the test sits for 2 to 4 days undisturbed, then you send it out for testing. Anything that reads above 4 pCi/L is  considered a danger level.

 

Reasons for testing

 

Sure, getting a professional test for radon may seem a bit expensive, but it’s a lot better than the alternative. Surprisingly, according to the National Cancer Institute, radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. Approximately 15,000 to 22,000 deaths annually are caused by cancer brought on by radon.

 

Buying or selling a home

 

If you’re putting your home on the market, you may want to consider testing for radon up front, not only so you could be honest about everything regarding the home, but also so you’re prepared should buyers ask for the results. If you’re buying a home, ask to see the results of the test. The results should be extremely recent and the test should have been done on the lowest level of the house, such as the basement.

 

Reducing radon in a home

 

When it comes to reducing radon in a home, a professional can come in and use a method of a fan and pipes that can reduce the amount of radon in your home, however, it depends on what type of foundation you have in the house. To prevent radon from coming in altogether, the best method is to make sure all holes and cracks are properly sealed.

 

Issues from radon are caused when the gas builds up in an enclosed space rather than when it has a chance to dissipate, and it can cause problems after repeated and prolonged exposure. Doing radon testing a few times a year, especially when you’re buying or selling a home, can prove to be a big asset. Should you have any questions about real estate or about the radon testing process, you can contact Realtor Jennifer Malloy at jennifer@e4realty.com.

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