What You Should Know About Radon

Buying

Radon is a radioactive gas that you cannot see, and has no odor or taste and it can cause cancer. According to the Surgeon General, Radon is the 2nd leading cause of lung cancer in the USA.

Radon can be found in homes all over the country. The EPA suggests that every homeowner knows what their indoor radon level is. Also, potential homebuyers should find out Radon levels in a home they are thinking about purchasing. Make sure your Realtor asks the seller’s agent or attorney for their radon test results. If the home has a radon-reduction system, ask the seller for information they have about it.  And, if the house has not been tested, you should absolutely have a test ordered. If you are purchasing new construction, there are some things that can be incorporated into the home  to reduce the radon levels during the construction.

If you are considering putting an offer on a home, you could accept an earlier test result from the home’s seller, or ask the seller for a new test to be conducted by a qualified radon tester.

Before you accept the seller's Radon test, make sure to consider the following:

•  Who conducted the test: the homeowner or a qualified radon professional?
•  What room in the home was the test was taken? If the home has a basement, and the test was taken on the first floor, if you want to make sure another test is performed in the basement.
•  Find out if there has been any structural changes, alterations, or changes in the heating, ventilation or air conditioning system since the test was done. These changes could effect radon levels.

If you decide that it’s okay to accept the seller's Radon test, be sure the testing followed a specific Radon Checklist. If you decide that a new test is needed, discuss it with your real estate broker as soon as possible; she can refer you to a qualified Radon testing company.

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Include the following provisions with the contract:

•  Discuss where in the home the test will be performed.
•  Find out who will conduct the test.
•  Ask what type of testing needs to be done and when the test will be done.
•  How you and the seller will share the test results and costs.
•  When radon mitigation measures will be taken and who will pay for them.

You should make sure that the test is done in the lowest level of the home that is livable. This means the lowest level of the house that you plan to use as any kind of living space, that is finished or doesn’t require renovations. If you decide to finish or renovate an unfinished area of the home in the future, a radon test should be taken before starting the project and after the project is finished. It’s typically less expensive to install a radon-reduction system before renovations rather than afterwards.

Radon-resistant techniques can vary for different foundations and site requirements. For more detailed information about this and other home testing, please contact me!

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