Buying a Home: Do You Really Need to Test for Radon?

You trust your realtor.  They have found you a house which meets your wants & desires. Because your realtor is thorough and wants you ultimately to be safe, he/she has recommended that you get the house checked for Radon before you buy it.

 

Should I listen to my realtor?

Yes!

You have scrimped and saved for this day, so should you spend more money on Radon testing? Yes!

 

The next step: hire a skilled and knowledgeable person

This is key to your ultimate happiness. After all, let’s not have any big surprises. There may or may not be Radon gas in your prospective home.  Is it there or not? That is why you have it tested.

 

Important information:

Radon is a gas

Radon (Rn) is a natural radioactive, colorless, odorless, tasteless gas that forms as the result of uranium decaying in soil which enters the home.

 

Radon is in most homes

Radon occurs naturally in minute quantities in homes throughout the USA.

 

 

 

How Radon is measured and what is considered dangerous

Radon is measured by picocuries per liter of air (pCi/L).

The EPA has set a short-term “Action Limit” of 4pCi/L for indoor air. The EPA recommends fixing the home if the radon level is 4 pCi/L or higher. The average indoor radon level in the United States is about 1.3pCi/L.

Even though the EPA threshold is 4pCi/L, action to reduce indoor radon levels is recommended when readings are 2.0 pCi/L & above.

 

What can happen if radon levels are high

High levels of radon become harmful when it becomes trapped inside a house.

Radon is a dangerous gas & has been blamed for 20,000 yearly deaths from lung cancer & is currently the second-leading cause of lung cancer, behind smoking.

 

Professional testing vs. a home kit

 

Professional Radon testing can tell you if the radon levels in your home are dangerous.

Since you cannot see, smell or taste radon, the only way to know if it’s in your home is by performing a radon test.

Although there are Radon test kits available on the market today, they are not the most accurate. These are referred to as a passive form of radon testing. They can provide affordable results but it also takes time to get them, as the homeowner must mail the detector back to the lab & wait to hear back.

The EPA recommends hiring a professional to actively and digitally test for Radon.

 

Finding the right Radon test professional

Questions to ask:

  1. Do they do active testing?
  2. Are they insured?
  3. Have they done this type of testing before or are they new to the process?
  4. Do they know the criteria for conducting a valid test?
  5. Will they give you a timely, written report of the results?
  6. CAUTION: I cannot stress enough that you get what you pay for, so don’t cut corners here.

 

A professional will provide you with a report and will explain the results.

 

 

Move in knowing you have done a great job!!

Be secure in the fact that you have done all you can do. You have made good decisions that has allowed you and your realtor to do your best.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tom Nolan, Owner, Checkmark Home Inspections, is a home inspector in the Mooresville, NC / Iredell County region. With over 46 years experience in the industry as a OSHA Consultant, Safety & Security Manager, and Professional Engineer, he knows what to look for when inspecting a home. His key to success is being detail-oriented and focused on the facts. Contact him at (704) 621-7176 or through www.checkmarknc.com.

 

 

 

 

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