What is Radon and Why Should You Have Your Home Tested For it?

radon

Whether you are buying a home or selling a home you should have it tested for radon. Even if you are building a home you should talk with your builder about radon resistant features that can be added during the construction process to prevent a possible radon issue later on. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) it is estimated  1 in every 15 homes in the U.S. has an elevated level of radon.

What is Radon? 

Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas. It is odorless, colorless, and untraceable to the naked eye. You can not see, taste, or smell radon.  It is produced from decaying uranium and it is very dangerous at high levels! The only way to tell if a home has high levels of radon is through radon testing.

Why is Radon Dangerous?

High levels of radon can be very dangerous. It is important to have a home tested for radon to ensure you do not have high levels of radon in your home. Radon is a radioactive gas that can cause lung cancer over time. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer. That is pretty scary! You can never smoke a cigarette your entire life but get lung cancer because of something inside your home!

Why Should You Have Radon Testing Completed?

Many people learn about radon when they are buying or selling their home and become concerned if a radon test is needed. A radon test is not something that you should skimp on in the house buying or selling process. Levels of radon can vary from state to state, town to town, neighborhood to neighborhood, and house to house. Just because your neighbor didn’t have high levels of radon doesn’t mean that your home will not have high levels. It is very important to have your home tested for radon. Radon testing is important because it is the only way to determine the levels of radon in your home. Any house of any age and any build can have high levels of radon.

Can Radon Testing be added to a Home Inspection? 

At Ellingwood Pro, we offer radon testing as one of our services. I recommend getting a radon test completed at the same time as your home inspection. This allows you to be sure the home you are buying is safe. When adding it on as part of the home inspection it allows you to have the home inspection the same day too making it just a little more convenient for you. You can view details on our radon testing here.

What Happens if a Home Has High Levels of Radon?  

If a radon test comes back with high levels of radon it is fixable! During a real estate transaction, it may be best to discuss the results with the buyer and seller to come to an agreement on how to best address this concern. If you are testing your home and no other parties are involved you can begin lowering levels of radon in your home a few ways. First, you will want to be sure that all cracks and openings in the foundation are sealed. You can use a polyurethane caulk to help seal the cracks. You will also want to look at other areas of your home such as the sump pump and concrete to ensure they are sealed tight. It is important to note that sealing the home alone will not fix your radon issue entirely so you will want to install a radon mitigation system to vent the home properly. Your state radon office will have a list of qualified contractors that can complete the radon mitigation process properly.

Radon is pretty scary and is not something you should skip over during the home inspection and/or buying process. No matter where you live or what style of house you are buying a radon test should be at the top of your list to ensure you and your family’s safety long term in your home. Remember it is not something that you will randomly see or smell one day so be sure to have radon testing completed to be safe!

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