Buying Real Estate, Selling Real Estate

Radon – Q&A

Radon FAQ’s

What is Radon?

Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive soil gas that is produced by the natural breakdown of radium and uranium in soil and rock. The geology of Western North Carolina creates a higher than average potential for elevated indoor radon levels in our homes.

Why is it a problem in my home if it’s natural?

Outdoors, radon is in the air we breathe but in diluted relatively harmless quantities. Inside of our homes it can accumulate in dangerous concentrations. According to the US EPA, radon is the #1 cause of lung cancer among non smokers.

How does it get in my house?

Radon (and other soil gasses) seeps through cracks and openingsin the foundation, basement and/or crawl space of your home. Because warm air (inside your house) rises, it creates a slight vacuum pressure in the house, pulling the gasses inward and upward.

How do I know if I’ve got a problem?

The only way to know for sure is to test. A radon test is not expensive. It is really better to know if your house tests high than to ignore it. You might not have a problem, even if your neighbor’s house does. What is the recommeded level?  Below 4.0 pCi/L at a minimum.  If your house tests for high levels of radon, you can fix it. Radon mitigation systems are a viable option.

Are radon mitigation systems expensive?

Costs to install a radon mitigation system depend on the type of structure and what the regulations are in your local community. Typically, total costs between $800 and $2,000.  Installation can often be done in one day.

I’m selling my house and the buyer wants a test. What do I do?

Most homebuyers will request a radon test as part of the real estate transaction. Buyers should hire a certified testing technician to ensure accuracy. If your house tests high, you will likely be asked to pay to have a mitigation system installed to lower the radon levels in the house. Many concerned homeowners are testing for radon and taking the necessary pre-preemptive measures to deal with the problem (if there is one) while they are still living in their home. They have decided to enjoy a healthy home while they are still living in it, rather than paying for this work when they sell and move.

I’m buying a home. Should I request a radon test?

Yes. All homes should be tested. And always require that the person you hire be independently certified to place and retrieve radon tests. Your realtor can help you arrange this. If the home tests high for radon, you may be able to ask that the seller pay for the professional installation of a mitigation system.

Who can “fix” my home if elevated radon is detected?

The state of North Carolina does not license or certify radon mitigation contractors. That is why you should consider seek out the services of an independently certified professional. NRSB (National Radon Safety Board) and NEHA-NRPP are independent certification bodies dedicated to professionalism in the radon industry. Get multiple estimates and references just as you would for any home repair/improvement.

As always, contact the House Into Home team with all your real estate needs, questions, and concerns.  336-7O1-JUDY.

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