Written by | Adam Frers of BPG Property Inspection Services
Your Client found the perfect home. You schedule your home inspection and your inspector offers you a radon test as a part of the transaction. Unfortunately, many Clients and even some Real Estate Professionals view Radon testing as a process that just complicates the transaction - but it doesn't have to be that way.
Is Radon That Much of a Risk?
According to EPA estimates, radon-related lung cancer kills an alarming 21,000 people each year. To put the risk in perspective - about 10,000 people die per year from crashes as a result of a drunk or impaired driver (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration). Awareness as to the risks of drunk driving is much greater than radon- although it causes more than double the deaths per year. So protecting homeowners from the risks from radon is an opportunity to save a life.
Which Homes Need Testing?
According to the EPA, radon is found in every state. It's a naturally occurring radioactive gas produced by the breakdown of uranium in soil, rock, and water. Because the air pressure inside your home is typically lower than the pressure in the soil around the foundation, radon is drawn into the home through cracks in the foundation. High radon levels occur in older homes, new construction, homes with basements and homes on a slab or crawlspace.
What if the Radon Test Indicates a High Concentration?
The good news is that even if a home has high radon levels- anything above 4 pCi/L, radon mitigation is relatively simple. Qualified radon mitigation contractors can install a radon mitigation system that provides a permanent solution. The system is comprised of one or more PVC pipes that run from the radon-emitting soil beneath a home up through the roof. A fan draws air through the system so it does not encroach the living spaces. Once installed, a follow-up radon test is completed Typical radon mitigation systems can cost between $1.000-$2,000 depending on your home’s structure and the contractor selected to perform the work.
You Can Ask for a Seller Credit
If the radon test reveals actionable radon levels, you may be able to ask the seller for a price reduction that covers the estimated cost of remediation. Since high levels of radon are a life-safety issue, it is an item that is difficult for the Seller to dispute as it will impact this transaction or any future buyers.
So don't skip the radon test-- you could be saving a life.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Adam Frers has been a licensed home inspector in North and South Carolina since 2007 and has performed over 4,000 home inspections. If you wish to contact Adam or schedule an inspection, please see the contact information listed below.
SCHEDULING | 800.285.3001
CELL | 704.492.4842
EMAIL | firstname.lastname@example.org
WEB | www.bpgwi.com
FOLLOW ADAM ON INSTAGRAM | @inspectoradam
[The topics listed in this blog are solely the opinion of the author and they are not intended to act as legal advice. Buyers and sellers should rely on the professional expertise of their real estate professional and legal counsel when purchasing and selling a home.]