When it comes to buying a home or preparing a house for sale, one of the first things a real estate agent should do is test the property's radon levels. Testing for home radon is important, as this radioactive gas is the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. Regardless of how old a home is, there is always a possibility of hazardous concentrations of radon. Since radon is invisible and odorless, it is undetectable without reliable radon testing.
The Foundation & Home Radon Levels
There are the slab-on-grade foundations and then there are the basement or crawl space foundations. All can sustain high radon concentrations and most home levels can be significantly reduced with radon mitigation.
How Does Radon Gas Enter a Home?
The foundation is crucial to understanding why and how radon enters a home. Since radon is the result of uranium decay in soil, it's no wonder the gas can easilty enter through a cracking foundation.
When Do You Need Radon Mitigation?
The EPA recommends U.S. homes with levels at 4.0 pCi/L or higher should be mitigated. However, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends mitigation for European properties at 2.7 pCi/L or higher. So what's the difference?
According to Dr. Maria Neira of the WHO, a majority of home radon-related lung cancer cases are not caused by high levels but long-term exposure to low or medium levels. Experts feel that all levels of radon exposure can be dangerous.
Categorizing Home Radon Levels
Real Estate and Selling a Home
Any real estate agent should be aware of a home's radon levels before trying to purchase or sell a property. If you are in the process of a real estate transaction, schedule a radon test with your Home Inspector or OES. If there are high concentrations of radon detected, we can mitigate the property to lower, safer levels.
If you're having a home built, radon can still become a problem. Radon is more expensive to repair than to fix from the start. Ask the builder to install a radon-resistant system during the construction. According to the National Association of Home Builders, one in six homes are being built with radon-resistant systems - this means 200,000 homeowners are taking the initiative to protect their families before their homes are even built.
Guaranteed to reduce the radon levels to 4.0pCi/L or below.