Radon Testing for Real Estate Professionals and Home Buyers
What is Radon?
Radon is a radioactive gas that has been found in homes all over the United States. The gas is produced during the natural breakdown of uranium in soil, rock, and water. Radon typically moves up through the ground and into a home through cracks and/or holes in the foundation. Radon can also enter your home through well water brought in through the plumbing system. Nearly 1 out of every 15 homes in the United States has elevated levels of Radon (4pCi/L or more).
How Can Radon Affect Your Health?
According to the U.S. Surgeon General, “Indoor radon is the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the United States and breathing it in over a prolonged period of time can present a significant health risk to families”.
Sellers: Testing for Radon During Real Estate Transactions
Radon can be detected through a simple test and fixed through well-established venting systems. It’s important to test a home for radon during real estate transactions because you can’t predict radon levels based on past state, local, or neighborhood radon measurements. Houses that are right next to each other can have different radon concentrations. We recommend testing your home before putting it on the market. If you would like to test your residence, consider hiring a qualified radon measuring professional like Guzi-West Inspections. Our certified staff will measure your home’s radon levels, provide a written report of findings, and if your home contains elevated levels of Radon (above 4pCi/L as determined by EPA), we will recommend solutions. Re-testing should be conducted after any remodel or renovation.
Sequential short-term testing is typically used for real estate transactions. With this kind of testing you should expect the following.
- Closed building conditions 12 hours prior to testing and throughout testing.
- Following the 12-hour closed building conditions, two passive radon tests will be placed in the lowest livable area of the home. These will be left for 48 hours and must not be disturbed.
- Once the tests are collected, they’ll be immediately shipped to a certified laboratory for analysis. Lab results will be sent to Guzi-West Inspections, where we will interpret the results and issue a detailed report of findings.
Buyers: Reviewing Radon Reports
If a radon test is not provided to you when buying a home, don’t hesitate to ask for one and add it to the requirements in your contract. Provisions may include who will conduct the test, what type of test will be done, and when the test will be done.
Important questions to ask when provided with a radon report:
- When was the radon test conducted? EPA recommends testing every 2 years and/or after any renovations or remodeling.
- Are the test results above or below the EPA guidelines (4pCi/L)? If high levels of radon are detected, is there a mitigation plan?
- Where in the home was the test conducted? The test should be conducted in the lowest lived in area of the home. For example, if a basement was repurposed and is now being used as a bedroom, a re-test should be conducted.
- Who conducted the test? Was it a certified professional?
More information can be found in the EPA Home Buyer’s and Seller’s Guide to Radon here.
Contact Radon Measuring Professionals at Guzi-West!
The team at Guzi-West has 30+ years of experience in hazardous material consulting. We pride ourselves on offering affordable services and simple solutions to complex problems to help keep you and your family safe.
Contact us today!
Redding: (888) 351-8189
Arcata/Eureka (North Coast): (707) 388-3008