There are two main reasons that a homebuyer should be concerned with radon. The first is to protect your family's health and the second is to protect your wealth. Insisting that a radon test is performed, as a stipulation in your purchase contract, will help you to protect both.
The harmful effects of radon have been scientifically proven. The United States Surgeon General has also issued a specific health advisory in regards to radon. Families with members who have previously smoked tobacco should be especially concerned since their risk for radon induced lung cancer is 15 times higher than non-smokers. High levels of radon have been discovered in every county in every state in the nation. Also, children are more susceptible to radon than adults.
The second reasons to be concerned about radon in your new home are the financial costs. Not only do financial costs arise from the health problems associated with radon exposure, but radon remediation can also be costly. If you purchase a house with high levels of radon present but don't insist on testing and remediation when necessary, the cost of that remediation could be passed to you when you attempt to sell your house. If your new buyer insists on radon testing and remediation, that responsibility could fall to you in order to satisfy that particular homebuyer's requirements.
But even if you do test for radon in your home, how can you be certain whether the test results are accurate? Make sure you obtain a copy of the EPA document "Homebuyer's and Sellers Guide to Radon". There is a simple Radon test checklist inside that is very informative. The main concerns for buyers are assurance that tampering was not an issue during the test. Closed house conditions are needed for 12 hours before the test and also during the test period are absolutely critical to accurate test results. Even something as simple as opening the doors or windows after the inspector has left and closing them before he returns, can result in a lower, less accurate reading.
You should also ensure the inspector you choose is certified with the National Radon Proficiency Program (www.NRPP.info) or the National Radon Safety Board (www.NRSB.org). It is also important that he post a notice that a radon test is in progress and uses seals on the doors and windows to detect any possibility of tampering during the process. You should also set a 12 hour delay on his instrument to insure" closed house condition" for 12 hours before starting the test.
Once the testing is complete and if your test result is high, make sure you stay involved in choosing the mititgation contractor. It is sad to say but most sellers having to pay for the mitigation will select the lowest proposal for mitigation, not necessarily the most qualified. As the old saying goes "You get what you pay for." Low-ball mitigation bids come from companies who cut corners, lack proper insurance and do not use certified electricians and plumbers to do the work. Insist that your new home is mitigated by the best —DP Enterprises. We talk the talk and walk the walk.
And don't forget, you can contact us if you have any questions regarding your own home or building or the testing and remediation processes in general. Call 434-525-6941 today and put our knowledge and expertise to work for you!