Are you buying your first new home? Is a radon inspection a necessary part of the pre-sales process? Before you agree to a contract or hire a testing contractor, take a look at what you need to know about home radon level inspections.
What Are Radon Tests?
To understand the answer to this question, you may need to take a step back and ask—what is radon? Radon is an odorless, colorless gas that's present in nature. Not only can't you see or smell this gas, but it's also radioactive. The gas comes from the naturally-occurring breakdown of uranium in the Earth's soil, rocks, or water sources.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this radioactive gas is the second cause of lung cancer in America. As the name implies, home radon level tests check for the presence of radon. These tests measure the level of radon (if any) present inside the home. This alerts the homeowner of its presence. With this information, you can treat the problem and reduce the risks of this radioactive gas.
How Does Radon Get Into A Home?
Your soon-to-be new home seems strong and well insulated. How could radon get inside? The gas often enters homes through barely noticeable cracks or holes in the foundation. Some radon may also enter through well water (if the home has a well). The home can trap radon, allowing the gas to build up inside.
Why Should You Test Your New Home?
When was the last time the current homeowners tested the interior space? If the sellers have never tested their home, haven't had it tested professionally for several years, or don't already have a mitigation system in place, you need to schedule a pre-sales test. This test can reveal the presence of radon and help you to take the next steps. Failure to test the home could put you or your household members at risk.
What Should You Do If the Test Reveals the Presence of Radon?
Should you continue with the home sales process if the test shows the presence of radon? The answer to this question depends on your personal preferences. But many homes in the United States have this odorless, colorless radioactive gas. It's possible that other homes in your area (or other areas in your home search range) will also have elevated radon levels.
Even though radon is a health hazard, you can reduce its presence. A qualified radon mitigation contractor can evaluate the issue and install a soil depressurization system. This type of system can significantly decrease the level of radon in your new home. After installation, you will still need to schedule periodic radon level inspections to ensure your home's safety.
For more information about radon inspections, contact a local company.