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What Every Realtor Should Know About National Radon Month

by Adam Neale, President & Owner of S.W.A.T. Environmental | Dec 28, 2016

Radon is a cancer-causing, radioactive gas that can be present in homes. Whether working as a buyer’s or seller’s agent, you should always advise your clients to test for Radon – before a home goes on the market for sale, and definitely before making an offer. 

Scary though it may be, Radon is one of the simplest issues a homeowner might encounter. Testing is inexpensive and easy to conduct, and clear air quality results can be realized quickly when a venting system is installed. Radon mitigation systems can typically be installed in under 4 hours.

Homeowners can order test kits online, or purchase them at hardware stores for under $25. Tests should be placed in the basement (whether finished or unfinished) at least 2 feet from walls, elevated off the ground. Start the test after 12 hours of “closed conditions,” meaning no windows or doors should be open. Remember when testing to replicate the actual living conditions of the home; HVAC can be run as usual, and you may enter or exit the home. The test relies on the device’s exposure to a minimum of 48 hours of indoor air at the lowest liveable area of the home.

Following testing the kit is sent in to an independent lab. If a home has a reading above 4.0 pCi/L mitigation by a certified radon professional is recommended.  The home can be re-tested 3-5 days post-installation. The existence of Radon should never stop a home sale: by testing and mitigating before the home hits the market, the radon system can be listed as one of the property’s perks – and prospective home buyers can purchase with confidence that the air quality of their new home is safe.