Radon | What is it and Why is it important? That’s what we are talking about today, let’s get started!
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As your Monmouth County REALTOR® I love helping people with the home buying and selling process. One important thing to be aware of as a buyer or a seller is Radon.
If you’ve been considering a move to the Monmouth County area stick around and I”ll explain to exactly what Radon is and why you need to know about it.
At the end of this video I’ll give you a few very important links with additional information on Radon and how to protect yourself, So, stick around.
So, let’s get started! What is Radon?
Radon. What is it? Is it dangerous? Are there any health risks? And what do you do if you find out your home has it!
Radon is a cancer – causing radioactive gas. You cannot see it, smell it or taste it, but it may be a problem in your home. Did you know radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer, second only to smoking? Radon comes from the natural breakdown or decay or uranium. Uranium is found in rock and soil. The crazy thing is, there is NOTHING we can do about it and you really can’t predict which homes are going to be affected by it.
Quick overview of Radon in the USA.
Before we go any further. Please understand, all states in the country have radon. Recent statistics show that 1 out of every 15 homes have elevated levels. Monmouth County does have slightly higher elevation levels of radon. The EPA has a great website that is interactive if you want to investigate further. You can look up your own state and county and find out if you have an elevated level of radon in your area. You will find a link to this site in the description box.
How does radon even enter my home?
So let’s start with how does Radon enter your home? Radon enters homes through openings that are in contact with the ground, such as cracks in the foundation, small openings around pipes, and sump pits. It can creep in without you even knowing it’s happening!
Should you test for radon?
If you are my client and we are working to help you purchase a home, my answer is simple 100% you should test for Radon. Testing is the ONLY way to know your homes levels of radon. Keep in mind a slight presence of radon is not an issue, it’s when the levels are high, and I”ll address that in a minute.
Also keep in mind, there are no immediate symptoms to alert you of the presence of radon. Testing is the ONLY way to protect yourself.
How do I test my home?
Testing your home for radon is easy and homes with high levels of radon can be fixed (mitigated).
A buyer MUST hire a certified business to conduct a radon test. This is usually done at the same time as your general home inspection. Your inspector will leave a small canaster in the home for a few days and will then pick up and send off to a lab for testing.
They do sell at home testing kits for about $25.00 each but a buyer must used a certified specialist. These home tests are good if you want to periodically test your own home for radon. You can pick one up locally at a Home Depot or Loews.
Buyers, if I have one piece of advice, it would be to test for Radon when purchasing a home in Monmouth County to alleviate all doubt. The New Jersey Department of Health stated that one in six homes here in New Jersey have elevated levels of radon. Monmouth County overall has a moderate to high risk of Radon. So why take any risk, do the test so you can protect yourself and your family!
How do you interpret a radon test?
Now this is tricky and VERY important. Most homes have a very low level of radon so don’t freak out. The test report will usually give your radon reading in picocuries per liter (pCi/L). pCi/L is a measure of how much radiation is in a liter of air. The DEP and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) both recommend that you take action to mitigate your home if your test results indicate radon levels of 4 pCi/L of radon or more. 4 picocuries or less is what you want. And yes, 4 or less is totally safe.
If you home has radon can you fix the problem?
So you found a house you love, you’re excited and then you find out after your inspection the levels of radon are high. This is a totally fixable problem. It is truly not the end of the world. The process is called mitigation. You will want to have a radon reduction system installed. The most common type of radon mitigation system is the sub-slab depressurization system. (INSERT SLIDE) The cost of a mitigation system may vary according to the home’s design, size, foundation, construction materials and the local climate. Radon reduction systems average costs nationally are $1,200 with a range from $800 to $1500 common depending on house and market conditions. Click Here for more information!
Most people tend to test for radon when they are buying or selling a home. Keep in mind, radon levels can change over time, so it may not be a bad idea to check every few years.
It is against the law for uncertified contractors to do mitigation work in New Jersey.
As promised, if you would like to check out the official website and gather all the important information regarding radon, simply click here!
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