You can’t see it, you can’t smell it, you can’t taste it… but it’s in one of every 15 homes in the U.S.
We’re talking about radon, a colorless, odorless, silent gas that’s found in homes across the county — and this radioactive gas has adverse effects on human health.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, radon causes more than 20,000 cases of cancer each year. In fact, it’s a leading cause of lung cancer, second only to cigarettes.
The only way to know if your home has radon is through a test. But what if your home has radon and you want to sell it?
Read on to learn if radon testing is required to sell a home and your options for selling a home with radon.
Why Do So Many Houses Have Radon?
First, the basics: Where does radon come from? This invisible gas is produced when naturally occurring elements — like radium, thorium, and uranium — decay.
Since these elements are commonly found in dirt and rocks, they’re under and around our homes.
While radon can dissolve into water, it usually disperses through the air. A heavy gas, radon sneaks into buildings through cracks and gaps in walls and floors, around pipes and wires, and anywhere there’s an opening.
Then it tends to pool in lowered spots, such as basements and crawl spaces.
High radon levels have been discovered in homes across the country, as illustrated by the EPA’s Radon Zone Map. Radon can be found anywhere, in any structure, from historic homes to new construction.
Does My House Need a Radon Test?
You can’t see, smell, or hear radon, so the only way to know if it’s present in your home is by testing. Because radon is so common and poses a health risk, all homes should be tested.
The EPA suggests testing at least every two years or when you are preparing to sell the home — buyers will ask for the test results.
If the radon test results show levels of 4 pCi/L (that’s picocuries per liter of air), that’s a problem. Radon breaks down into tiny radioactive particles in the air.
When people breathe these particles in, they lodge in the lungs and damage cells. Being exposed to high radon levels has been linked to increased risk and rates of cancer, says the American Cancer Society.
The risk grows with higher radon levels and greater exposure. That’s why it’s important to test your home fairly regularly to determine the levels of radon gas.
How Does Radon Testing Work?
So now that you know why you need one, you may be wondering how radon tests work. Essentially, a test is placed in the lowest lived-in level of your home, about 20 inches off the floor, and left there for a certain period. As levels can fluctuate, it’s important to measure levels over time.
You can do the tests yourself or pay a professional. A long-term test measures radon levels over a 90-day period, or you may do two short-term tests that take a few days.
If results indicate 4 pCi/L or more, you’ll need to take invest in radon mitigation services to solve the problem. Though it’s not cheap, a radon mitigation system can reduce levels into a safer range.
Now You Know What Radon Is, Is Radon Testing Required to Sell a Home?
What happens if you want to sell your home? High radon levels can be a deal-breaker for a buyer. Not only is it a safety issue, but many buyers won’t want to deal with the costs and hassle of radon mitigation.
Many states require home sellers to disclose the results of radon tests to potential buyers. Further, the EPA recommends that all homes be tested as part of the home inspection process.
For many buyers, the thought of purchasing a home with increased cancer risk is enough to make them walk away… or significantly reduce their offer. And the last thing you want to worry about when selling your home is taking on the additional expense of radon testing and mitigation.
Fortunately, HomeGo offers a solution to the radon problem. HomeGo purchases houses in as-is condition, including those with potential health issues, so you won’t have to worry about elevated radon levels. You’ll receive a firm offer on the spot and can close in as little as 7 days. Don’t worry about the expense, hassle, and danger of radon. Move out and move on with a cash offer from HomeGo.