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Radon: What You Need to Know If You're Considering Buying a Home



You’ve found the perfect home. It has a spacious backyard, an open-concept kitchen and a finished basement — all things you are looking for in a house. The only problem is that it’s located in a radon zone. Knowing what to ask your real estate agent and how to conduct a test before finalizing the deal can help you make an informed decision about whether or not to buy the home. Here’s everything you need to know about radon and its impact on real estate.



What is radon?

Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas. It is formed from the breakdown of uranium in soil and rock. While the gas itself is odorless and colorless, it can be found in water and soil in some areas. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says that as much as half of all homes in the U.S. have elevated levels of radon. Radon can seep into homes through cracks in foundations. It can also get inside through gaps in pipes and the soil under the home. Once inside, radon can accumulate in large quantities. Breathing in high levels of radon over time can increase the risk of developing lung cancer. Radon levels vary based on where you live. So, it is important to know the risk of radon in your area before buying a home.


Should you test for radon before buying a home?

Testing for radon in a home before buying it can give you a general idea of the risk posed by radon in that house. However, the test may not be completely accurate, as it only samples air in one room of the house for two to three days. Radon levels can vary significantly within a single room, depending on where someone is standing. The EPA advises homeowners to test their homes for radon before buying if they are in a high-risk area and have concerns about high radon levels. LiteHouse Inspect is licensed by the State of Ohio to perform radon tests in the Cincinnati and Dayton areas.


How to test for radon after you’ve bought the home

If you test the home and find that the levels are high, you can have a licensed contractor install a radon mitigation system. This involves installing a fan that is connected to an exhaust pipe that goes outside. The fan pulls radon from the basement and pipe traps it, sending it outside. If you decide to test the home after closing on the deal, you can find a certified radon tester in your area by visiting the EPA’s website, or call LiteHouse Inspect. There are two types of tests for radon: Short-term and long-term. Short-term tests can be done in as little as one day, while long-term tests can take several weeks. The short-term test gives you a general idea of whether the house has high levels of radon. The long-term test gives you an estimate of when the radon levels are at their highest.


Ways to reduce radon levels in your new home

If you test the home and find that radon levels are high, there are a few things you can do to reduce the levels. One of the simplest ways to reduce the amount of radon in your home is to keep the windows and doors open. You can also hire a contractor to install a radon mitigation system. This system uses a fan to send radon from the basement up into the air where it can be released.


How to seal up your home after buying it

If the radon level of your new home is normal, you can try sealing up cracks and holes in the home to lower radon levels. Here are a few things that can help: - Repairing any small holes in the foundation. These measures can lower radon levels in the home and help keep you and your family safe from the dangers of high radon levels.


Conclusion

Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that poses health risks to homeowners. If you are buying a new home, it is important to get an idea of the risk of radon in that house before signing the contract. If the levels are high, you can have your contractor install a radon mitigation system. You can also try sealing up the foundation of the home to lower the risk of high levels of radon.


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