Part of a good real estate investment is doing thorough inspections, which includes checking for radon.
Real estate investment is a popular way to supplement existing income or retirement savings. Naturally, a successful property investment means you, as the investor, have done your due diligence on the property’s condition. Including radon testing? Testing for this carcinogenic gas, as well as inspecting any existing mitigation systems, is frequently overlooked during a building inspection. Because radon is only detected by testing, it’s impossible to know if it is present in your investment property without testing.
The EPA has published a radon testing checklist that can help you accurately determine whether radon is present.
- Test the lowest useable building level
- Test in a frequently used room, keeping doors and windows closed except for routine entry and exit
- Don’t use the kitchen, bathroom, laundry room or a hallway for testing
- Avoid testing during high winds, storms or high humidity, place testing device at least 20” above ground level
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions
Most builders, contractors, inspectors and radon specialists use the American Society of Home Inspectors checklist to inspect active and passive radon mitigation systems. An active system includes an electrical vent fan, vent pipe, sealed cracks/joints and a system monitor/alarm. A passive system includes a vent pipe from the sub-slab strata to the eaves or roof, as well as a membrane between the soil and foundation.
If you’re planning to resell, a professional test is almost certainly worth the cost, especially if radon is detected. A professional can advise you on the best mitigation system for your property. Radon mitigation systems are designed to reduce levels to less than 4 pCi/L, the lower the better.
Contractors usually guarantee systems will achieve a specific radon level for a defined time period. You may want to consider other services and warranties. Obviously, a contract will spell out the total cost, including fees and taxes. You’ll also want to spell out when payment terms: when and under what conditions (such as final radon level), as well as the project completion date. Be sure to clarify bond and insurance issues and all parties’ responsibilities during project work.
Whether you are an entrepreneurial real estate investor or simply supplementing your income, you’ll want to protect your investment. Because it’s impossible to predict when and where radon will penetrate a building, testing, mitigation, and system monitoring are essential to minimize exposure to radon. Contact us today for more information or a quote.