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Radon: Testing Tips for Home Sellers

Be proactive, address radon before your home goes up for sale.

The decision to sell your home creates a long checklist of things to do. Naturally, you’ll want to address potential problems; your realtor can advise you about what’s required. As radon-awareness increases, more and more buyers are making radon testing and mitigation contingency items in their offers to buy.

In most states, radon disclosure is required when your home goes up for sale. As the seller, your responsibility for correcting/lowering levels depends on your state and the terms of your sales agreement. Common sense dictates that you’ll want to address the issue before it becomes a problem with buyers. Fortunately, the fix is relatively inexpensive, starting around $1,500, and ranging upwards depending on the specs of your home.

Occurring naturally as uranium decomposes, radon’s presence cannot be predicted by geological features and it is undetectable without testing. The odorless gas enters homes through small cracks and holes in foundations; levels higher than 4 pCi/L are considered dangerous. While high levels can be a deal breaker, once detected, levels can be lowered easily with a variety of mitigation techniques.

Testing is easy and takes up to 96 hours. Except for normal entry and exit, your home’s doors and windows must remain closed during the test. DIY testing devices are available, or you can hire a certified professional. If you choose to do your own test, be aware that potential buyers may want a professional to conduct the test.

Simply sealing cracks in the foundation eliminates entry points into your home and supports other reduction measures. Increased airflow methods dilute radon levels and pressurization can help prevent it from entering through a basement or living area. An air-to-air heat exchange unit, or HRV, swaps house exhaust air for fresh air, increasing ventilation and reducing radon levels.

These methods are often used in combination with other active and passive methods to address radon in the soil beneath your home, similar to the way a French drain draws water away from your foundations. Whether you have a basement, slab, or crawl space these are easily installed and are designed to improve soil ventilation and dilute radon emissions with air.

Testing is easy and a professional contractor, state-certified to handle radon testing and mitigation, can advise you about the best ways to reduce unacceptable radon levels. Get in touch with our experts to learn more about radon testing and what to do about it in your home, before it goes on the market.