You’ve been house hunting for months only to find the house you want has increased radon levels. Now what?
High radon levels, if left untreated, pose a serious health concern. You are right to be cautious when financing a new home, especially if radon is present. The presence of radon doesn’t need to kill the deal. Radon can be drastically reduced through a simple and affordable method of mitigation.
The Source of Radon
Radon is naturally occurring: it is produced when uranium, which is found in the earth, rocks, and water sources, degrades into gas. Gasses are drawn to areas with low air pressure, and this causes radon to migrate into nearby homes, gaining access through faults in the foundation.
What is a High Radon Level?
Radon levels are usually quantified in picocuries/liter, written as pCi/L. If a radon test reveals levels at four pCi/L or above, they are considered dangerous, and you will need to install a radon removal system. There are several ways to install these instruments, and they can accommodate houses of more unusual sizes and designs.
The good news: even if your dream house has extremely high radon levels, these systems can be effective enough to dramatically reduce the radon concentration. Systems include pipes, which draw radon directly from its source, and a fan, which prevents radon-heavy air from seeping into living spaces. Repairing cracks in the foundation may also be necessary.
How to Keep Your Costs Manageable
If a radon test reveals high levels, ask an expert to walk you through the removal process. It is also smart to ask the seller of the house to cover the costs of testing and removal. You have a bargaining tool here—every potential buyer will need to remove the radon, so you can argue that covering that cost is necessary to make a sale.
High radon levels may be unsettling, but they should not prevent you from buying the house you love. With a combination of expert assistance and bargaining, you can reduce radon levels in a potential new house at little cost to you.