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Radon Gas Levels: Ways to Help a Real Estate Deal Survive an Alarming Test Result

May is Radon Gas Awareness and Testing Month at Ground Floor Home Inspection. There are several facts and recommendations from the EPA, WHO, and certified specialists that should be known and adhered to here in Colorado. Many home buyers and sellers approach the presence of radon gas tentatively, although there are new testing methods and mitigation systems that can take the fear factors out of the deal, even if the home tested high for radon gas. Some folks hear that radon gas causes cancer and they panic, needlessly. Radon gas can easily and inexpensively be reduced to a level that is suitable, by industry standards.

In Colorado Springs, radon gas tends to test higher closer to the hills and mountains. Areas such as the Broadmoor and Cresta, Woodland Park, Cripple Creek, Divide, Manitou Springs, and Florissant typically test over 4.0 pCI/L, so be prepared for those results. This doesn’t mean that the flatter areas of town are all at a safe level. Additionally, the thought that radon doesn’t affect a property if the home doesn’t have a basement isn’t correct either. Radon exists in different levels in all parts of our region, and will enter a home’s foundation whether part of the living space is below ground, or not.

If a properly-placed, short-term radon gas test reveals a level of 4.0 pCi/L or higher, the EPA recommends a long terms test, however, a long term test is normally not possible in a real estate transaction. The home can easily be supplied with a mitigation system to get the level down to a suitable level. At that point, helping a buyer or seller to contact a qualified radon mitigation contractor to fix the level in the home is recommended because lowering high radon levels requires specific technical knowledge and special skills. Being equipped to assist at that moment will help to alleviate possible future problems with a contract.

Computerized monitor tests are the most current way to test a property for radon. These monitors can be read on site and give more accurate test results that the older method of setting out a canister test. An example of an excellent radon gas monitor is the Sun Nuclear 1028 machine, which is what is in use at Ground Floor Home Inspection, upon request.

Easily calm potential buyers before they have a reaction to a high test level. Share the facts with them. Radon mitigation works and techniques are not prohibitively expensive for a home buyer or seller. In most cases, sealing the foundation coupled with a simple fan system is the most effective and least costly. Many times after high radon results are recorded, the buyer and home seller have spilt the cost of a mitigation system and the real estate deal goes forward without a hitch. A contract can simply be amended to afford a mitigation system. A motivated seller will want to have one installed to protect a future contract and will happily pay this cost ahead of time, if they are aware of a high presence of radon at their property.

Top radon gas reduction companies in the area will handle things easily for a home owner or buyer, and that should relieve some of the tension during a Real Estate deal after test results come back high. A good contractor will come to the property for free and provide a free estimate. He will let all parties know about the system that will work best for the property type. Most good companies will also offer a discount to come back to the property and retest the home to make sure the installed system is working properly. After a radon reduction system is in place, a home should be tested periodically to ensure the system is working optimally to keep radon gas at a safe level within the living space of the home.

Being prepared is by far the best way to thwart a deal-breaker when it comes to radon gas testing during a home inspection. Helping a home seller get their property tested prior to listing is a great idea so there will be no surprises after the home inspection. A certified radon technician can set up a canister test kit or computerized test to assist. This can be an important part of a presale home inspection, as a potential buyer will want to know the home has a low radon gas level and the seller will already have this part handled.

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