When buying a home-should I get a radon test? What exactly is Radon?

The most common procedure for radon testing during real estate transactions is for the potential buyer to request the radon test as part of the overall home inspection. A radon test is generally a separate service and must be requested.

In Michigan, nearly 1 out of every 8 homes would be expected to have a radon problem, and in some counties, as many as 40-45% of the homes could have problems, according to EPA. The only way to know is to test.
Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that is tasteless, odorless, and colorless. It comes from the radioactive decay (breakdown) of radium, which comes from the radioactive decay of uranium, both of which are found in at least trace amounts in almost any kind of soil or rock. Granites, shales, phosphates, and certain other types of rock have higher than average concentrations of uranium, and as such, may produce higher concentrations of radon. However, elevated radon levels can occur even in areas with low concentrations of uranium in the soil or rocks.

Radon is a Class A carcinogen, which means it is known to cause cancer in humans. According to EPA, it is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking, and results in approximately 21,000 lung cancer deaths in the United States each year. Not everyone who breathes radon will develop lung cancer. Your risk is determined by such things as how much radon is in your home or work.

Any home could have a radon problem, whether it’s in an area with a high radon potential or an area with a low radon potential, or whether it’s old or new, energy-efficient or drafty, built on a slab or built over a basement or crawlspace. Radon is a tasteless, odorless, colorless gas, there are no physical signs that will alert you to the presence of radon in a home. The only way to know whether your home has elevated radon levels is to test your home. There are no physical signs to warn you of the presence of radon, and it cannot be detected with the senses.

If you are purchasing, selling, or you just want to test the radon in your home or work, there are a few ways to go about this simple testing. You can hire a qualified tester or you can use a do-it-yourself test kit. Contact me and I will be happy to give you a few inspectors in your area.

Testing your home for radon is too easy and too affordable for you to bypass. After all, your home is where you spend most of your time and your family’s health is too important.

As always, health and safety come first for my clients. Contact me, Caron (248) 379-6651 if you would like more information on testing prior to selling or planning on purchasing a home and having the property tested.

Caron Koteles Riha is a licensed Real Estate Broker with Real Estate One.
Email, Text or Call Caron at (248)379-6651 or Caron@CaronKoteles.com

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