What Homeowners Need To Know About Radon


Radioactive Baby

Radioactive Baby

There’s been a lot of talk recently about Radon gas, where it comes from, why it’s bad, and what you can do about it. Radon is a radioactive gas that comes from the decaying of uranium. It is found in almost all soils to some degree, and it finds its way into your home through foundation cracks, gaps around pipes, or sometimes well water. It is odorless,  invisible and tasteless.

The EPA estimates that nearly 1 in 15 homes has radon gas present (but they also believe in global warming and that driving electric cars will save the planet). Anyway, you can test for radon with a kit available in home stores, or you can hire a professional to test for you. The benefit of using a professional is that they can recommend methods of mitigation if significant levels are detected. If you want to find out more about this issue, check out the NC EPA site for more information.  By the way, radon is measured in “picocuries,” and if your home registers more than 4 picocuries per liter of air, the EPA thinks you need to take action to reduce the levels. It has been shown to be a carcinogen, and if you’re a smoker, you have double trouble.  The solutions aren’t complicated, and usually involve some kind of fresh air transfer in the lowest level of the home.

One of the newest concerns around radon is the idea that it may be present in granite, which is right now the most popular countertop surface in our homes.  The EPA doesn’t believe that there is sufficient data to support a concern over granite, but they will be monitoring it.

In any case, if you have a basement, granite counters or walk into the lowest level of your house and don’t see or smell anything, it might be radon! Remember, your kids crawl around on those floors. If that scares you, I’d start with an over the counter test and go from there.


2 Responses

  1. Many home sellers avoid the issue of radon because they are concerned about scaring off potential buyers. The problem is that many buyers now are requesting radon tests and mitigation prior to closing. My advice is to test for radon before listing the home. If you need mitigation, take care of it before you have a buyer. That way you can avoid the unexpected roadblock that can interfere with closing.

  2. Travis has a point. If you suspect you might encounter this problem, it might be wise to be out in front of the problem.

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