Recommending a radon gas measurement test for a client’s home, before a transaction is complete, can only add an additional hurdle to a complicated event. If you, the real estate agent, are on-board with the belief that the presence of radon gas in your client’s home can have a profound effect on their health then, by-all-means, request a radon test.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), radon is a radioactive gas that has been found in homes all over the United States. It is a result of the natural breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water. It makes its way into our homes through small cracks and holes in the foundation and floor slabs. Since radon gas is heavier than air it settles in the lower levels of our homes.
You can’t smell it…or taste it…or see it, but nearly 1 out of every 15 homes in the United States; 1 out of every 3 Minnesota homes; and 4 out of 10 metro homes have elevated radon levels (4pCi/L or more). According to the U.S. Surgeon General, “Indoor radon gas is the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the United States and breathing it over prolonged periods can present a significant health risk to families all over the country. It’s important to know that this threat is completely preventable. Radon can be detected with a simple test and fixed through well-established venting technologies”.
Radon levels in your client’s home cannot be predicted based on test results from other homes in the neighborhood. One house may have an acceptable level whereas the home that is 50 feet away can have an elevated reading. Testing is the only way to find out what your client’s home radon level is.
If your client’s home needs to be mitigated due to high levels of radon gas, the cost of correcting is approximately $1,000 to $2,500. Often the owner of the home may realize that they cannot sell an unsafe home and are willing to negotiate. It is not worth putting the health of your client at risk. Clients will appreciate that you care, especially if the test results are elevated.
So recommend that your client have their home tested for radon gas. If the test results come out low they will have peace of mind to know that radon gas is not an issue in their new home.