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RADON GAS INSPECTION - About one in 4 buyers perform a Radon inspection along with their Building Inspection. Radon is a colorless, odorless, radioactive gas formed in the decay of radium, and radiates through the earth's crust. This naturally occurring gas has been proved to cause cancer. Radon gas can accumulate in buildings, especially in confined areas such as basements. It is a significant health hazard, causing over 20,000 lung cancer deaths per year in the United States alone. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer, after smoking. According to the environmental protection agency, 1 in 15 American homes has elevated radon gas levels. For a seller who is being relocated by their employer through a national Relocation Company, a Radon Test is required as part of the home sale process in order for the transferee to receive the relocation benefits. For testing, a small monitoring canister is placed on each level of your home for 2-3 days. Windows need to remain closed during the test, and doors should be opened and closed quickly. After the 2-3 days, the inspector returns to retrieve the canisters. The level of radioactivity detected by each canister is then read and a printed report of the daily levels is provided.

The cost of radon mitigation runs from $700 to $950. A variety of methods can be used to reduce radon in homes. Sealing cracks and other openings in the foundation is a basic part of most approaches to radon reduction. EPA does not recommend the use of sealing alone to limit radon entry. Sealing alone has not been shown to lower radon levels significantly or consistently. In most cases, a system with a vent pipe(s) and fan(s) is used to reduce radon. These "sub-slab depressurization" systems do not require major changes to your home. The fan and vent pipe system is attached to the side of your home with the intake vent pipe starting below the basement floor and the exhaust vent pipe extending past the roof. Similar systems can also be installed in homes with crawl space. These systems prevent radon gas from entering the home from below the concrete floor and from outside the foundation by creating a vacuum and expelling the gas through the vent pipe extending above the roof.

Safe radon levels are below 4 pCi/L. If your home tests above this level, our buyer will ask for mitigation. My experience has been that about 75% of sellers agree to mitigate if their property fails a radon test. If you are unwilling to mitigate, a suggestion would be to consider splitting the cost with the buyer. But if the buyer threatens to walk unless you agree to mitigate at your complete expense, I highly suggest for you to reconsider. If our current deal dies, and you have me put the home back Active on the market, before doing so, we have to revise the Seller's Disclosure Statement and disclose to the next buyer the results of this failed radon inspection. When the next buyer sees this, they will most likely require you to mitigate as a part of their offer. Or, if buyer was willing to purchase knowing the failed test results, would their offer be less than what we have with our current buyer? 

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For more info on Radon…..
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radon_gas  --- Definition of Radon
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http://www.openhearth.us/glossary.asp  --- Scroll down to Radon Gas
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http://www.radon.com/radon/radon_levels.html  --- Safe Radon Levels

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Steve Studnicki
Steve Studnicki
Broker Salesperson
2402 N Highway 67 Florissant MO 63033