Contrary to popular belief radon testing is not required for real estate transactions and not every home needs a radon test.
The first question to be asked is “Will I be affected by radon in THIS home?”
Radon enters a home from the soil and usually accumulates in the basement. Although radon is common in our area your health will only be affected from long-term exposure.
Will you be spending a significant amount of time in the basement? Is the basement finished into living space? Do you plan on finishing the basement? Is there a bedroom in the basement? If your responses are “no”, typically, you would not be affected by radon and shouldn’t be concerned.
If the answer to any of these questions is “yes”, then you could be affected from elevated levels of radon. To see what I recommend and more info on radon visit my radon page.
Is your home built on a slab or crawlspace foundation? Many people think radon testing is not necessary for this type of construction because there isn’t a basement, however because the living area is in contact with the soil, or close to it with a crawlspace, radon could be present. I usually recommend long-term testing or purchasing a continuous radon monitor for this type of construction because the radon levels could vary dramatically according to environmental conditions.
Most home buyers are not educated about radon and heed the advice of others who also have minimal knowledge or misconceptions about radon and usually end up wasting their money on unnecessary testing.
As you can see from the map, high radon levels are common in our area. There really isn’t a “safe” level of radon - because it is radioactive. So, why are we testing if we know radon exist? Short-term testing is the EPA’s solution to facilitate negotiations during Real Estate transactions. However, they recommend following up a short-term test with a long-term test (minimum 90 days to 1 year) for accurate results. 2-3 day tests are not an accurate representation of the yearly average radon levels, which the EPA bases their recommendations on. Therefore, it is my opinion these tests are a waste of money and can actually be misleading. Additionally, there aren’t any regulations that require radon testing. Many home-buyers may not realize that they can ask the seller for credit or to install a radon removal system as part of the negotiations without testing. Funds could also be placed into an escrow account while a more accurate long-term test is done, if desired.
Hi, I'm Joe Brems, your Quad Cities Home Expert. I will be posting helpful information, maintenance tips, and DIY instruction for homeowners and home buyers. Feel free to contact me anytime with home related questions or any topics you want me to cover here. I hope you find this helpful.