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Should You Get A Radon Inspection When Buying A Home?

Radon inspection

When shopping for a new house, you're typically going to be paying attention to things like the neighborhood, foundation, how many bedrooms/bathrooms, etc. As a prospective homeowner, however, you also need to be aware of any issues that could lead to potential disasters down the line, one of which is radon. While physical disasters, like a cracked foundation or roofing issues can be frustrating and expensive to deal with, radon can literally be deadly. Radon is the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the country, and unfortunately, the potential for radon build-up in homes in the Short Hills area can be high. To help highlight why it's so important to get a radon inspection before buying a home, our skilled home inspectors have put together the following list.

What Is Radon Gas In Homes?

Radon is a naturally occurring organic radioactive gas that comes from uranium deposits in rocks and soil. It's odorless, colorless, and tasteless, making it virtually undetectable without special equipment. According to the EPA, one in 15 houses has elevated radon levels, and without a radon inspection, yours might be one of them and you would never know it.

Should I Buy A House With Radon?

Although radon is radioactive, it will usually take years or decades for radon poisoning to build up and cause cancer. So even if your new home has high radon levels, it's not a death sentence right away. Over the long term, however, you will definitely want to invest in a radon mitigation system of some kind, otherwise you could be putting yourself and your family at risk. Without a radon inspection, however, you can't determine what your home's radon levels are or what you need to do to ensure your safety.

Testing For Radon When Buying A Home

Some sellers will test for radon before selling their home, but even if they have, there are a couple of factors you'll want to consider.

  • Type - Radon tests come in two types: short-term and long-term. A short-term (48 hours) test can indicate whether or not you have safe levels of radon in your home, but you don't know if those levels are consistent. A long-term (90 days) test is far more accurate and will give you a better idea of what to expect.
  • Age - If the owner's radon inspection was over two years ago, you should most definitely have it inspected again.
  • Testing Area - Radon gas comes from uranium underground, meaning that basements and crawl spaces are often going to have the highest concentrations. If the previous homeowners only tested the upper floors, it's in your best interest to have the lower levels inspected as well.

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