Don't Fear the Radon System!
This finished basement already has a radon mitigation system
Here in New England, we have to be concerned with a substance known as Radon. Radon is a gas that is naturally emitted from the lovely rock formations (known as ledge) that are inherent to our land. Radon gas has no odor, and no color, and the reason it is a concern is that it is a cancer-causing gas.
Did you know that Radon exists in the air that we breathe? Yes, if you live in New England, you are probably breathing radon right now. It quite commonly seeps into the air in our homes, usually via the foundation or even the water, if a home is serviced by a well. Even granite countertops can emit small amounts of radon. And in small doses, it is relatively harmless*. But when radon starts to collect in high doses, it can indeed become a health hazard.
This gas has existed naturally in our environment for who knows how long. Yet most people are quite naive about radon. In fact, when I show a home that has a radon mitigation system, most buyers, out of fear and lack of understanding, will pass on making an offer on that home.
So, I am here to say: If you find a home that you like, and it has a radon mitigation system, buy it! The seller has already taken appropriate steps and expense to protect you from the effects of radon.
Yet, I have heard buyers, and even agents, say that if a home has a radon system, it must have radon in it! How silly. That is like saying that if a car has an exhaust system, it must have carbon monoxide in it.
On my street, I know of homes that have tested with radon levels of 2.0 (within EPA limits) and homes that have tested at levels of 11.0 (higher than EPA recommends). A home with a radon mitigation system is a good thing. A radon system is basically a big fan that pulls the radon gas out of the air that you breathe. That's it. If a seller has taken pains to have one installed, you are ahead of the game. You and your family can check one more hazard off the list and breathe easier, knowing that this cancer-causing substance is being ventilated from your home.
* See the EPA's web site on Radon gas, for full information. Central Massachusetts is in the Red Zone for Radon levels. Get educated about Radon before you purchase a home in New England.