Should I Test My Home for Radon?

Real Estate Agent with Buyer's Edge Company Inc


Yellow smoke surrounds and covers a man

Photo by Christian Sterk on Unsplash

Radon gas is the second leading cause of lung cancer, according to the National Cancer Institute.  Unlike the picture above, radon gas is colorless and odorless. Radon occurs naturally. It is the decay of the elements radium, thorium and uranium in rocks and soil. Radon seeps up through the ground and into the air. In some cases, radon dissolves into groundwater and is released when water is used (when you turn on the shower or faucet).

Radon becomes a serious health risk when it's trapped in areas without adequate ventilation.  In fact, any home that is tightly sealed with insulation and new windows is a home that should be tested for radon. 

How should you test for radon gas? Radon levels can change when doors and windows are opened so a long-term test may be the better way to test for radon. In fact, the EPA has a consumers guide to radon reduction.

Once you have tested your home, you will receive results which are measured by picocuries per liter. This is a measurement of the radioactive decay of radon. While there is no acceptable level of radon exposure, the EPA recommends mitigation if the level is 4 pCi/L or higher. 


Mitigation of radon gas is accomplished through ventilation. A pipe is placed under the concrete slab of the home and a small fan is inserted to draw the radon gas through and out of the pipe which vents outside of the home. The installers place a gauge on the pipe so homeowners can see if the pipe is working. The cost of mitigation varies but is usually in the range of $500-$1500. 

  • Test your home for radon
  • If the test results show 4 pCi/L or higher, contact a radon mitigation company
  • Be wary of companies that are significantly cheaper than the rest! You get what you pay for and you want to get this right
  • Do check for references and the Better Business Bureau 
  • The work should take about a day or less
  • The fan/motor has a low humming sound similar to the sound you hear from a dryer vent when it is in use.

Learn more about radon and radon mitigation through the links provided. Learn more about Victoria and Marshall Henderson at

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4849 Rugby Avenue Bethesda Maryland 20814 office 301.657.1475 cell 301.922.1677


Victoria Henderson is Vice President & Associate Broker with Buyer's Edge, Exclusive Buyer Agent & Realtor in Virginia, Maryland and Washington DC. Victoria is a certified Military Relocation Professional 



Marshall Henderson is a Certified Negotiation Expert & Exclusive Buyer Agent with Buyer's Edge & Realtor in Virginia, Maryland and Washington DC

Certified Negotiation Expert


Members of National Association of Exclusive Buyer Agents

Not Just a Buyer's Agent, an Exclusive Buyer's Agent. There's a Difference. Learn more at: &


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William Feela
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

It does not hurt.  If ther is a problem you need to have it taken care of for your own health

Jan 08, 2018 08:30 PM #1
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

In addition to termite and home inspections, there are other types of inspections sometimes performed here in the Greater Sacramento region.  However, rarely do I encounter those for radon.  I understand these are more prevalent in certain parts of the country where it is more of a problem.

Jan 09, 2018 06:26 AM #2
Victoria Ray Henderson
Buyer's Edge Company Inc - Bethesda, MD
Real Estate for Home Buyers with Buyer's Edge

It's worth the cost of the test which can be about $50 if you buy a kit at a local store. Thanks for stopping by William Feela I appreciate your input! Have a great week

Jan 09, 2018 07:22 AM #3
Victoria Ray Henderson
Buyer's Edge Company Inc - Bethesda, MD
Real Estate for Home Buyers with Buyer's Edge

I just checked the EPA's radon map for California and Sacremento is in zone 3 which is considered to be a low radon area. You are right Myrl Jeffcoat radon is not too much of a concern where you live:) 

thank you for stopping by our blog and Happy New Year!

Jan 09, 2018 07:24 AM #4
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

We just had a listing that tested at 4. And yes, there was mitigation involved as requested by the buyers. It was about $1200 and now the air will be healthy - naturally, they are supposed to monitor it from time-to-time. Our area has high radon levels due to the Missoula Flood coming through years and years ago. D 

Jan 12, 2018 09:05 AM #5
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