Do I really need to do a Radon Test?

By
Real Estate Agent with Prudential Damiano Realty

Radon Gas is a subject that comes up with almost every Real Estate transaction in North Jersey. Many consumers are clueless however about what radon gas is, where it comes from, how it can affect you, and what it means to your Real Estate transaction.

 

Radon gas occurs naturally in the earth and can move through soil and rock entering buildings through cracks and openings. Once radon is inside a building, it will tend to remain indoors because most structures are designed to keep heated or cooled air from escaping. Also, lower air pressure inside buildings can create a vacuum, drawing radon into the home. Several factors can affect the concentration of radon in a home including: soil characteristics, building type, foundation condition, occupant lifestyle, and even weather.

 

Being exposed to high concentrations of radon over an extended period of time can pose a risk of lung cancer. The higher the level of radon, the higher the risk. The standard acceptable level of radon concentration in any dwelling is 4 pCi/L. Most Radon specialists will recommend a radon mitigation system be installed in any home with a level of 4 pCi/L or above. These systems are relatively easy to have installed, fairly inexpensive, and highly effective...removing radon gas from the living quarters and releasing it back outside into the atmosphere were it can dissipate naturally.

 

So when purchasing your new home, especially in North Jersey, make sure to have a radon test performed along with your home inspection. Radon is here folks, but being informed and knowing what to do about it can make a world of difference in your decision making and your future happiness.

 

We'll help you navigate your way through your Real Estate transaction...every step of the way!

Your North Jersey Real Estate Team

 Jim Albano and Jean-Marie Vantuno

www.yourhomenorthjersey.com

39 E. Main St.

Little Falls, NJ 07424

973-256-0303 ext 218

 

 

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Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Danny Thornton 01/08/2009 01:33 PM
Topic:
Home Buying
Location:
New Jersey Passaic County Little Falls
Groups:
Realtors®
Ask the Home Inspector
Posts to Localism
Professional Home Inspectors
We Love North Jersey
Tags:
radon
radon gas
north jersey condos
north jersey homes
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Rainer
122,409
Jim Albano
Prudential Damiano Realty - Little Falls, NJ
Team - Jean-Marie Vantuno / Realtors North Jersey Real Estate

Gayle, There are areas in North Jersey with high levels of radon...not a problem as long as it's not concentrated in the building. That's why they have the mitigation systems.

Dec 30, 2008 07:31 AM #5
Rainmaker
417,900
Sal Poliandro - NJ Bergen County Realtor
RE/MAX Properties - Ridgewood, NJ
Short Sale Specialist - CDPE, SRES, SFR, IRES

Great post, Jim.

     Around here it is less than a $100 test and typically if there is a problem the seller will remediate. I highly suggest that all my buyers have the test done.

Dec 30, 2008 02:10 PM #6
Rainer
122,409
Jim Albano
Prudential Damiano Realty - Little Falls, NJ
Team - Jean-Marie Vantuno / Realtors North Jersey Real Estate

Sal, makes sense to do the test just for peace of mind if nothing else.

Dec 30, 2008 02:22 PM #7
Rainer
333,799
Danny Thornton
R & D Art - Knoxville, TN
WordPress Guru

Jim, I have done them on both houses that I bought. One was no issue and one was a close call. Either way, I was glad that I did both.

Jan 01, 2009 03:01 AM #8
Rainer
122,409
Jim Albano
Prudential Damiano Realty - Little Falls, NJ
Team - Jean-Marie Vantuno / Realtors North Jersey Real Estate

Hey Danny, it really makes sense to have the test done because even if there is a problem, the fix is relatively simple and inexpensive.

Jan 01, 2009 06:23 AM #9
Rainer
20,778
Rick Harrington
Patch Independent Home Inspections, LLC - Columbus, OH
Specialist--Infrared Residential

Great post Jim,

Here is a bit of information that helps get the point across.   When radon gas breaks down it's actually a nuclear reaction.  The ionization process changes the cells into radioactive particles.  These are called radon decay products.  They have a relatively short life (half life) but in higher concentrations over a period of time can cause damage to tissue. 

Since the radon decay products can only penetrate about 6 cells deep the skin protects the body from these particles.  It's when a person breathes in the Radon Decay Products (again, that are radioactive) and they attach to the lung tissue is where the problem starts to occur.  So with higher levels of Radon Gas comes higher levels of the radioactive Radon Decay Products.

That is why it is important to reduce the level of Radon Gas in the home.

If Radon Gas was man made the government would regulate and monitor it's location such as nuclear waste.

 

 

Jan 01, 2009 10:45 PM #10
Rainer
225,598
Diane Bell, Hilton Head Real Estate, Bluffton
Charter 1 Real Estate, Hilton Head, Bluffton, SC - Hilton Head Island, SC

I think it's really important to test for Radon.  Do you test the water too?  I know it can come through the shower and be a problem.

Jan 01, 2009 10:48 PM #11
Rainer
122,409
Jim Albano
Prudential Damiano Realty - Little Falls, NJ
Team - Jean-Marie Vantuno / Realtors North Jersey Real Estate

Rick, thanks for that information.

Diane, radon testing in water is not a common practice, but I wouldn't be surprised if it became part of the process. Thanks for your comments.

Jan 02, 2009 02:35 AM #12
Rainer
20,778
Rick Harrington
Patch Independent Home Inspections, LLC - Columbus, OH
Specialist--Infrared Residential

Use the 10,000 to 1 method for radon in water.

10,000 pCi/L in water would only result in 1pCi/L in the air.    It would be best to remediate air then rechecking the Radon levels on all levels of the house during normal operations.   The Radon levels on floors above the lowest level tested should be between 40-60 percent of the lowest level tested.  If for some reason they are higher or as high or spikes during shower time then there may need to be some water remediation and that can be expensive to add aerator tanks with exhaust to the exterior.

 

Jan 02, 2009 09:42 AM #13
Rainer
122,409
Jim Albano
Prudential Damiano Realty - Little Falls, NJ
Team - Jean-Marie Vantuno / Realtors North Jersey Real Estate

Thanks Rick for that info!

Jan 04, 2009 02:22 PM #14
Rainer
333,799
Danny Thornton
R & D Art - Knoxville, TN
WordPress Guru

Jim, I have kidnapped your article and reblogged it on my outside blog. Well, I should say on ONE of my outside blogs, lol.

Jan 08, 2009 01:50 PM #15
Rainer
122,409
Jim Albano
Prudential Damiano Realty - Little Falls, NJ
Team - Jean-Marie Vantuno / Realtors North Jersey Real Estate

Danny, I am honored to have been kidnapped by you!

Jan 08, 2009 01:59 PM #16
Rainer
92,250
x Bye Bye
x - Bay Minette, AL
Delete Account

Jim - About 12% of lung cancers and more than 20,000 Americans die of radon-related lung cancer each year. The Surgeon General of the United States has issued a Health Advisory warning Americans about the health risk from exposure to radon in indoor air.

Here in Atlanta we have Stone Mountain, the worlds largest piece of exposed granite.

Stone Mountain

We have a lot of granite and with that we have a great deal of radon.  The test is only about $100 and should be on site at least two days to get a good reading of the levels in a home.

Jan 08, 2009 02:54 PM #17
Rainer
122,409
Jim Albano
Prudential Damiano Realty - Little Falls, NJ
Team - Jean-Marie Vantuno / Realtors North Jersey Real Estate

Brian, that's my point exactly. For the cost of the test, it should be a no-brainer for having it done. BTW - that's a gorgeous shot of Stone Mountain...you take that?

Jan 10, 2009 10:22 AM #18
Rainer
478,183
Not a real person
San Diego, CA

We're lucky here in San Diego that radon is not a significant problem due to our soil type, mostly sand.

Jan 11, 2009 06:29 PM #19
Rainer
122,409
Jim Albano
Prudential Damiano Realty - Little Falls, NJ
Team - Jean-Marie Vantuno / Realtors North Jersey Real Estate

Russel, I'm sure San Diego has other outstanding features too.

Jan 14, 2009 01:28 PM #20
Rainmaker
220,894
Jim Mushinsky
Centsable Inspection - Framingham, MA

Not only a great posting, the timing is also note worthy.  January is National Radon Action Month!

See the EPA website

Jan 16, 2009 03:55 AM #21
Rainer
122,409
Jim Albano
Prudential Damiano Realty - Little Falls, NJ
Team - Jean-Marie Vantuno / Realtors North Jersey Real Estate

Jim, didn't realize that. Thanks for that info.

Jan 16, 2009 02:54 PM #22
Rainmaker
179,951
Jason Rose
123 ConEd LLC -- Michigan real estate continuing education - Farmington Hills, MI
www.123ConEd.com

Thanks for the great post, Jim. You provided important and helpful information.

Most people do not know this, but radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States and is believed to be responsible for an estimated 21,000 deaths per year.

I'm writing from Michigan, where, according to the CDC, more than 600 radon-related deaths are projected to occur in Michigan this year alone. According to the EPA, one in eight homes in Michigan is expected to have an elevated indoor radon level, and in some counties more than 40% of the homes are expected to have a problem. The only way to know if a home has a problem is to test.

If you are a real estate professional, radon and indoor air is something you should know about. It is a serious health risk, but there are simple and inexpensive ways to test for it and fix it if necessary. Like any health risk today, it is something that more and more people know about either through a home sale or through the media.

This is such an important issue for real estate professionals that I'm in the process of preparing a continuing education course exclusively on radon for my online continuing education school. The course will inform Michigan real estate professionals all about radon and what they need to know in order to properly advise buyers and sellers.

Feb 18, 2009 11:55 PM #23
Rainer
122,409
Jim Albano
Prudential Damiano Realty - Little Falls, NJ
Team - Jean-Marie Vantuno / Realtors North Jersey Real Estate

Hi Jason. Thanks for the comments and the useful information that you provided. Good job providing that CE course!

Feb 21, 2009 01:17 AM #24
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