There are many things to consider when you are purchasing a home. From the floor plan to the location and from the design of the interior to the number of the bathrooms, in fact, there are many considerations that home buyers look at. Amidst all of the visual and spacial considerations, however, did you also know that there are safety concerns as well. Sure, most property buyers know that they need to look at the safety of the handrails on a porch or a set of stair leadings to the basement, but if you have never bought a home before you might not know that there are also unseen considerations as well. In fact, knowing the radon level of a home is so important that there are Manu kinds of loans that will not be offered until these levels pass inspection.
Radon is an unseen, tasteless, and odorless gas that can collect in the basements of some homes. More likely in some parts of the country than others, radon gases build up, especially in basements. As a result, there are many sales that are slowed down or halted altogether when these radon gas testing results are not within allowable levels.
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The latest research indicates that approximately one in 15 U.S. homes is estimated to have radon levels at or above the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) action level. This means that it is likely that if you are looking at homes in some parts of the country you will need to take these levels into consideration. Not just to make sure that the home you are buying passes the test, allowing for you to get the financing that you need, but for the safety of you and your family as well. Even when radon gas testing is not required by law, in fact, there are some wise potential buyers who know that they want to have these levels checked before they move their families into a home.
Consider some of these facts and figures about the most reliable radon gas testing, as well as the radon mitigation process that can help keep your home as safe as possible:
- The EPA and the Surgeon General’s Office have estimated that as many as 20,000 lung cancer deaths a year are caused by radon.
- In fact, nearly one in three homes checked in seven states and on three Indian lands had screening levels over 4 pCi/L, the EPA’s recommended action level for radon exposure, according to the EPA.
- As an indication of how dangerous this gas is, a family whose home has radon levels of 4 pCi/l is exposed to approximately 35 times as much radiation as the Nuclear Regulatory Commission would allow if that family was standing next to the fence of a radioactive waste site.
- One of the most frightening statistics is that the Surgeon General has warned that radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S. today.
- Short-term detectors measure radon levels for two days to 90 days, depending on the device.
- In comparison, long-term tests determine the average concentration for more than 90 days.
- The latest research indicates that the risk of lung cancer increases by 16% per 100 Bq/m increase in long time average radon concentration, so making sure that any home you are considering purchasing is under these levels is important.
- Scientists estimate that lung cancer deaths could be reduced by 2% to 4%, which equals about 5,000 deaths, by lowering radon levels in homes exceeding the EPA’s action level.
- Fortunately, passive systems of mitigation have been shown to be capable of reducing indoor radon levels by more than 50%. By adding, radon ventilation fans, the radon levels can be reduced even further.
Professionally installed radon gas testing kits are required before the sale of homes in many parts of the country. And while buyers are often busy looking at how many bedrooms, bathrooms, and garage space a home has, it might be even more important to know that you are going to purchase a home that will be safe for you, your spouse, and your children.