What is radon? Radon is a radioactive gas emitted from the ground. It can get into homes through cracks, poor ventilation, and so many other ways. For a more complete description and explanation, check out the EPA’s Radon Guide. Did you know that radon is the leading cause of lung-cancer among non-smokers, and the 2nd leading cause of lung cancer in America?
Our Regional Contract for Virginia, Washington, D.C., and Maryland allows for a separate contingency for a radon inspection. Usually performed at the same time as the home inspection, they tend to be grouped together. A radon test involves canisters that are left at the lowest point of the home for a duration of 48-72 hours (with all doors and windows remaining shut), depending on the company doing the test. They will then be sent to a lab to check for tampering and to be read for levels of gas emitted.
EPA guidelines say anything over 4pCi/L is potentially harmful and should be fixed. Radon remediation is usually easy to fix and fairly inexpensive (every house is different, but i’ve seen the average be about $1,000 +/-).
So who needs one? Definitely any house with any portion under ground (be it basement, ground level condo, a townhouse with a portion underground, etc.) I’d even go so far as to recommend one for a 1st or 2nd floor condo. Of course, if you choose to do one on a penthouse unit of a condo building, that’s up to your discretion! You have the opportunity, so if you want to take it – do so!