Buying or selling a home can be overwhelming in Nashville, especially when it comes to the inspection process. You want to ensure that everything is in top-notch condition before making such a significant investment. One area of the inspection process that shouldn’t be overlooked is radon testing.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss why radon testing is crucial during the home inspection process and why you should invest in professional radon testing in Nashville.
What is Radon?
Radon is an odorless, colorless gas that occurs naturally in soil and rock. It’s formed from the decay of uranium, which can be found in most soils and rocks worldwide. Radon moves through small holes and cracks in buildings’ foundations and accumulates inside homes.
Why is Radon Dangerous?
Radon exposure can have serious consequences for your health as it’s a carcinogen that causes lung cancer. According to the U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), radon poses a significant health risk for everyone exposed but even more so for smokers who are at increased risk.
How Can You Detect Radon?
It’s impossible to detect radon without specialized testing equipment, hence why you need professional testing services during home inspections. The EPA recommends homeowners conduct radon checks every two years.
Why Should You Include Radon Testing During Home Inspections?
1) Protect Yourself And Your Family: As mentioned earlier, exposure to elevated levels of radon puts homeowners at risk for developing lung cancer. Therefore, detecting it early on will help protect you and your family’s health.
2) Peace Of Mind: Knowing whether your potential new home has elevated levels of radon provides psychological relief from wondering if there may be dangers lurking within.
3) Cost-effectiveness: It makes more financial sense to include screening services during home inspections than having these tests carried out after moving into the property.
4) Negotiating Power: If high levels of radium are detected during an inspection, buyers can leverage this to their advantage by negotiating to have the issue addressed by the homeowner before taking possession of that property.
How is Radon Testing Carried Out?
Radon testing utilizes specialized equipment, for example, activated carbon and alpha-track detectors. These devices measure radon levels in the air over a set period.
Short-term testing devices are left in homes for 48 hours or longer, and long-term detectors are in place for more than 90 days, which helps determine normal seasonal variations as well as revealing exposure. The reads recorded from either device will indicate if any further testing is required before addressing the detected high levels of findings.
It’s worth noting that the EPA recommends carrying out long-term tests since radium fluctuates day to day caused by differences between weather conditions and variables on other atmospheric factors. But generally, these don’t show extreme changes without industrial contamination events occurring nearby. Other factors, such as windows being open, fans causing air circulation patterns, and even sunlight, have all been shown to increase readings temporarily.
What Happens Next After Higher Than 4 pCi/L Results?
If testers record results above the safe threshold level of 4 picocuries per liter of air (pCi/L), further action should be taken promptly, given there has been consistent documentation linking lung cancer with elevated levels higher than this metric. The EPA also states that action should be sought if test results reveal concentrations equivalent to those images produced during chest radiographs.
How Can You Reduce Radon Levels In Your Home?
Radon levels can be reduced through a remediation process called “mitigation.” Reducing radon gas involves installing an active sub-slab depressurization system which will suck the gaseous substance from underneath foundations before it enters living spaces. Further, other techniques depend on whether your home has crawl spaces or basements. To avoid making these repairs much later down timelines when they become apparent, radon levels need to be tested.
Radon testing is crucial in your inspection process as it aids in protecting you and your family’s health, providing peace of mind, leveraging negotiation power, and remaining cost-effective. By including these tests when purchasing or selling a property, you can establish baselines that are within safety limits. If higher concentrations are identified, homes can undergo mitigation repairs to reduce according to established standards by radon testing specialists working in the Nashville area.