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What is Radon? Why Should I Have My House Tested?

For those of us who got through high school and maybe college Chemistry by the skin of our teeth, we may not be experts on poisonous gases. Never in a million years, as a first time home-buyer, would I have thought to have my home tested for Radon before I made the purchase. Now, it's a daily routine for home inspectors worldwide. First and foremost....what exactly is this Radon that has created such a hype? 


What the HECK is Radon? 


Well, in a nutshell, Radon is a poisonous gas that comes from soil, rock and even water. When Uranium is broken down, a gas is produced that can, at certain levels, be toxic to inhale. This gas enters homes through cracks and holes in the home's foundation. 

Why Is Radon Deadly? 


Radon gas, if inhaled at high enough levels for long enough, can cause lung cancer. So, basically, Radon is a cancer-causing gas. Scary...I know. Now, here are the scary facts: 

Radon is estimated to cause about 21,000 lung cancer deaths per year, according to EPA's 2003 Assessment of Risks from Radon in Homes (EPA 402-R-03-003)

What are the Odds? 


So, what are the odds of living in a house with elevated Radon levels you may ask? Well, according to the US EPA, "Nearly 1 out of every 15 homes in the United States is estimated to have an elevated radon level (4 pCi/L or more)."

Holy Crud!!! So, basically, the EPA is saying that you have a 7% chance of living in a home with toxic Radon fumes. That's 7% higher than I would want to chance. 

But...the good thing about all of this, is that a Radon problem can be fixed. 

How to Test and Fix the Problem


The EPA suggests testing all floors of home below the third for Radon gases. ESPECIALLY the basement. You can either hire a professional home inspector or a more specific Radon testing company...or, go to your local Lowes or Home Depot store and purchase a DIY kit for around twenty bucks. Either way, the results seem to be accurate. In my experience that is. 

Now...how on earth do you get that nasty gas out of your home? I'm glad you asked. There are a few different ways, but, this guide will tell you everything you need to know for Radon removal: http://www.epa.gov/radon/pubs/consguid.html

Moral of This Radon Story


So, if you are planning on buying or selling a home..PLEASE have the home tested for Radon. There are more homes in our area that are harboring this poisonous gas, especially in Fulton and Gwinnett Counties. check out this local site to get more information: 
http://www.epa.gov/radon/states/georgia.html

Emily Benner l The Sells Strong Team l PalmerHouse Properties l
678-458-2284 l emilysells@gmail.com

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Lisa Ausman February 04, 2014 at 11:58 AM
At Champia Real Estate Inspections we have qualified experts who can help you inspect your current home or perhaps your future home purchase to determine if there is radon present. Please check out our website at www.champia.com or contact us immediately so we can help you: 770-953-0767.

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