The Real Estate Encyclopedia
What Is Radon And Why Should I Check For It?
Category - Real Estate Information Sources - General Real Estate Information

Radon is a colorless, odorless and naturally occurring gas produced from the decay of natural radioactive minerals in the ground.  Radon is considered to be a carcinogen, which could be  responsible for thousands of lung cancer deaths each year.  This gas' Presence in a building is measured as pico-curies per liter of air.  The EPA suggested action level is four, and levels above this have been found in homes and buildings in most every state and territory. 


Radon is typically measured in the basement of a property and every state has information on areas which are more prone to the existence of this gas than others.  Your building inspector should be able to put you in touch with a radon expert, experienced in testing for the presence of Radon in the home you plan to buy.  There are systems, which can be installed, if Radon if found, which allow the gas to be extricated from the building through vents. 

Levels of Radon build up when the gas is drawn into a building by exhaust systems and fans and thermal stack effects through cracks in a basement floor, a sump pump or basement drain.  A 48-hour test is recommended during a real estate inspection.  Reparis and mitigation consists of sealing cracks, installing PVC pipe into the ground that exits the building through the highest level.  A small fan will draw the ground air and radon through the pipe and into outdoor air where the radon will dissipate.  In most states, brokers must disclose known radon problems and the presence of mitigation systems.

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