Why would there be radon in a home? How dangerous is it?
Radon inspections are often an optional component of a home inspection; they typically cost extra and require capture and testing which can take at least a few days. Radon safety and awareness, however, is not optional and every property owner should at the very least be aware of radon for the safety of those living or working on and around the property.
What is Radon and How can it Impact my Home Inspection? 1What is Radon?
Radon is a naturally-occurring radioactive isotope that is highly toxic and can be found in the ground and in low-lying areas of the home such as basements. The EPA sets a maximum safety threshold for radon in food, drinking water, and homes, and such safety standards are only helpful in the home if homeowners are made aware of their current radon levels. The US EPA estimates that 1 out of every 15 homes in the United States have radon levels that exceed the maximum threshold, and regrettably for those contaminated homes the truly devastating effects of radon toxicity won’t be made apparent to their occupants for decades.
How can Radon Impact My Health?
Radon is the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the United States and its impacts are perhaps greatest for children who grow up in homes where they are being slowly poisoned in ways that aren’t apparent until they’re older and develop characteristic radon-induced lung cancers.
Now, Will Radon Cause my Home to Fail an Inspection?
Simply put, no, radon won’t cause your home to fail an inspection. Inspections don’t confer Pass/Fail grades, but rather they act as informative tools for homebuyers and sellers to know what they’re getting themselves into. High levels of radon can, however, reduce the value of your property if steps aren’t taken to mitigate its presence. When getting an inspection done, make sure you look out for inspectors who are “ASHI-Certified Home Inspectors” as they are trained to administer radon tests and professionally interpret their results.