Radon & Real Estate
teAccording to the EPA, about half the homes in Colorado have higher radon levels than the US EPA recommended action level of 4 picocuries per liter (pCi/L). In a home-buying transaction, it is wise to recommend a radon test to ensure your customer has accurate information regarding the state of the home they are interested in, and can formulate an action plan should a home have elevated levels of radon that need mitigated.
This article will provide a brief overview of radon, as well as some recommendations by the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment as it pertains to radon and real estate.
What is Radon?
Radon is a naturally-occurring radioactive gas that can cause lung cancer. Radon gas is inert, colorless and odorless. Radon is naturally in the atmosphere in trace amounts.
Why Should We Be Concerned About Radon?
Breathing radon over time increases your risk of lung cancer. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. Nationally, the EPA estimates that about 21,000 people die each year from radon-related lung cancer. Only smoking causes more lung cancer deaths.
Radon in Real Estate
Radon disclosure is required in CO real estate transactions. Section N of the Environment Conditions portion of the CO Sellers Property Disclosure Form specifically lists radon as a hazard that, if known by the seller to exist or ever have existed, must be disclosed. This is true even if previous test results were less than 4 pCi/L. In all cases, sellers should provide copies of any test results to potential buyers. If a radon mitigation system exists, it should also be disclosed, as it is presumed that radon had existed previously, and that if the system were to fail, the radon level would return to its original level.
Keeping Your Clients’ Homes Safe For Years to Come
1 – As part of the home inspection process, advise or request a short-term radon test using a certified radon measurement contractor. Many home inspectors can offer this service
2 – If the short-term test result is less than 4 pCi/L, the EPA does not recommend any immediate action; however, consider conducting a long-term test (90 days up to a year) after your family moves into the home, as there is still some risk at exposures less than 4 pCi/L.
If the short-term test result is 4 pCi/L or higher, consider repair negotiations between the buyer and seller. The seller is not legally required to pay for mitigation; this is a negotiation just like any other home repair.
3 – If a mitigation system is to be installed, seek bids from NRPP or NRSB certified mitigation contractors who are willing to guarantee the results to below 4 pCi/L. Certified contractors have been trained in the proper placement of radon measurement devices and the interpretation of the results. They use high-quality testing devices that can accurately determine the radon risk of the home.
4 – If the seller is willing to pay for the mitigation system, work with their real estate professional to determine the best way to obtain funding from the seller and have the system installed by a certified technician after taking possession of the property to ensure that the customer is happy with the design.
How Can We Help?
Axium offers a comprehensive menu of services, including radon testing and mitigations. Contact our certified mitigation specialists at 720-740-2338.
Take $50 off a radon test with the coupon code NEWS50 and/or $250 off a radon mitigation with coupon code NEWS250.