What is Radon? Do I need to test for it?

By
Real Estate Agent with Pilkerton Realtors

What is Radon? Do I need to test for it?

January is National Radon Action Month. Radon in Tennessee

 

Radon is a colorless, extremely toxic radioactive gas. It is found in almost all solid rock, soil and water, though at varying levels. It's formed by the ongoing decay of Uranium.

It's naturally occurring and can enter and build up in your home without you being aware of it. The radon that escapes into the atmosphere is not harmful but too much in your home can cause major health problems. The radon is measured by picocuries per liter (pCi/L). The average home has about 1.3 pCi/L and the average outdoor air has .4 pCi/L. The EPA recommends fixing the air at levels between 2 and 4 pCi/L where WHO, the World's Health Organization recommends that levels be below 2.7 pCi/L.

How do you reduce the levels of Radon in your Home? Mitigation methods can vary from improving ventilation in your crawl space to mechanically pumping the air out of a basement.

Radon in Tennessee can be seen on this map of Tennessee that shows the counties and their tendency to have certain levels of Radon:  Radon in Tennessee

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What do the Colors mean?

The Red is Zone 1 - These Counties have the highest potential with numbers at 4 pCi/L or greater.

The Orange is Zone 2 - These Counties have moderate potential with numbers between 2 and 4 pCi/L.

The Yellow, Zone 3 - would be those with the least potential. Typically at 2 pCi/L or less.

The first step is to have a radon test. Most Home Inspectors perform these tests. Ask your local Realtor for some names of Home Inspectors. Radon in Tennessee information is available at:

www.TN.Gov/environment/ea/radon.

To see your state showing the radon in the different counties visit the Map of Radon Zones.

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Connie Harveyis a local agent with Pilkerton Realtors, serving home buyers and sellers in Nashville, TN, Brentwood TN, and Franklin TN. Let her help you realize your Real Estate goals. She can be reached at 615-371-2474.


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Re-Blogged 6 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Bill Burchard 01/19/2011 05:03 PM
  2. Donald Bradbury 01/19/2011 09:33 PM
  3. Judi K Barrett 01/20/2011 08:41 AM
  4. Ellie McIntire 01/20/2011 08:48 AM
  5. Virginia Gardner 01/20/2011 10:48 AM
  6. Dan and Amy Schuman 01/23/2011 02:10 PM
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Rainmaker
407,620
Karen Monsour
Coldwell Banker Fort Lauderdale Beach - Fort Lauderdale, FL
REALTOR, SSRS - Sells FL Waterfront, Short Sale Expert!

Connie,

With a 25 year career in Nuclear Medicine, this is very important.  It is a very easy test to do and there are ways to resolve issues if you discover you have high radon levels in your home.

I think it is a fairly inexpensive test as well.  It is worth your health to have this test done.

I live in SE, FL and I have had to have a system put in place to make sure the air exchange is such that I am not breathing radon. The exchange is a fan that brings in fresh air every other hour during a 24 hour period.  Get's expensive here in the summer with the A/D running, but as I said before, well worth your health and your lungs.

 

Jan 19, 2011 11:10 PM #18
Rainmaker
510,001
Christine Smith
Buyers Brokers Only LLC - www.BuyersBrokersOnly.com - Canton, MA
Exclusive Buyer Agent & Attorney, Canton, MA

I had no idea that January was National Radon Action Month!  I had a client whose Radon tests came back high last summer.  It was fairly easy to get a remdiation system in place so it's easy to test for & easy to remediate.  It makes sense to do it!

Jan 19, 2011 11:15 PM #19
Rainer
17,424
Craig Sites
Texas Sites Properties - Friendswood, TX
Broker Texas Sites Properties

This is so over looked in my market area. Thanks for the reminder.

Jan 19, 2011 11:21 PM #20
Ambassador
901,135
Margaret Woda
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc., Crofton, MD 21114 - Crofton, MD
Maryland Real Estate & Military Relocation

Radon has tested positive in 2 sales for me over about 15 years. In both cases a radon mitigation system was installed and everyone lived happily ever after.

Jan 19, 2011 11:58 PM #21
Rainer
186,591
Joan Valverde
Synergy Realty Group Inc - Colorado Springs, CO
GRI, CDPE, Colorado Springs, Monument, Black Fores

Connie, Thank you for posting this.  Here in Colorado we have radon in our area.  I have a bank owned property that tested at 7, I got the bank to "fix" the radon mitigation system and now they are re-testing for us.  At this time, radon is not on the appraisers check list, or watch list for now,  I think this may change in time. 

Jan 20, 2011 12:00 AM #22
Ambassador
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Connie Harvey
Pilkerton Realtors - Brentwood, TN
Realtor - Nashville TN Real Estate

Karen - I'm sure you do too, since you're practically right next door.

Kristi - I'll go read your post. Will love to see what you have to say about Radon in your area.

Don - The more I read about it, the more serious I realize that it can be.

Jeanne - I didn't know either until last week. Just stumbled upon it.

 

Jan 20, 2011 06:42 AM #23
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Connie Harvey
Pilkerton Realtors - Brentwood, TN
Realtor - Nashville TN Real Estate

Patrick - There are different standards being used by different organizations around the world. I'm leaning toward less is better!

Chris - Even here, not everyone agrees when to mitigate or not.

Karen - Here it's not usually too expensive. Many of our homes are on Crawl spaces so a simple fan to the exterior generally works. Basements are a little more difficult but still not too expensive since you're pumping air out instead of in.

Jan 20, 2011 07:04 AM #24
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Judi K Barrett
Judi Barrett~Integrity Real Estate Services~Idabel, Oklahoma - Idabel, OK
Broker/Owner, Integrity Real Estate Services -IDAB

A great informative post!  I haven't dealt with any Radon positive tests in any homes that we've sold. Will check out the links.  Thanks!

Jan 20, 2011 08:38 AM #25
Rainmaker
296,994
Dan and Amy Schuman
Howard Hanna Real Estate Services - Solon, OH
Luxury Home Specialists

Connie, I didn't realize it was National Radon Action Month, so thank you for letting us know. We are big proponents of having our buyers do a radon test because we have seen some high levels in our market area. It seems like a lot of buyers aren't really aware about the dangers of radon gas, but when it does come up, mitigation is fairly inexpensive here. 

Jan 20, 2011 09:13 AM #26
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Connie Harvey
Pilkerton Realtors - Brentwood, TN
Realtor - Nashville TN Real Estate

Christine - You're exactly right. People just need to be informed.

Craig - people are becoming more and more aware of the need to do Radon tests.

Margaret - When everyone realizes that it's not that difficult to test or fix I think more people will look into it.

Joan - You're probably right about getting on the list. I'm glad to hear the Bank thought it was important enough to take care of it. Usually they do nothing!

Judi - It's been a while for me but I had one in a basement and they just added some piping and a fan. I'm sure it was a little more complicated than that but it was just over $1000, which isn't that bad.

Jan 20, 2011 09:13 AM #27
Rainmaker
727,327
Chuck Carstensen
RE/MAX Results - Elk River, MN
Minnesota Real Estate Expert

I have only had one person test radon in MN and I do a lot of sales, I keep thinking more people would request this but they dont.

Jan 20, 2011 09:36 AM #28
Rainmaker
893,758
Michael Setunsky
Michael's Commercial LLC - Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA

Connie, Radon can also be a problem in my area. A few years back one of my listings had high Radon levels. A ventilation system was put in the corner of the basement and the problem was fixed.

Jan 20, 2011 10:24 AM #29
Ambassador
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Connie Harvey
Pilkerton Realtors - Brentwood, TN
Realtor - Nashville TN Real Estate

Dan and Amy - It's a learning curve thing. Pretty easy to test for and to mitigate.

Chuck - if it's not a big problem in your area then people really don't know about it. If it IS a problem in your area, you probably need to inform them.

Michael - That's all it takes! That's the same problem my listing had.

Jan 20, 2011 10:43 AM #30
Rainer
27,166
Thomas Bloore
American Home Services - Geneva, IL

Knowing that the acceptable safe levels are varied by state and areas in those states. Thanks for making people aware of this.

Jan 20, 2011 11:44 AM #31
Ambassador
839,120
Connie Harvey
Pilkerton Realtors - Brentwood, TN
Realtor - Nashville TN Real Estate

Thomas - knowing to keep it as low as possible is the most important thing!

Jan 20, 2011 05:59 PM #32
Rainer
74,424
Deb Jamail
HomeLife Southern Properties - Galveston, TX
Galveston County Real Estate

Connie

Down here in Galveston we don't hear much about testing for Radon. I appreciate the link to the map.  I will be reading up on this more! 

Thanks for making a complex topic easier to understand!

 

Jan 20, 2011 06:42 PM #33
Rainmaker
221,731
Chris Sloan
Group 1 Real Estate - Tooele, UT
Tooele Utah Real Estate

Here in Utah, we are starting to see higher levels during testing, mostly occurring in REO or other vacant homes. In many cases, just normal "coming and going" through the doors will lower the number dramatically. As to the map, here in Tooele County we've had off the chart readings in one house and minimal numbers two doors down, so we have just learned to test, test, test! Thanks for the post!

Jan 20, 2011 07:02 PM #34
Ambassador
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Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland
HomeRome Realty - Baltimore, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

I have had more than a few dozen radon situations. Out mitigation level starts at 4. The test cost about $125 and can almost always be corrected for around $1000. Occasionally with an extensive crawl space when they need more than on sump pump, it can be more costly.

Jan 20, 2011 07:55 PM #35
Rainmaker
407,620
Karen Monsour
Coldwell Banker Fort Lauderdale Beach - Fort Lauderdale, FL
REALTOR, SSRS - Sells FL Waterfront, Short Sale Expert!

Connie,

There are no crawl spaces or basements here in Florida.  If you go down 4 feet you in water.  We are all built on long steel pilings that are pounded deep into the ground, but we do have Radon issues here too.

Jan 20, 2011 08:35 PM #36
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Connie Harvey
Pilkerton Realtors - Brentwood, TN
Realtor - Nashville TN Real Estate

Deb - Until about 2 or 3 years ago, we didn't do a lot of testing. I'm seeing it more and more.

Chris - It's what we all need to be doing anyway. Test. test test!

Jan 21, 2011 07:28 AM #37
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