So, you are a buyer, and you have just acheived a valid purchase agreement on a home. Should you or should you not obtain a radon inspection?
The short answer is: YES. You should, period.
Why? Because the Federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states that radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States, behind smoking.
The EPA has said that any value of 4.0 pico curies per liter or higher is considered too high and it should be mitigated by installing a radon mitigation system. Radon is a breakdown of uranium in the soil, and as a radioactive gas, it is a heavy gas, and finds its way into a home through cracks, crevices, etc. The solution is simple and usually costs about $800 - $1,200 to remedy. The solution is actually quite simple, a hole is punched through the concrete floor and a sealed exhaust system (usually by a PVC pipe) via a quiet exhaust motor/fan is installed and the pipe routes any gas picked up beneath the slab and routes it outside.
Most home sellers agree to install a system in order to keep the sale intact. The typical cost to a home buyer is $100-$175 for the test. If the test comes back at < 4 pCi/L, then this means your new home is fine AT THE TIME OF THE TEST. Do NOT be lulled into a false sense of security. Your home could have elevated and unacceptable levels of radon a month later. There is only one way to know, either keep on testing it periodically or install a mitigation system.
Be wise, be safe, be informed, be well....and
Read my next post in how to find a good radon inspector...