Given the proliferation of services that help home buyers and sellers complete their own transaction, you may have considered whether you should go it yourself instead of working with an agent.
Radon In Utah
What is radon?
Radon is an odorless, tasteless, colorless gas. It is created when the element radium, breaks down through radioactive decay. Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers and kills 21,000 people every year.
How does radon enter the home?
Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas produced in soil, rock, and water. Air pressure inside your home is usually lower than the pressure in the soil around the foundation and acts as a vacuum to draw radon in through foundation cracks and openings.
Does radon affect all homes or only ones with basements?
All housing structures in all areas of the country are at risk of high radon levels. Even if your home tested low in radon, your home could still have dangerous levels.
How much radon is dangerous?
Radon is measured in pico-Curies per liter of air (pCi/L). The average indoor radon level is estimated to be about 1.3 pCi/L, and about 0.4 pCi/L is found normally in the outside air. If your test results in a 4 pCi/L or more, your home needs to be fixed.
How can I fix my home?
If your test results show that radon levels are high, the EPA recommends that you have a qualified radon mitigation contractor fix your home. There are several methods a contractor can use to lower radon levels in your home. Some prevent radon from entering your home and others reduce radon levels after it has entered.
Test for Radon
• Testing for radon is inexpensive and hassle-free. You can purchase a “do-it-yourself” radon test kit at your local home improvement store or through the State of Utah at www.radon.utah.gov.
• There are also a variety of test kits, ranging from short-term (2-90 days) to long-term (over 90 days). You may want to consult with a specialist to determine the best test kit for your home.
• You may also want a professional to test for radon. The State of Utah has a list of certified radon inspectors. Call 801-536-0091 to find out more information.
• The greatest exposure to radon in your home is in basements, rooms that are in contact with the ground, and those rooms immediately above them. You should test in these areas for radon.
• Additionally, you should test your for radon home every few years. Also test if you have recently renovated or altered your home, or if you plan to live in a lower level of your house.
• Radon exposure can be reduced to safe levels through proper mitigation.
• The amount of radon in the air is measured in picoCuries per liter of air, or pCi/L.If your result is 4 pCi/L or higher, you should consider radon mitigation.
• Radon problems are generally simple and cost-effective to repair. Mitigation systems for existing homes average $1,200, depending primarily on the type of foundation and the size of the home.
• If a buyer is considering purchasing a new construction home, they may want to consider having the builder incorporate a radon mitigation system. During initial construction, these can be effective and cost-efficient.
• For more information about mitigation specialists, contact the Utah Division of Radiation Control at 801-536-4250. You can also contact the National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) at 1-800-269-4174 for a list of qualified specialists who serve your area.
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