Radon Testing / Mitigation as Part of the Real Estate Transaction
Once a buyer's offer has been accepted by the seller, the buyer enters the due diligence stage. This is where the buyer can inspect the property to ensure that there are no major problems, and ensure they are still happy to go through with the purchase. Part of the due diligence should include a home inspection, but can also include roof inspections, foundation inspections, furnace inspections / green tagging, radon testing and more.
If you did not know Radon is the leading cause of Lung Cancer after smoking. It's a colorless and odorless gas found usually at low levels, especially in basements and is created by the natural breakdown of uranium is rock, soil and water. Because of this if the basement is finished or you are planning on finishing the basement you may want to consider having a radon test.
One of the problems with radon in the Salt Lake Valley is that you cannot predict if a home will have high radon levels. While certain geographic regions are more susceptible to higher levels of radon, it can still vary home by home, to the extent that one property maybe OK, while the nest door property has high radon levels. It also does not matter if you have an older home or a brand-new home like in the Daybreak Community. The only real way of finding out is to perform a test.
Radon testing should be performed by a certified radon company placing a device in the basement for a period of several days. Radon levels can change day by day so a longer measuring time provides more accurate readings. The EPA says that any reading over 4 pCi/L (pico-Curies per liter) is deemed to be unsafe.
So what can you do if the radon test is positive? The radon levels in a home can be reduced by installing a radon mitigation system. This involves drilling a home in the basement floor and inserting a pipe that either runs on the inside or outside of the property. A fan is used to suck air through the pipe out of the home, thus reducing the radon level. Because of this upheaval it is much easier to install a mitigation system before a basement is finished.
If found during the due diligence phase you can ask the seller to contribute towards the installation cost, but because of Utah State law the seller is not obliged to make any contributions. This rule varies state by state.
The bottom line is if you are buying a home, either an older home or new construction home, and either have a finished basement or are considering finishing it, you may want to consider having a radon test during the due diligence phase.
Learn more about radon testing, or fill out the form on this page to request a radon test. Utah Radon Services performs free certified testing during any real estate transaction.
This article was written by Trela Bird Realtor, providing Salt Lake Real Estate services throughout the valley.
Tel. No.: 801-450-3535