How big of a problem is radon in Connecticut homes?
When new buyers coming to Connecticut hear the word radon, they often feel discomfort. Radon is a word that some buyers have never even heard. As an agent, I find myself answering a lot of questions regarding this topic.
Radon is a natural gas that is actually present in every state in the United States. It comes from the natural decay of uranium that is found in nearly all soils. It typically moves up through the ground and into your home through cracks and other holes in the foundation. With areas dense with ledge rock, radon is prevalent.
Any home may have a radon problem... new and old homes, well-sealed and drafty homes and homes with or without basements. Levels can vary widely, even from home to home in the same neighborhood.
The good new is radon levels can be lowered.
If you are buying a home or selling your home, consider having it tested for radon. All homes should be safe with low radon levels. The Environmental Protection Agency recommends you fix your home if the radon level is 4 pCi/L or higher.
There are several methods that a contractor can use to lower radon levels in your home. Some techniques prevent radon from entering your home while others reduce radon levels after it has entered. The EPA generally recommends methods which prevent the entry of radon. Soil suction prevents radon from entering your home by drawing the radon from below the house (under the foundation) and venting it to the air above the house where it is quickly diluted. Although it sounds difficult, it is fairly easy.
The licensed professionals drill a hole in your foundation, insert a PVC pipe and fan system close to the opening and vent it outside the home above the roof.
Radon reduction systems work. Some radon reduction systems can reduce radon levels in your home by up to 99 percent. Most homes can be remediated in a day for approximately $1,200.
Often radon levels increase on a property when the earth has been disturbed during renovations. Because of this, many builders now install mitigation systems during construction, anticipating a possible need for radon mitigation down the road. If you are purchasing a new construction home, ask if radon-resistant construction features were used.
Radon is not a deal breaker. Most owners will take responsibility and pay for the mitigation system for buyers.
Casey Lange, Halstead Property Connecticut, (203) 249-0900, CLange@halstead.com
Friday, October 21, 2016