How to Measure Radon in a Home You Are Planning to Buy

(Real Estate Radon Testing)

If you are planning on buying a new home you should have it tested for radon gas as part of the sales agreement. Radon is a deadly radioactive gas that causes lung cancer. You can't see or smell it. The only way to know if a home has a radon gas problem is to test for it with special radon testing equipment. Learn more about the health risks of living in a home with high radon gas levels.

It's very important that radon testing as part of a real estate transaction is done correctly since someone will end up having to pay to fix any radon gas problem. Although almost all homes can be fixed, the cost to do so can range from several hundred to several thousand dollars. Consider including these provisions in your real estate sales contract specifying:
  • Where the radon testing equipment will be located within the home you're buying;
  • Who will conduct the radon testing, you or a radon professional;
  • What type of radon testing will be performed, active (done by a professional) or passive (do-it-yourself radon testing);
  • The time required to perform the home radon test. This includes the time to schedule the test, the actual detector exposure time, the time required to send the detectors to the lab, and analysis and reporting time. You should specify a minimum of 10 days to do real estate radon testing, 15 days is preferred;
  • How the seller and buyer will share the radon testing results and radon testing costs (if necessary); and
  • Most importantly, if radon mitigation is needed, who will pay for it. And even more important you need to specify the standards to be used when installing the radon mitigation system. (See Model Radon Mitigation Standards from US EPA)

Because radon testing in the home as part of a real estate transaction has many special considerations in addition to those of a normal radon home test, you may want to consider hiring a radon professional. Radon testing isn't complicated, but improper radon testing may yield inaccurate results and require another test. If you plan on testing for radon yourself, order our do-it-yourself radon testing kit.

To get more help choosing the right radon test kits for your home use our Radon Testing Wizard . Or if you know which test you need you can go directly to the order page.



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