The Radon Test Failed. Now What?
If there is a radon problem, by all means get it fixed, but it doesn’t make sense to let a high initial reading make you uneasy about the home. Here’s why:
Radon is Everywhere
Even outside air has about 0.5 picoCuries per liter (pCi/l), so it’s only a matter of degree. The average US home has about 1.3 pCi/l, but the EPA has designated much of southeast Michigan as a “hot spot.” In the general Ann Arbor area, for example, about 45% of untreated homes will fail the radon test.
There’s No Free Lunch
Tight clay soil around and under a house tends to hold the radon down, but it also holds water up. Homebuyers in southeast Michigan have to decide whether they would rather have a house with a temporary radon problem, or one with a permanently damp basement.
It’s Easy to Fix
Compared to water or foundation problems, radon is a snap. The work takes only half a day, and generally costs under $800. Usually the radon levels drop below the EPA guideline in less than 12 hours.
The Fix Is Very Effective
With a radon system installed, the resulting radon level will be much better than in the typical home. It doesn’t matter how high the initial reading was; the final result after system installation will be below the EPA guideline, usually well below. Surprisingly, homes with extremely high radon readings often have the best readings after being fixed. So far we at Protech have cured over 10,000 homes.
There Are Side Benefits
Many of our customers report that their basements smell noticeably fresher and have less mildew, and that they no longer have to use a dehumidifier. This is because a radon system reduces infiltration of water vapor, hydrocarbons and even microorganisms along with the radon. In other words, it’s better to be breathing air that didn’t come through the dirt, whether or not it has a lot of radon. In fact, “radon” systems have been installed to address moisture or methane problems in homes that already had very low radon levels.
The Fix Is Easy to Live With
A well-designed radon system is unobtrusive, quiet and out of sight. With quality components it will perform for years with no maintenance. The system draws about 40-60 watts (half a light bulb), depending on how hard the fan is working at any particular time. Operating cost is about a dime a day, and could actually have a cost savings if it eliminates the need for a 400-500 watt dehumidifier.
Resale is Not a Problem
This is something you should discuss with your REALTOR, but radon problems are so common that it’s just not an issue once it has been fixed in a quality manner. Years from now, potential buyers should actually prefer your home over others, because it has unusually low radon levels and a fresh, dry basement to boot. Even those who may be skeptical about radon will be thinking about resale too, and coming to the same conclusion.
Have A Question About Radon Treatment?
Super quick and efficient service of installing a radon mitigation system in the house we were selling. The installers were very knowledgeable and explained the system and the information to pass on to the buyer's. Definitely would recommend.
(a) at least ten feet off the ground,
(b) above the eave (not necessarily the edge) of the roof, and
(c) either ten feet away from, or two feet above, windows.