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  #1  
Old 05-03-2010, 05:56 PM
hende hende is offline
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Radon Gas in Homes

The sellers just accepted our offer on a home. We are planning to have the inspection completed next week. For $100 or so extra, they will test for Radon within the home.

They explained a bit about what Radon is and the hazards it presents. However, I'm not convinced it is necessary to test for this. I must confess that I don't know much more on the subject beyond what I was told by the inspection company and my 5 minutes of googling.

If we do decide to test for Radon and it comes back with high levels, the sellers will be forced to fix the issue (per the agreement in our offer).

So what do you say, should I pay the extra money to test for Radon?
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  #2  
Old 05-03-2010, 06:33 PM
Oakminster Oakminster is offline
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It's a hundred bucks. You're about to spend many thousands. Drop a Benjamin, get the test, and sleep better.

Last edited by Oakminster; 05-03-2010 at 06:34 PM..
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  #3  
Old 05-03-2010, 06:52 PM
ZipperJJ ZipperJJ is offline
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The way my Realtor described it was...

"I don't know anyone who's died from radon gas. You're not going to die from radon gas. But if it's tested and they find radon gas, the sellers have to pay for the mitigation system. If you don't have it tested, and you go to sell it and the buyers find radon gas then you'll have to pay for the mitigation system. Take the offer and get the test."

I could give a shit about radon gas. If I had kids and they were going to play in the basement, then maybe I'd care about it. I have the mitigation system installed and I never ever turn it on. It's a pipe with a fan in it that vents out the side of the house.

If you do go for the test, and they find gas and set up a system, see if you can have a little bit of say in the system then install. Look around the Web for options. Different options are different prices and I'm sure the seller will go with the cheapest...but I absolutely hate mine and think it's an eyesore. If I would have known WTF it was before they put it in, I would have been more diligent about where they put it.

Forgot to add: I agree with Oakminster, do the test. Get the system if needed. Just make sure it's not butt-ugly.

Last edited by ZipperJJ; 05-03-2010 at 06:53 PM..
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  #4  
Old 05-03-2010, 06:57 PM
DiosaBellissima DiosaBellissima is offline
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Ha, this reminds me of a time my friend and I were watching Extreme Home Makeover and the big "thing" of the show was that the family's home had radon and so the show had to come in to do this big production to fix it.

My friend's husband came in mid show and started screaming, "Do you know why it's bullshit? IT'S JUST A FUCKING PIPE that fixes it. A HOLE"
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  #5  
Old 05-03-2010, 07:02 PM
Peremensoe Peremensoe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZipperJJ View Post
The way my Realtor described it was...

"I don't know anyone who's died from radon gas. You're not going to die from radon gas."
She doesn't know if she knows anyone that's died from radon gas. It is a risk factor for lung cancer and possibly leukemia, but there's no way to tell whether radon has caused any particular case.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZipperJJ View Post
I have the mitigation system installed and I never ever turn it on. It's a pipe with a fan in it that vents out the side of the house.
It is doing some good without the fan, too. That's just a boost. Many houses have radon mitigation systems that are only sub-slab and vent pipes--just giving the gas another path that doesn't involve seeping up into inhabited spaces.
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  #6  
Old 05-03-2010, 07:37 PM
billfish678 billfish678 is offline
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IMO...

If you are the type that worries at all about the health effects of second hand smoke or fast food or thinks that "organic" food is actually measurably healthier, then IMO you better worry about radon too. While generally NOT a problem, there is the occasional house that not only has radon levels that are high enough to be a minor risk, it has hella high OMG levels.

Get the test done, especially since there is no downside for you. And keep in mind that I am a person that thinks Chernobyl was not nearly a big a disaster as many folks make it out to be so its not like I am chicken little or anything.
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  #7  
Old 05-03-2010, 07:41 PM
Napier Napier is offline
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I think lots of people die from radon gas.

You can apply some reasoning to your specific risk if you like. For example, I think regions with lots of granite bedrock are generally high in radon, and flat peninsular regions are generally low, and the same amount of radon in the soil would be much more dangerous in the north where there is less ventilation in the winter than in the south. So your motivation should be much bigger in New Hampshire than in Florida.
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  #8  
Old 05-03-2010, 10:09 PM
Duckster Duckster is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZipperJJ View Post
The way my Realtor described it was...

"I don't know anyone who's died from radon gas. You're not going to die from radon gas. But if it's tested and they find radon gas, the sellers have to pay for the mitigation system. If you don't have it tested, and you go to sell it and the buyers find radon gas then you'll have to pay for the mitigation system. Take the offer and get the test."

Quote:
Radon is estimated to cause about 21,000 lung cancer deaths per year, according to EPA's 2003 Assessment of Risks from Radon in Homes (EPA 402-R-03-003). The numbers of deaths from other causes are taken from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's 2005-2006 National Center for Injury Prevention and Control Report and 2006 National Safety Council Reports.
http://www.epa.gov/radon/pubs/citguide.html

Spend the 100 smackers. It's cheap compared what the potential could be.

One more thing. Someone needs to educate the Realtor. In our litigious society, it's only a matter of time before that Realtor finds them self on the end of a lawsuit because of their stupidity.
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  #9  
Old 05-04-2010, 02:34 AM
pericynthion pericynthion is offline
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Most of these estimates of thousands of deaths from radon assume the Linear, No Threshold hypothesis for radiation damage. This hypothesis is conservative, and far from proven.
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  #10  
Old 05-04-2010, 06:29 AM
Maastricht Maastricht is offline
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Wiki on radon. Huh, and here I was thinking it was a gas emitted by new building materials like plywood. Ignorance fought.
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  #11  
Old 05-04-2010, 07:45 AM
Mama Zappa Mama Zappa is offline
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I agree with other posters that you have little to lose by spending the hundred bucks. While I don't know the relative risks, there are some areas where radon is more of a problem than others; depending on the age of the house it may be well-sealed enough that the stuff is trapped inside and the levels would be higher. Of course the likelihood of finding anything depends on the house construction, the geographical area etc.

The house I grew up in turned out (when we sold it after Mom died) to have elevated radon levels and the estate had to fix this before the sale finished. We kids spent a lot of time down there growing up. While none of us has developed lung cancer, and even if we had there was a lot of secondhand smoke at play, it's still something I'd avoid for my kids if possible.
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  #12  
Old 05-04-2010, 08:21 AM
Baracus Baracus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mama Zappa View Post
The house I grew up in turned out (when we sold it after Mom died) to have elevated radon levels and the estate had to fix this before the sale finished.
There is a good reason to get the test done. Even if you don't care about the risks, future buyers might and then you as the seller will be paying for the mitigation system.
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  #13  
Old 05-04-2010, 09:56 AM
Poysyn Poysyn is offline
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I live in an area with higher Radon levels, it's more serious in the winter (when the house is all closed up), so the levels that test low now, may test high later.

Also, I was under the impression that testing took months - for more accurate results.

I probably know more than I should about Radon - we recently held a town hall information session on it.
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  #14  
Old 05-04-2010, 10:44 AM
Smeghead Smeghead is offline
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You can do a quick test that's something like two weeks, then follow up with one that's like a year long or so if it finds something.

We opted not to do the testing when we bought our house, mainly because we're on sandy riverbottom soil rather than solid bedrock.
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  #15  
Old 05-04-2010, 09:36 PM
pabstist pabstist is offline
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The state of Vermont has a free radon testing program. But you have to leave the tester in place for 8-12 months. I guess in 6 months I'll know the results!
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  #16  
Old 05-07-2010, 01:08 PM
Chessic Sense Chessic Sense is offline
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They just tested my house, which I'm selling in June. The EPA says to take corrective action at 4. I tested at 20! Maybe it is something to worry about...
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  #17  
Old 05-07-2010, 04:46 PM
hende hende is offline
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Thanks everyone for the responses! We decided to go ahead with the Radon test. Radon testing starts this weekend and the home inspection is on Monday. Wish me luck!
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