Approximately one out of 15 homes in the US has elevated radon levels. Exposure to radon gas causes lung cancer and occasionally stomach cancer, so it’s a serious concern if found in your home. Radon is a naturally occurring, radioactive gas that forms when uranium decays. If a home is built in a radon-prone area, radon can be pulled inside through cracks in concrete slab foundations, gaps in suspended floors and service pipes, construction joints, and pipes bringing well water into the home.
Radon Is Common in NC
Unfortunately, radon is quite common in North Carolina, because uranium is present in many granite-based geological formations across the state. Radon levels are (in general) highest the closer you get to the mountains of NC, but the Piedmont Triad is considered a fairly high-risk area. If you want to see a map of radon levels across the state, check it out here.
Professional Radon Remediation Is Quick, Easy, and Relatively Inexpensive
Luckily, radon in the air in a home can be mitigated by using a system of vent pipes and fans, which pull radon from underneath the home and vents it away to the outside. In addition, activated carbon systems can be used to capture radon from water entering your home. Of course, sealing cracks, holes, and other openings in floors and walls is essential to the process—but sealing alone is not enough to lower radon levels.
Buying or Selling a Home with Radon?
Radon is on the Residential Disclosure Form – meaning if a seller knows the radon level of his or her home, it must be communicated to the buyer. Many experts recommend you have a test performed at any home you plan to purchase; that way, if radon is discovered during testing, you can ask the seller to be responsible for remediating it to safe levels or account for the cost when considering your offer to purchase. Buyers shouldn’t panic if they discover a home they’re interested in has a history of radon. Although it sounds scary, radon is not a deal breaker in a home purchase. If remediated properly, any health risk is eliminated completely.
There’s good information about radon testing, radon-resistant construction features, selecting a radon-reduction contractor, and more in the EPA’s Home Buyer’s and Seller’s Guide to Radon.
Finding a Radon Remediator
While the state of North Carolina does not require radon testing for real estate transactions, the NC Radon Program, which is part of the NC Department of Health and Human Services, recommends that EVERY home in North Carolina be tested for radon by a certified professional. There are two national certification organizations that evaluate radon professionals, and you can find them here:
You can also use DIY test kits to test for radon in the air and water. In fact, discounted radon testing kits are available to residents of all 100 North Carolina counties through the NC Radon Program.
If we can help allay your fears about radon or provide you with any other assistance related to buying or selling residential property in Greensboro, High Point, Winston-Salem, Summerfield, Oak Ridge, Jamestown, and other Piedmont Triad areas, call us at (336) 790-5210, email Steve Vincent, and visit our website at greatnest.com for more information. The Vincent Group at GreatNest is a full-service real estate company serving buyers and sellers that will save you money in buying or selling a home by charging a low set fee instead of a percentage commission. Our experienced real estate professionals are ready to answer your questions or get started looking for the property that suits your taste and budget.