My wife and I recently made an offer on a home in Smithfield Utah. Unlike my current house, this home has a full basement. Knowing that most homes on the eastern bench in Utah have high radon levels, and being that I plan to live in this house for a very long time, I decided to have a radon test done as part of our due diligence.
I purchased a $12, do it your self radon test kit from Lowes, followed the instructions, and set it up in a basement bedroom about 2 feet off the ground.
Two days later I went back to the house, put the little radon test kit in the postage bag provided, and mailed it off to the lab address in Carrolton Texas. Being that I needed the results quickly before my due diligence deadline, I paid an extra $10 for “expedited processing” and paid about $5.50 for priority mail so it would get their faster. It worked. On friday I got the results telling me that my potential house had some fairly high radon levels 6.5 pCi/L. The EPA recommends having a radon mitigation system installed anytime the level is above 4.0. The average US home has radon levels at 1.3 pCi/L.
When I told my wife about the high radon levels, she was really concerned. She didn’t know much about radon but had great fears that our children would be among the 21,000 Americans who die each year from lung cancer caused by radon, if we bought the house. In reality, the risk of getting lung cancer from radon gas is higher than normal, but it is still not a high probability. Nevertheless, we don’t even want to risk higher than average probability for our family.
The nice things about radon gas, is that it can be reduced through mitigation efforts.
Sometimes the “do it yourself” radon test kits aren’t completely accurate. After all, they are delivered by mail to some out of state location. So I decided that I would want an additional test done to verify that my radon levels really were high before asking the seller to pay around $1,500 for a radon mitigation system. So I called Ben from Radon Check and had him come out with his super high tech radon tester. This advanced tester provides detailed reports that show the different fluctuations in the radon levels based on the time of day.
After this test was completed it was confirmed that indeed our Radon levels were high.
The house in Smithfield we are buying is a new construction house that is owned by the builder. If we were to back out of the house based on the radon levels, there is a good chance that the next potential buyers would do the same. For this reason, it was the builders best interest to pay for the radon mitigation system — which they did.
If you’re buying a home in Utah that has a basement, check it for radon. It’ll cost a few bucks, but it’s well worth it for the peace of mind that comes from knowing that your house isn’t contributing to your families probability of cancer.
If you need a radon test, and or a Radon Mitigation system call Radon Check. They know what they are doing. (435) 764-8951