Recommended for all houses in all areas of Western North Carolina regardless of foundation type. Most home buyers order a radon test with their home inspection and about 1 out of 6 homes that we see test high for radon (fail). If the levels of radon are high during a real estate test typically the seller pays for mitigation (but not always). Mitigation typically costs less than $2000 and is generally very effective in reducing radon levels.
Builder Buddy Inspectors conduct the radon tests using the RadStar RS300 Continuous Monitor device. This machine is placed in the lowest finished space in the home for 2-4 days — it takes readings every hour and has a tamper sensor. One of the many advantages of the continuous monitors is that they produce 48-96 readings instead of just one with the charcoal/cartridge tests. The additional information is used to produce graphs that show spike or tampering events. Results are back within 3 business days.
FOR YOUR INFORMATION: The EPA protocol for radon testing for real estate transactions is different than normal testing. Real estate transactions require a minimum 48 hour test using a Continuous Monitor or TWO approved charcoal tests. Please view the EPA’s Home Buyer’s Guide for more information or hire a radon testing professional.
MORE INFORMATION ABOUT RADON IN WNC:
There is naturally occurring Uranium in our mountains in Western North Carolina. The Uranium breaks down into other unstable elements like Radon gas. Radon is a radioactive gas and a class A carcinogen that seeps up to the surface and into our homes where it decays and emits damaging Alpha particles. According to the Surgeon General, Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking. Children and the elderly are especially susceptible. All homes in our region should be tested (and occasionally retested) for Radon because it is impossible to predict where these gases escape.
It doesn’t matter where in our region or what construction type (basement or crawl space). Unless they have already been mitigated, all homes could have unsafe levels of radon. There are specific protocols and procedures when it comes to the handling, length, and placement of testing devices– especially when it comes to real estate sales. We use the Radstar Continuous Monitor– the advantage of a continuous monitor is that it takes a reading every hour- which means that in 2 to 4 days it could produce 48-96 readings. The charcoal test only provide one reading after 2-4 days. With hourly readings, graphs can be produced and spikes and/or patterns can be observed- providing the client with more information. The Continuous Monitor is a type of Geiger counter that continuously monitors for dangerous alpha particles. Our professional equipment, protocol and test results are often used to negotiate the installation of radon mitigation equipment when average radon readings are too high. We do not install radon mitigation systems which typically cost between $1200-$1800. Best practice is for the home to be re-tested after mitigation– these system typically work well in reducing radon in the home to healthy levels.