If you're in the market to purchase a home, there are numerous steps you'll need to take before closing to protect yourself and your investment. From home inspections and appraisals to title research and everything in between, the process can be quite drawn-out. One additional aspect of protecting yourself that you'll want to keep in mind as you prepare to buy a home is that of conducting radon testing.
Radon is the Second-Leading Cause of Lung Cancer
Radon is a natural carcinogenic that can be found in water, soil, and rocks around a home's foundation--especially in certain areas of the United States (such as the midwest). Unfortunately, radon can seep into your home through small foundation cracks and drains, thus putting you at risk. In fact, radon is a leading cause of lung cancer, second only to cigarette smoke.
Radon Testing Can Be Done With an Inspection
To protect yourself, it's a good idea to have a radon test done as part of your home inspection. These are typically completed after you have an offer accepted on a home but before the closing process begins. This way, you can find out ahead of time whether there are dangerous levels of radon in the home and, if so, what steps the seller is prepared to take in order to resolve the issue.
You Should Re-Test Your Home Every Few Years
Keep in mind that just because your home tests within safe levels of radon once, this doesn't necessarily mean that you'll never have to worry about radon again. Ideally, your home should be re-tested every few years, as changes in the soil and other factors can cause radon levels to increase. You should also have your home tested any time you take on a major remodeling or construction project.
Radon Mitigation is Available to Homeowners
Keep in mind that if your home does test high for radon, there are steps that can be taken to effectively lower radon levels and prevent against future risk. Specifically, radon mitigation services are offered by professionals and can help to ensure your home is safe. In many cases, it is possible to get a home seller to pay for these mitigation services as a condition of you buying the home.
By being aware of radon and its risks, you can take the necessary steps to protect yourself and your loved ones as you shop for your next home.