Breathing Easy! Awareness of Radon Gases In North Georgia

The Mountain Life Team Blogger February 9, 2009

In dealing with a recent transaction, I have become very aware of the dangers involved with Radon Gases in North Georgia. Radon causes Lung Cancer and kills thousands of Americans every year, in Non-Smokers and Smokers alike. As a matter of fact, Radon is the number 1 cause of lung cancer among non-smokers, according to EPA estimates. Overall, Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer. Unfortunately I know this to be true, I lost my Mother-In-Law to lung cancer very sudden in the Spring of 2007. She never smoked a day in her life.

What Is Radon Gas And Where Does It Come From?

You can’t see Radon, nor can you smell or taste it. Radon is a radioactive gas. It comes from the natural decay of uranium that is found in nearly all soils. It typically moves up from the ground to the Georgia Radonair above and into your home through cracks and other holes in the foundation. Your home traps radon inside, where it can then build up. Any home may have a problem with Radon. This means new homes as well as older homes, well sealed and drafty homes, and homes with or without basements. To the right is an illustration showing the State of Georgia and the levels of Radon that have been detected through tests results taken by the EPA. Red indicates Higher potential results of indoor Radon screening. Orange, which the North Georgia Mountain Region falls under, indicates a Moderate potential screening level of 2 and 4 pCi/L. The test results of the recent transaction taking by Ron Gill with Pillar To Post home Inspections that I mentioned earlier, was higher than 6 pCi/L. Anything over a 4 pCi/L is an unacceptable level. Yellow indicates the Lowest potential indoor Radon screening.

If you would like to have your home tested for Radon, here is my recommendation. Ron Gill with Pillar To Post Home Inspections can conduct a Test for you using the lastest technology. The Radon Test will cost $200 without a Home Inspection, and $175 while performing a Home Inpection.

A must read is the The United States Environmental Protection Agency “Home Buyer’s and Sellers Guide to Radon.” This guide gives great tips on Why you should test, How to test, and What To Do if you get higher than average results of Radon Gas in your home.

The EPA recommends that you take action to reduce your homes indoor Radon levels if your result is 4 pCi/L or higher. It is better to correct a Radon problem before placing your home on the market because then you may have time to address a Radon problem. This is the best way to avoid problems once your home goes under contract as in the case with my Client’s and the current transaction that I am dealing with now. If elevated levels of Radon are found during a Real Estate transaction, the buyer and seller should discuss the timing and costs of Radon Reduction. The cost of making repairs to reduce Radon levels depends on how the home was built and other determining factors. Most homes can be fixed for about the same cost as other common repairs, like painting or having a new hot water heater installed. The average cost for a contractor to lower Radon levels in a home can range from $800 to about $2,500.

How Do You Lower The Radon Level In Your Home?

There are a variety of methods that can be used to reduce Radon in your Home. Sealing cracks and Sub-Slab Suctionother openings in the foundation is a basic part of most approaches to Radon Reduction. EPA does NOT recommend the use of sealing alone to limit Radon entry. Sealing alone has not been shown to lower Radon levels significantly or consistently.

In most cases, a system with a vent pipe(s) and fan(s) is used to reduce Radon. These “sub-slab depressurization” systems do not require major changes to your home. Similar systems can also be installed in homes with a crawl space. These systems prevent Radon Gas from entering the home from below the concrete floor and from outside the foundation. Radon mitigation contractors may use other methods that also work in your home. The right system depends on the design of your home and other determining factors.

These and other techniques for reducing radon are discussed in EPA’s “Consumer’s Guide To Radon Reduction.” As with any other household appliance, there are costs associated with the operation of the Radon-Reduction System.

One thing to keep in mind as well, if you have purchased a North Georgia Mountain Home or Cabin with an unfinished basement and have plans to convert some or all of that into living space, it is especially important to test the area for Radon before you begin. Should you have test results that indicate an elevated Radon level, Radon-Resistant Techniques can be inexpensively included as a part of the renovation. One important note as well, after Major Renovations Radon levels can change in any home. Test again after the work is completed.

Most all of the information in this Article came from the United States Enviromental Protection Agency’s webiste for Radon. There is so much information available to you on that site that I highly recommend you visiting it.

I hope that this article has made you aware of the dangers of Radon Gas not only in the North Georgia Real Estate Market, but right there at your home as well where ever that may be. I do want to Thank You for taking the time to read this article and hopefully it has given you something to think about when it comes to the importance of your families health. This is a very important issue that needs to be taken very seriously. Unfortunately I am having to deal with it through a current transaction, but you can rest assured that I will do everything that I can to ensure that my Seller’s will not have to go through the frustration of re-negotiating a contract in the future.

If you or someone you know is Buying or selling North Georgia Mountian Property, please either give me a call or give that contact my information. I can’t tell you how appreciative I would be. You can Contact Me, or simply call me at 706.633.8186. As always, Thanks for coming up on “The Porch” and visiting. Come back as often as you like, you are always welcome.

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