Do I Need a Radon Test?: Should homebuyers in Pennsylvania get a radon test?

Randon Testing

Is radon testing necessary? 

Whether or not you need radon testing when buying a home in Pennsylvania, or any other location, depends on several factors. Radon is a colorless, odorless, radioactive gas that can seep into homes from the ground, and long-term exposure to high levels of radon can be harmful. The EPA has determined that exposure to radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer (smoking being the primary cause). The decay process of radon creates two small particles that may be inhaled, these particles can cause cells in the lungs to mutate into cancerous cells. 

Here are some key Considerations:

1. Location: 

Radon levels can vary significantly from one area to another. Pennsylvania radon levels may differ from those in neighboring states. The EPA estimates that 15% of homes in the U.S have levels more than 4.0 pCi/l, The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and EPA recommend mitigating radon when levels are at or above this level. In Pennsylvania there is something called the “reading prong”, this is a geological formation with higher-than-average radon levels that affects Southeastern Pennsylvania. Counties and cities within Pennsylvania have varying levels, tapering off near the Delaware river in Philadelphia and Delaware counties. The important consideration is that while it’s possible to predict the general risk of an area, it is not possible to predict a specific property’s risk as it depends on ground conditions and rock formation under the ground.

2. Local Regulations: 

Some states and local jurisdictions have specific regulations regarding radon testing and mitigation, which may require radon testing during real estate transactions. In Pennsylvania, the DEP & EPA recommend all homeowners and home buyers have their homes checked for radon, although there is no specific requirement to have this test conducted when purchasing a home. Check with local authorities to understand if there are any legal requirements in your area.

3. Seller Disclosure: 

In some regions, sellers are required to disclose known radon levels in the property, or whether radon mitigation systems are in place. Review the seller’s disclosure statement for this information.

4. Age and Type of Home: 

Older homes may be at a higher risk for radon infiltration, as they may not have been built with radon-resistant construction techniques. Newer homes may have these features, but it’s still possible for radon to be an issue. Do not assume that because your home is newer or that it is built on slab radon will not be an issue, testing is the only way to know for sure. A discussion with your home inspector at Batten To Beam Inspections can help you understand your risks.

5. Radon Testing History: 

If the current homeowner has had a radon test conducted recently and can provide you with the results, it may help you make an informed decision.

6. Personal Health Concerns: 

If you or your family members have respiratory issues or other health concerns that make you particularly sensitive to indoor air quality, you may want to consider radon testing even if it’s not required.

7. Peace of Mind: 

Radon testing can provide peace of mind, especially if you plan to spend a significant amount of time in the home or if you have young children. It’s a relatively low-cost measure compared to the potential health risks associated with high radon levels.

8. Negotiating Tool: 

If the radon inspection reveals elevated levels of radon, you can use this information as a negotiation point with the seller. You may request that they mitigate the radon issue or adjust the selling price accordingly.

Choosing Batten to Beam for Randon Testing in Pennsylvania

In general, it’s a good idea to consider radon testing when purchasing a home, especially if you’re in an area known for elevated radon levels as is the case in Southwestern Pennsylvania such as Chester, berks and Montgomery counties, or if there are no prior test results available. Batten To Beam Inspections is certified in Pennsylvania and Delaware to complete your radon testing and provide you with valuable information to help you evaluate your new home purchase. This is a relatively small investment compared to the overall cost of buying a home, and it can help ensure the safety and health of your family. You should discuss your concerns with your home inspector and consider including a radon contingency in your purchase agreement. Contact us today at +1 484-573-7194 and know all our services.

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