When buying a house, you need to carry out a thorough check up on its condition. This is to ensure that the house is conducive for living both health-wise and environmentally. In some cases, however, you may find that the house you intend on buying requires a radon system. This may be a challenging thing since most people have no idea what to do in that scenario. For this case, let’s look at what Radon is and how to go about it.
What is Radon?
Radon is an odorless gas that is colorless and thus not detectable by humans. It is a result of uranium breakdown from the soil and when it is released to the air, it can get trapped inside your home. In the United States, it is the second leading causes of lung cancer next to cigarette smoking.
What to do if the home you are buying has high Radon?
The only way to know if the home you are looking at buying has radon, is to test for it. There are a variety of radon testing devices, but be sure the device that is used has tamper proof capabilities. If elevated radon levels are confirmed to be present, then a radon system or radon mitigation systemshould be installed to reduce the concentrations of the radioactive gas from the air and on occasion from the water supply. Negotiating with the seller should be done and you should request to have the money escrowed at closing so you can have a radon system installed and hire a professional remediation contractor directly.
There are cases where the seller may opt to have the radon mitigation system installed in the home instead of giving you the money or escrowing the money to mitigate the home. In most cases, the seller gets a system from the lowest bidder and the system is poorly installed and uses inferior materials and thus not so efficient. Therefore, it is recommended that you contract directly with a radon mitigation professional yourself and ensure the system that is installed will be reducing your radon levels and not increasing your radon levels or causing other issues like mold.
What is Mold?
Mold is fungi that grows everywhere and can grow on built areas such as homes and buildings. Mold can destroy the structural integrity of a home. Molds are common both indoors and outdoors but they generally occur in moist areas. Exposure to mold can cause allergic reactions as well as trigger asthma attacks and thus exposure to molds should be avoided.
Just like a house is tested for radon gas, the home should be inspected for mold growth should there be water intrusion concerns or a history of water intrusion. In the case where a house is infected with mold, negotiating with the seller should be done to ensure the house is properly remediated. You should make sure you hire a professional mold remediation company that is very efficient as well as trustworthy.
Questions to ask before hiring a mold remediation company
- Can you recommend experts in the case where your company cannot manage to do all the work?
A good company should have employees who are honest. This means that if the company does not have enough resources to carry out the mold remediation project, then they should be in a position to recommend someone else without fear of losing clients to the competitors.
- Do you offer warranties for your services?
A good mold removing company should be able to guarantee their work. Therefore, if a post-remediation inspection is done and mold remains, the company should carry out further cleaning or remediation without asking for additional fees.
- How long have you been offering this service?
You will need to find a company that has been operational for a while. This will assure you of their experience in offering the service as well as assure you that they will be there when needed.
- How do they do mold remediation?
The company you plan on hiring should know the procedure of removing mold and follow the IICRC Standards in addition to any state requirements. The company should know that the first step is fixing any water intrusion or leaks prior to any remediation. In addition they should do thorough pre-testing and ensure the work areas are properly contained as to prevent cross-contamination.
There are many things to consider while buying a house. If radon and mold are a concern; be sure to educate yourself by visiting your State Health Department or the EPA’s website. Be sure you know exactly what to do when faced with such a situation.
My daughter is in the middle of purchasing a home in Dover-Foxcroft Maine and the radon and mold levels are higher than they should be where would you recommend that she goes? Or is there any place that you can recommend thank you
Since she is located out-of-state we would recommend looking on the ACAC website to see who would be certified in her area for mold. You can search by zip code to find those nearest to her. In the ‘certification’ column you can see what they are certified for, i.e. mold testing, mold remediation, etc.
There are also radon sites that offer the same searches for certified professionals,
I recommend the NRPP website:
or, the other certification for radon is with NRSB: https://www.nrsb.org/find-a-pro/
I hope that is helpful,