How to Look

at a House


A blog with answers
to your questions about
HOME INSPECTION
and HOME MAINTENANCE

Click Below to Link
to Collections of
Blog Posts by Subject

Search This Blog

Welcome to our blog!
We want you to be an informed homebuyer, and each blog post is a question that we have answered for our friends and customers over the years. Hope they help you make a good choice for your next home.


Radon Testing

$160

in Metro Gainesville

48-hour test, results same
day of test completion

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

$120

when done at same
time as  home inspection

   Radon is different than other indoor air contaminants like mold, stored paint and chemicals, or formaldehyde gas from new carpets and manufactured wood flooring. They all originate in the home and exhausting indoor air to eliminate them makes sense. But radon rises up into a home from the soil below it when the air pressure inside is less than the pressure in the ground.

    Homes have a natural upward suction, called the “stack effect,” which is illustrated by the diagram below. Exterior air pressure difference caused by prevailing winds can also create a pressure-differential stack effect.


    So most houses naturally pull air from the ground. Opening windows on all sides of the home can equalize pressures between inside and outside, but opening windows on only on one or two sides, or using a exhaust fan, will increase the stack effect.

    Open windows also have disadvantages: increased energy cost to heat the house in winter and cool it in summer, and open windows are a security risk when you are away from home or at night. Although Florida residents love to brag about our balmy sub-tropical weather, most people keep their windows closed and air conditioner on year-round.

   Natural flow-through ventilation has been proven to be helpful, though, in houses with a basement or crawl space under the floor. Venting those spaces may provide some reduction in the radon concentration in the home above, but the EPA states that “natural ventilation in any type of home should  normally be regarded as only a temporary radon reduction approach.”

    Not sure whether testing for radon is worth the cost? Read our blog post “How can not testing for radon be an expensive mistake for homebuyers?” before you decide. And if you are considering a do-it-yourself radon test, see our blog post ”Can a homebuyer do their own radon test for a real estate transaction with a self-test kit?” for the pros and cons of doing your own test. 


While we hope you find this series of articles about home inspection helpful, they should not be considered an alternative to an actual home inspection by a local inspector. Also, construction standards vary in different parts of the country and it is possible that important issues related to your area may not be covered here.
© McGarry and Madsen Inspection

 


Answers to the most Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about radon:

  1. What is radon? Should I be concerned about it in Gainesville?

  2. How can not testing for radon be an expensive mistake for homebuyers?

  3. This house has been empty and closed-up for months. Will the radon test come back sky-high?

  4. What are a homebuyer’s options when the radon test comes back high (4.0 pico-curies/liter or more)?

  5. What’s my chance of getting a high radon reading in Gainesville?

  6. How long does it take to get the results of a radon test?

  7. Can the seller tamper with a homebuyer’s radon test to change the results?

  8. How can I tell if a house has a radon mitigation system?

  9. Do granite countertops emit radon?

  10. What does a radon mitigation contractor do to lower the radon level in a home?

  11. What is the danger of radon in well water?

  12. Do I need to test for radon when buying a condominium?

  13. What are the symptoms of radon poisoning?

  14. What is the average radon level of indoor and outdoor air in America?

  15. Can a mobile/manufactured home have a high radon problem?

  16. Should homeowners get a pre-listing radon test before selling their home?

  17. For how many years does an old radon test remain valid?

  18. Where does radon come from?

  19. How was it determined that between 15,000 and 22,000 lung cancer deaths each year are caused by radon?

  20. Can stormy weather change the radon in a house?

  21. Do older houses have higher radon levels than new houses?

  22. Do radon mitigation systems require maintenance?

  23. What is the operating cost of a radon mitigation system?

  24. Should I buy a house with a radon mitigation system?

  25. Is radon mitigation possible for a condominium?