radon

The Radon Contingency Explained

July 21, 2016 | Buying a Home | By: Allison

THE RADON CONTINGENCY, EXPLAINED.

WHAT IS RADON?

Radon is a naturally occurring gas found in the atmosphere.  However, in a tightly sealed basement or an area of high concentrations of granite, the gas can become trapped in the house and more than likely the basement.  

HOW DOES THE TEST & CONTINGENCY WORK?

The purpose of the radon test is to see if there are radon gases present in the home. This test is a good idea in properties where there are basements. The radon tester (or sometimes the home inspector) will leave a test canister in the basement of the house for two days. While the test is in the house, sellers must keep windows and doors closed as much as possible. After the two day test period, they will pick it up and send the results.

Radon is found in almost all properties, however, it’s only an issue if it’s present in quantities higher than 4.0pC/L.  The purchaser can ask for the seller to remediate prior to settlement. This contingency and the negotiation works just like the inspection contingency. Read more on how that works here.

WHAT HAPPENS IF IT’S FOUND – WILL IT GO AWAY?

In most cases, the sellers will agree to remediate it. To do so, a pump is installed in the basement that pumps the radon gas out of the house. The house would then be re-tested after installation to make sure the remediation was a success. It’s a good idea to re-test on occasion to make sure the pump is working, but remediation typically works very well.

THE BOTTOM LINE

In almost all instances, a seller will remediate the gas as they will need to disclose it to the next buyer and it is a health hazard.  Should the seller refuse to do so, the buyer can remediate. The cost averages between $1,500-$2,500 dollars depending on the size of the house.

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