Home Inspection Tips - Radon Testing For Sellers and Buyers

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Whether you're buying or selling, you should always get the house inspected. What role does radon testing play?

Let's start with some things for the vendor to think about. The buyer will seek confirmation that the radon testing performed by your inspector or another competent specialist was accurate. If specific criteria aren't met, she may request a retest.

Did you follow either the EPA's radon checklist or your state's policy when conducting tests? How recently was testing performed? Since the inspections were performed, have you made any changes to your house? Is the buyer interested in living in a basement or lower level than what was subjected to testing?

If the sharing of radon information to buyers is mandated by your state or local government, she may also request a new test.

Test your home for radon as soon as possible if you haven't already. In order to simulate normal living conditions, it is best to do the test in the basement. If the buyer will be using the space, such as a basement or a playroom, then that is where you should conduct the test.

If you decide to conduct a radon test on your own, be sure to follow the guidelines established for your area or the EPA's Radon Testing Checklist. If you employ a trained contractor to inspect your house, you can avoid any dangers.

How do you locate an appropriate examiner? Consult a professional inspector. In addition, there should be a department in your state that handles radon concerns. They could possibly give you a directory of local testing services. Radon professionals are required to obtain a licence, certification, or registration in several states.

Even though radon-related services are not governed by state law where you live, you should still verify the credentials of your home inspector or contractor to ensure they are qualified to undertake the job. Does he have experience in radon measurement and correct procedure? The American Society of Home Inspectors, the National Association of Home Inspectors, and the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors are all good resources to look into as well.

Consider the flip side of the argument. What if you are a homebuyer? According to the EPA, prospective homebuyers have the option of accepting an earlier test result from the seller. If you're concerned about radon levels, you can either commission a new test yourself or request that the seller pay for it.

Ask the seller some questions before you agree with the results of any tests they've performed. What did earlier evaluations reveal? In whose hands did the testing fall? Exactly where in the house have earlier examinations been conducted? Do you mean the floor you intend to call home? Have there been any renovations to the house since the inspection? Have the heating and cooling systems, for instance, been updated?

You should verify that the seller's testing process or the EPA's checklist was followed before accepting the results. Talk to the vendor right away if you think a new test is necessary. Your state radon office should have a list of qualified radon testers available for you to review if you elect to have it retested on your own.

Request that the seller have the home inspected immediately if they haven't already. Include radon testing requirements in the agreement. Make a mental note of who will be doing the tests and where they will be conducted in the home. Take note of the testing schedule and the nature of the tests to be administered. When and how will the findings of the tests be made available to both the vendor and the buyer? Who is responsible for footing the bill for lab tests?

Tests for radon should be conducted on the floor you plan to live on, whether that's the ground floor or the basement. A radon test should be performed both before and after any work is done to a previously unfinished part of the home that was purchased after the radon warning was issued. A radon-reduction system is typically less expensive to install prior to (or even in the course of) a renovation than it would be to install afterwards.


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