Stephen hosted Scott Stegall on the show this week to discuss radon and what you should know about it in relation to your home inspection.
What is Radon?
It’s a colorless, odorless gas that is naturally occurring, it’s generated in rock, soil and water from uranium breaking down. When it breaks down it turns into particles that are airborne that can be breathed in. Currently, radon is the #1 reason for lung cancer for individuals who do not smoke as it’s a carcinogen.
How does Radon get into a home?
The air pressure in a home is lower than the pressure in the soil around your home’s foundation, due to this difference in pressure you house essentially turns into a vacuum and pulls the radon from the foundation. Due to the insulation of homes now, the radon will then become trapped in your home and can build up over time.
Another way that radon can enter your home is through the types of materials you used to build the home such as granite or certain types of concrete but the probability of this is very low.
How to test for Radon?
There are a number of EPA approved methods of testing, there are short term and long term tests that can be facilitated. During a real estate transaction you will have a short term test that is required as the buyer has a right to know if the home has radon. The EPA ranks probability of radon in South Carolina by county, 1 being the most likely to have it and 3 being the best. Greenville County is ranked a 1 while York County is a 2 and Lancaster Counties and beyond toward the beach are ranked a 1.
“The EPA also says here in the state of South Carolina around 5% of the houses throughout the state will have elevated readings above the permissible limit,” said Scott.
How to treat Radon?
Since radon is airborne, the action limit for radon is 4.0. If the test reveals that you have a radon issue you’ll need to have a radon mitigation team come out to correct the issue. In general this will include venting your crawl space, basement, etc. Once venting is completed, the air will be tested again to ensure that you are below the action limit.
“Radon is not detrimental to your home and can be corrected,” said Stephen. Make sure that even if you are moving into a brand new home be sure to still get the radon test down just in case.
For more information, check out the full show: