January is radon awareness month in Michigan. How do I know? Because I just had one of my buyers perform a radon inspection on their potential brand new house . . . . and guess what? The levels were at 15.7 which is almost four times the legal limit.
What does this mean? It means the builder will have to install a system of venting the gas out. It is a relatively easy fix but it MUST be done. Much like your furnace that emits carbon monoxide and is vented out, the radon gas can also be safely vented out. Check out this cool animation that explains radon and how it is vented out HERE.
Many don't even know what radon is. Simply put, radon is a gas by-product of the breakdown of uranium. The gas gets into the soil and it comes up through the foundation of a home. Be aware that radon could care less if your home is 100 or newly built. Every home should be tested before purchase. If you have never done a radon test on your home, HERE is a list of agencies who provide the kits for free.
Take radon seriously. The EPA estimates that 21,000 people per year die from lung cancer caused by radon gas. Would you allow your furnace to run and emit that CO2? Of course NOT!! So if your test comes up positive, just get it taken care of! So how do they do it? This website HERE has some great pictures that explain how the venting system works.
My clients asked an interesting question with regard to radon that I had never heard asked before. How does radon effect your water if you have a well? Hmmm good question I had never thought of. What did cross my mind right away was the fact that radon is a gas so I didn't think it would have anything to do with it. But I want to watch out for the best interest of my client and my thoughts on the this matter don't really count! I wanted to talk to a professional on the subject!
So my first call was to the Kent County Health Department. I talked to sanitarian specialist, Steve Petrides who told me that in some areas of the world, radon is a concern in the water--Michigan is not one of them!!! He went into a long explanation which was way over my head but what it came down to was that the concentrations are extremely small. For further explanation you would need to call him!
Here are some more Radon Links
Disclaimer: This blog is written by a real estate agent and is no way intended to be used to make serious decisions regarding radon. It is recommended you call your health department and speak to them directly.
Pictures used by permission of RadonGrandRaids