Buying a new home comes with numerous considerations to ensure a smooth and safe transition. One crucial aspect that should not be overlooked is radon. Radon testing is typically included in the home inspection process to measure the levels of this colorless and odorless radioactive gas. High amounts of radon pose serious health risks, including being the second leading cause of lung cancer in America. So, who is responsible for radon mitigation: the buyer or the seller?
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The Seller’s Responsibility
In most cases, it is the seller who takes care of radon mitigation. Certain states, such as Colorado, have higher radon levels, requiring mandatory radon tests before transferring ownership. If the test results indicate elevated radon levels, the seller must disclose this information to potential buyers before finalizing the sale.
Although there is no explicit law determining who should bear the cost of radon mitigation, it is typically the seller’s responsibility. However, it is crucial to note that radon mitigation is not usually covered by home insurance policies.
The Types of Radon Mitigation Systems
Radon mitigation systems are tailored plans designed to eliminate high levels of radon from the indoor air. The specific type of system depends on the construction of the house. Radon is commonly found in crawl spaces or basements, but it’s essential to measure radon levels in multiple areas of the home to ensure the safety of occupants.
The process may involve sealing cracks, installing PVC pipes, and utilizing manometers or fans to redirect radon flow away from the home. While radon mitigation systems can be costly, they are necessary for preserving the health of those residing in the home.
Options for Radon Mitigation Responsibility
When it comes to determining who pays for radon mitigation, there are several options to consider:
Option 1: The Buyer Assumes Responsibility
If the seller did not disclose the radon levels in the home, or if the levels were within an acceptable range at the time of purchase but have since risen, the responsibility for radon mitigation falls on the buyer. In this case, the buyer can choose to hire a radon mitigation specialist or utilize DIY systems to redirect radon flow outside the home. It is advisable to employ professional assistance to ensure proper eradication and redirection of radon. Some radon mitigation companies even include retesting as part of their system installation services.
Option 2: The Seller Covers the Cost
If the buyer conducts a radon test and discovers higher-than-expected levels, they may request the seller to pay for the mitigation system. Completing the radon mitigation before the closing of the home not only protects the new homeowners but also enhances the property’s value. It is crucial to ensure that the radon levels have been successfully reduced to safe levels before finalizing the sale.
Who chooses the company to conduct the mitigation system? If the home has been sold and is awaiting closure, the buyer should select the mitigation company. The buyer and seller can also agree on a company together. Regular radon retesting is highly recommended to ensure the effectiveness of the mitigation system.
Option 3: Credit or Allowance at Closing
As a seller, it is essential to be aware of the radon situation in your home before completing the selling process. If radon mitigation is required, the seller can provide an allowance or credit toward the cost of the mitigation system. This contribution helps cover the expenses associated with radon mitigation, including retesting. The amount of credit or allowance offered may vary based on the extent of the installation requirements.
Frequently Asked Questions
Dealing with radon in a home can be time-consuming and frustrating, regardless of whether the property is new or old. It is unsafe to live in a home with high radon levels, emphasizing the importance of having a radon mitigation plan in place. Here are some frequently asked questions about radon and radon mitigation systems:
Should I test my home for radon before selling?
Yes, it is highly recommended to test your home for radon before selling. By doing so, you can disclose this information to potential buyers. Furthermore, you can detail any steps you have taken to reduce radon levels, which can serve as a selling point. This is especially crucial in states where high radon levels are prevalent.
Should I buy a house with high radon levels?
If a house has radon levels exceeding the EPA standard of 4 PCi/L, it is necessary to develop a mitigation system to reduce radon levels. Once an effective radon mitigation system is in place and the levels are lowered, the home becomes safe for occupancy. Radon levels fluctuate daily, so long-term tests are recommended to gain a more accurate understanding of the radon situation in an area.
Does a radon mitigation system impact property values?
No, radon mitigation systems do not have a negative impact on property values. In areas where radon is common, having a mitigation system in place is standard practice. Potential homebuyers are likely to inquire about radon tests and mitigation efforts before proceeding with purchasing a property. Therefore, having a mitigation system can even be a positive selling point.
Is radon a cause for concern?
Yes, radon can be extremely harmful if left unmitigated. Excessive radon levels exceed the EPA standard and can potentially lead to lung cancer. It is essential to implement a radon mitigation system to maintain low radon levels in a home.
How much does radon testing and mitigation cost?
Radon tests are available in two forms: short-term and long-term tests. Short-term tests last a minimum of 48 hours and cost approximately $15. Long-term tests, lasting at least 90 days, offer a more accurate representation of radon levels and are priced around $25.
As for radon mitigation, costs vary depending on the specific requirements of the home. The installation could range from $200 to $5000, depending on the necessary features and complexity of the system.
For further information on the “5 WS” (Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How) of radon and radon mitigation, visit 5 WS.
Remember, when it comes to radon, it’s vital to prioritize the health and safety of those living in our homes.