Radon-Free: How To Make Your House More Sellable

Posted on: 8 June 2020


If you have a persistent cough, shortness of breath, or chest pains, your home could have high levels of radon—the second leading cause of lung cancer. Since radon is invisible, odorless, and tasteless, being on alert for these symptoms and having your home regularly tested can protect your family's health.

If you delay and are a homeowner, high radon levels could affect the saleability of your home. Taking the following measures can reduce radon in your home.

Radon Mitigation and Home Saleability 

Radon-222 is a naturally occurring radioactive gas found to be present in homes in all states. Radon can seep into your home through cracks and pores in cement or blended with your gas supply. The EPA considers radon levels of 4 picocuries per liter, pCi/L, or higher, to be dangerous. Although the environmental watchdog recommends reducing radon levels even if they are below this reading.

The challenge is that radon measurements can be unreliable. An open window could blow the reading. Have a certified radon mitigation contractor perform a test for radon levels. Depending on your basement type, suction, membrane, ventilation, or heat-to-air exchanger methods will be proposed. Or professional radon mitigation services may suggest a combination of methods. 

Radon Membrane

A radon membrane prevents the leakage of radon from the soil or water into the home. Most membranes are installed during floor construction. Although more expensive, installing a membrane in a building already built is possible. A membrane may be retrofitted in crawl spaces and other areas.

The membranes may block out other harmful particles, such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs), methane, and carbon dioxide. The membrane must be high-strength and puncture-resistant to ensure its durability.  However tempting this seemingly easy solution may be, avoid DIY crack sealing. Done incorrectly, it can build pressure on the soil and increase radon seepage levels. 

Radon Sump

A radon sump is installed at the subfloor level. Through suction, a sump lowers the pressure in a pocket beneath the home. The radon is drawn into this low-pressure zone and then expelled through vents or pipes. By taking the above radon-reducing measures, you can sell your home without any concerns over devaluation. Although you may also be confronted with several common misconceptions regarding radon levels that could affect your home's value. They include:

Proximity to natural gas power plants 

For homes situated near natural gas power plants, studies have shown that radon levels are not higher than normal.

If the neighbors have high radon levels, this home does too 

The factors leading to high radon levels are specific to each home. 

By educating yourself and your buyers on radon risks and mitigation, your home sale should not face devaluation due to this invisible intruder.