Investment in real estate is a popular strategy for increasing cashflow and building assets, but is radon on your radar?
Naturally, a profitable investment requires you to do your research and assess the state of the property. The question is, is radon on your checklist? Because radon is an invisible & odorless gas, it is frequently overlooked by investors. However, at least 1 in 4 Missouri homes are likely to have high radon levels, so it should be part of your evaluation. Even if it has a radon mitigation or abatement system, you should make sure the system is working with a radon inspection. It is impossible to determine if radon is present in your investment property without proper testing, so it’s best to ask a certified professional like EnviroTech Radon Solutions to help.
)There are some steps to keep in mind when testing the property properly:
- Use calibrated, certified equipment. Carbon tests and consumer grade products are not as accurate.
- Test the lowest usable level of the building.
- Keep the doors and windows closed as much as possible before and during the test. See our page on Closed House Conditions.
- Avoid doing tests in the kitchen, bathroom, laundry area, or corridors with heavy traffic and airflow.
- Place the testing apparatus at least 20″ above the ground and avoid testing during storms, high winds, or high humidity.
- Testing in the summer may not give you the best picture of the average annual radon levels as they are often the lowest during these months, but can get much higher in the other seasons.
Radon specialists inspect both active and passive radon mitigation systems using the American Society of Home Inspectors checklist. An electrical vent fan, vent pipe, sealed cracks and joints, and a system monitor/alarm are all components of an active system. A vent pipe from the soil through the top of the roof is the primary component of a passive system.
A professional test is cost-effective if you intend to sell your home and it gives you the official reports to protect yourself during the sale. Some home inspectors can do this and EnviroTech Radon Solution is certified by the National Radon Proficiency Program (NRPP) for this specialty. Systems for reducing radon are intended to bring levels down to fewer than 4 pCi/L, the lower the better. If the testing shows higher than this, you definitely need a mitigation system. Of course, no level is actually “safe”, but you may not be required to install a system if the property is below this number. Plus, levels can very depending on the time of year and environmental conditions.
When selecting a mitigation company, make sure you use a company like EnviroTech Radon Solutions who has a NRPP Radon Mitigation Specialist Certification or Radon Mitigation Installer Certification. If you use a company that isn’t certified and doesn’t have the proper insurance to cover their installation, it will be much harder to get service after the sale if there is an issue. You are also far more likely to have problems like mold or less effective systems then if you use someone with the proper background and training.
When conducting your inspection, it’s crucial to take your time; using this checklist can really help you find issues that might put you at risk for radon issues.
Investor’s Radon Inspection Checklist
Foundation and Structures:
Wall fissures and cracked concrete basement floors are some indications of problems that could give radon additional ways to enter the home.
Additions and Renovations:
Find out whether there have been any building updates or expansions and whether the home was tested for radon or a mitigation system was installed before or after the updates.
Issues with the roof may have caused damage to the radon ventilation pipe.
Areas where the main sewer line or other pipes enter or leave the home could have gaps that could affect radon levels.
Sump Pump Pit:
Even with a radon mitigation system, if the sump pump pit is not properly sealed off, it is likely an area where radon is being pulled into your home.
Mold and Mildew:
Passive systems or even broken active systems can collect mold and mildew. Having a radon system professional who knows what they are looking for can help to avoid this growing into a larger, more significant problem by fixing the issue properly.
Avoiding Costly Surprises Related to Radon
The inspection stage is a crucial part of any real estate deal to make sure it is profitable. An investment property purchase comes with a lot of expenses and nobody likes costly surprises. Why not make every effort to know what you are walking into as much as you can? Why not go the extra mile to ensure that the property you are investing in is a sound one? EnviroTech Radon solutions can help to make sure your purchase is a safe, healthy, and profitable one.