How To Look At A House
McGarry and Madsen's home inspection blog for buyers of
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Should I buy a house with a radon mitigation system?
Wednesday, October 24, 2018
There are several sensible questions our customers ask when considering the purchase a home with a radon mitigation system. Here’s the top four:
•• Is a mitigation system actually effective at keeping the radon level low? - Yes, it is. Radon mitigation is fairly simple technology and there’s not a lot that can go wrong. A fan in the suction pipe, like the one shown above on the exterior wall of a home, creates suction that pulls the gases rising out of the ground under the home to it and exhausts them above the house. It will continue to do the job as long as the fan is running, and radon systems are required to have a warning device to alert you to a fan failure. To read more about it, see our blog posts Do I need a radon test for a house with a radon mitigation system? and Do radon mitigation systems require maintenance? The EPA recommends retesting the indoor air every two years, which can do done with a home test kit available at most hardware and home improvement stores.
•• Will it increase the value of my home? - No. Selling a home that is known to have a high radon level will decrease the value of a home and is required to be disclosed, but having a mitigation system will not make it worth more to most homebuyers.
•• Will a radon mitigation system scare off buyers when I am ready to sell the home? - Some homebuyers will consider it a plus, others won’t care, and a few “scientifically challenged” buyers will think they should look for a house without radon—not understanding that all homes have some amount of radon in the air, and the ones with a radon system are sure to have a low level. To learn more about normal radon levels, see our blog post What is the average radon level of indoor and outdoor air in America?
•• What does it cost to run it? - The size of the system will affect the operating expense, but an average cost is about $16 per month. Go to our blog post What is the operating cost of a radon mitigation system for more details.
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