Of course radon is an odorless gas, but when you are trying to sell a house and the inspector finds radon, well, that stinks! And that is what happened today. The house is in Livingston County and after studying the Radon Maps of New York (http://www.wadsworth.org/radon/data.htm) published by New York State Department of Health, I guess I should not have been shocked. In recent tests, 41% of the basements tested in Livingston County had unsafe levels of radon. In certain towns, like Caledonia, 83% of the basements were deemed unsafe!
Radon is a gas that comes from the breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water. It occurs naturally in the earth, but can become a problem when it builds up indoors. It is a cancer-causing natural radioactive gas that you can’t see, smell or taste and is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in America and claims more than 20,000 lives annually. For a whole lot more information, go to http://www.epa.gov/radon/index.html .
Fortunately, there are solutions to to radon problem. The EPA has put together a great publication called "Consumer's Guide To Radon Reduction" and it's a click away: http://www.epa.gov/iaq/radon/pubs/consguid.html . According to the EPA, the average cost of a mitigation system is $1200, but repairs can go as high as $3000.
Today, we contracted with a local company to install a system. They have an excellent reputation in the Rochester area and a web site that has a lot of good links and details on radon. I spent a good 30 minutes on the phone this morning with Nick of Mitigation Tech who answered lots of my questions and helped prepare me for discussing options with my clients. More information on Mitigation Tech is here: http://www.mitigationtech.com/ Check back in a few weeks to hear how we made out.