South Florida Home Inspection: Radon

Buying a home is an exciting time, but it can also be stressful. One of the stressors is the home inspection, but it shouldn’t be. This is a golden opportunity for potential buyers to flesh-out problem areas and reaffirms their choice of a property that may be their biggest personal investment.

What Your Home Inspection Report May Cite
Your inspection report might reveal that the dryer vents need to be cleaned or the garage door should be rebalanced. Most homebuyers would agree these issues are hardly deal-breakers. What they need to ask the home inspection professionals about is testing for radon.

Did You Know?
In South Florida, one in 5 homes tested has elevated radon levels above the action level of four picocuries per liter (pCi/L). Radon is a Class-A carcinogen. Under Florida Statute 404.056.5, an inspection of the residence should be made for radon gas. Despite radon being a health hazard, many homebuyers discount radon home-testing.

Home Inspection and Radon: Buyer’s Responsibility
Radon is a gas emitted from a radioactive breakdown of naturally occurring radium found in most Florida groundwater, rocks, and soil. air. The levels of radon found in buildings are dependent on the levels of radioactivity in that area’s soil and rock. The levels found in outside water sources and air are usually lower than the levels found inside homes and other buildings.

Airborne radon can enter homes through construction joints, gaps around pipes/wiring, or wall/floor cracks. It can also enter homes through water that then releases the gas into the air. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says indoor radon averages about 1.3 picocuries per liter (pCi/L). If the level is 4.0 or higher, action should be taken to lower the level.

Radon breaks down into small, radioactive particles that can attach to dust and other airborne materials. When breathed into the lungs, the radiation can damage the body’s DNA cells.

Not all home inspection companies are qualified to administer professional radon testing, and may not include it as part of their property inspection services.

It is the homebuyer’s responsibility to ensure radon-testing is performed before the closing. Sometimes the topic of radon never arises until someone notices a mandatory Florida Statute included on paperwork at the real estate closing. It states radon has been found in Florida that exceeds state and federal guidelines.

Basically, the buyers acknowledge they have read and understood the statement. The paperwork then mentions additional radon testing information is available from the county health department.

It’s equally diligent for you to install carbon monoxide detectors as well as smoke- and fire-detection alarms. Make a point to check all detection devices every month. Anyone with a Florida address can request a free radon test kit from the Florida Department of Health.

It’s Never Too Late to Learn
One of the most important home inspection tips we offer first-time home buyers is, ask questions. We enjoy helping our friends and neighbors here learn more about protecting their homes and loved ones.

A home inspection is more affordable than you think and can sometimes lower your insurance rates, especially if you own an older home. Super Inspection Pros is your Volusia County home inspection company.

We continually learn new technologies that improve our service and the quality of your life because things change. Something that never changes is our commitment to your safety. Call 386-279-0802 or contact us with questions about radon detection and home inspection.

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