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In January 2008, my husband and I were "this close" to purchasing our first home. After a couple of months of looking, we found a home that we loved, in a charming neighborhood and in our price range. It was missing only one thing from the checklist of amenities we wanted in our home (oh two stall garage, I still miss the idea of you on cold, snowy mornings). The home looked solid and well-maintained, and because it was "move-in ready" or vacant, we thought we had an idea of the potential problems our home inspection would uncover. For the most part, we did. There were only a few real issues we would need to address—cracked sidewalk, broken light fixtures—and then we got the results of our radon test.
I knew very little about radon when we had our home tested for it. I knew it's a carcinogen, a noble gas, and that was about it. When our test came back at four times the acceptable threshold, I did some research.
Here's what the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says about Radon:
It's important to note that even though there's a recommended radon level that your home should be under, the EPA believes that any radon exposure is risky. Our inspector was quick to note that sentiment as well. He followed up by saying the lower we could reduce our radon level, the more we would reduce our risk.
So began our adventures in radon mitigation. Long story short—we received estimates, hired a certified contractor, and then found out that our radon situation was more complicated than first projected. But as the EPA says, even the highest levels of radon can be reduced to acceptable levels. Ours was.
While January is National Radon Action month, there's never a wrong time to have your home checked. If you don't know the radon levels in your home, take a little time to find out. We want you to be safe in your home; help protect your family from radon.
Written by Brianne Tucker