Keep Your Family Safe by Screening for Radon

According to the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP) about 1 out of every 15 homes in the United States has some level of radon that needs to be reduced.  If your level of radon is high, there are steps you can, and should, take to fix it.

What is it?

Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas.  Radon is emitted through uranium that is found in soil, often that is rich in limestone. You cannot see Radon and there is no smell or taste, so there is no way to know it’s there unless you test.

How it enters your home

Since radon is a gas, it doesn’t need much space to enter your home.  If there are cracks in your concrete floor, this could be a cause for concern.  The sump pump crock being open, or not having a sealed cap could also allow radon to enter your home.  Older homes with stone cellars can allow radon to seep through, as well.

Health risks

Sadly, radon is the number one cause of lung cancer among non-smokers, according to the EPA estimates.  If you are a smoker, your risk of contracting lung cancer becomes significantly higher when radon is present. If you are breathing in too much radon, there won’t be any symptoms and you won’t feel sick right away. Therefore, testing is imperative.


Testing your home for radon is easy and affordable.  You can purchase a test at your local hardware store or hire a professional company to do it for you.

When having your home tested for radon, the testing company will bring canisters of charcoal to be placed on the lowest level of your house. They will be left there for a couple of days to a couple of weeks and upon picking them up, they are sent to the lab. The lab measures how quickly the radon was absorbed into the canisters using a measurement called a picocurie. The weather can affect the reading, so it’s best not to perform the test during stormy weather or very high winds.


Recently Montgomery County, MD passed a law that sellers are required to show a recent clear radon test result which is sometimes only accomplished by putting a radon remediation system in the house.  Neighboring counties are likely to follow suit.  

Next steps

We ask that you remember, radon is a radioactive gas and it is best to hire a professional when dealing with radon in your home.  A contractor will seal all major cracks, drains, sump pumps and crawl spaces.  They may also recommend that you install a radon mitigation system that will draw the radon from beneath your home and safely vent it above the roofline.

For more information or help with finding someone to test your home, please contact our office and speak to one of our real estate professionals today.

Posted in Buyers