Services for Realtors – New York
Radon Effects New York Real Estate Market
The largest investment most Americans have is their house. As an investment, it needs to be maintained and protected, but a house is also a home; the health of your family, as occupants, also needs to be safeguarded. If you are contemplating placing your house in New York on the real estate market, you need to be aware of a threat to both your house and your home: Radon gas. This is an odorless, colorless radioactive gas that presents a serious threat to both human health and financial well-being. Fortunately, as potential house problems go, radon is a threat which can be easily determined and effectively managed.
What is Radon?
Radon is a highly toxic material. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) lists radon as a Class A carcinogen, which is the same class as asbestos and arsenic. The Surgeon General has also determined that radon is the second-highest cause of lung cancer, responsible for 21,000 deaths in the United States each year.
Radon is a by-product of naturally occurring trace deposit of uranium in the soil and in rock formations. Over time, the uranium undergoes atomic decay, releasing radon, which migrates through the soil and into houses. Despite what many people believe, radon can enter houses even if they are built on solid concrete slabs, rather than over crawlspaces or basements. Radon can seep into houses through cracks in the foundation and spaces deliberately left by the builders to provide access for wiring, plumbing and ducts. Surveys of tests have shown that the average radon level for single-family houses is 1.3 picocuries per liter of air (pCi/L). This is just an average, however, since geological conditions effect the level of radon in specific areas.
New York May Be at a Greater Risk for Radon Exposure
In New York, an area stretching east-west across the southern half of the state (excepting New York City and Westchester County) has been designated Zone 1 for radon. This means that houses in this zone have a high probability of showing higher-than-average levels of radon. Tests in Orange County, where is located, have shown that 32% of houses have radon levels at or above 4 pCi/L. This concentration is considered by the EPA to be an “action level,” at which they strongly suggest radon mitigation. The only way to determine if your house specifically has radon levels this high is to have it tested. We are able to provide fast, accurate tests which will provide you with the information you need to make important decisions.
If the test does show high concentrations of radon, it is not necessary to become alarmed. It is possible to manage the radon levels. We can design and install a radon mitigation in your house to more provide an effective way to lower radon levels. This will not only improve the environmental quality of your home, but it makes a positive selling point when you place your radon free house on the real estate market.