Mitigation can vary in cost depending on the complexity of the job and the price of contractors in your area. Here near Philly, easy jobs can be $800 and complex ones up to $2000.
Incidnetally, while it is universally accepted that high levels of radon are bd and potnetially linked to lung cancer, there is VERY much debate about exactly what constitites a "high" level. The EPA based their nubmer on a study which used "guesswork" (their word) to compose about 50% of the results the study is based on!
Here is an enlightening sight about radon truth and myth (its very techy and geeky, but VERY enlightening)!! http://www.forensic-applications.com/radon/radon.html
The link to lung cancer is fairly strong, but the levels of the miners tested was 80pCi/l, or about 20 times the level the EPA recommended action level now. So, at what level of exposure does it become concerning? No one knows.
Thanks, Todd Norsted
Have the house tested for radon at your expense after closing and if the results are high look into mitigation. This is not something to just ignore. Most buyers do not test for radon but they should. if your inspection period has passed it's too late to ask the seller to make any additional repairs.
Michael Doyle Realtor
Here in PA, about 25-33% of my clients opt for the radon test. About 5-10% of the homes inspect already have active mitigation systems in place.
It is fairly common here for buyers to do short term testing, and expect the seller to install a mitigation system, much as they do with other inspections where based on results, accomodations are requested of the seller. This provides the buyer the opportunity to have a mitigation system installed at someone else's expense if there is a high level. I'm not sure how it go over to have that specifally disclaimed by the seller (I know that as a buyer I would be put off by it).
Typically, if unusual conditions exist during the test preiod, re-testing can be agreed to using a Continous Radon Monitor (CRM), which has an accuracy of 100% for the test period and samples hourly, giving an indicator of peaks, variations (day vs. night, for example), and other concerns that are impacting a test. If both parties agree, it can be left in place as long as desired, offering an accurate portrait of the conditions at every hour during a short term test. This typically ends most debates about wheather conditions, open doors and windows, and other issues that might impact a test.
You are correct that only a long term test can show seasonal variations and other such differences, but a CRM test even over only a few days can often pretty accurately identify a baseline level that all parties feel comfortable using.
But radon is definitely a bad actor, and must be mitigated. Luckily, that doesn't cost too much. And even though we have a big hole directly to the earth in our basement and our house drafts like a chimney, we had insignificant levels in radon. I would guess that 55408 would all be pretty similar geologically, am I wrong?
In your offer to purchase did you have a contingency that you would be able to test for radon?
If not, you could ask your agent if you could still have a test run, but - if you are outside your inspection contingency timeframe - even if the radon level is over 4 pC/L you probably would not have an option to back out of the transaction, or ask the Seller to install the system.
It is not uncommon to have a radon mitigation system installed, and once that is in place the home will most likely maintaing a radon level of less than 4 pC/l . The cost of installing a radon mitigation system is usually around $800-$1,000.
You probably should talk with your agent as to what is specified in your offer. I'm sure he/she can advise you properly.
Enjoy your new home