Home Buying in 20895>Question Details

K Shaffer, Home Buyer in Silver Spring, MD

Radon is 3.2-3.3 and the bedrooms are in the basement.

Asked by K Shaffer, Silver Spring, MD Thu Jul 3, 2008

We have a 2 year old daughter and are planning on expanding the family. I understand that abatement/mitigation systems are common but they can't definitely drop it signigicantly. We are very concerned about potential damage to our health and our daughter & future children's health. We could move to bedrooms on a higher floor but then feel that we'll not want to spend time in the basement because we'll be worried about her & our health. Any thoughts? It's not high enough to use for the contingency but we are very concerned.

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You can not be overly concerned about Radon. Many people still think that it is not a problem. It has been proven to cause cancer ( The big C). It is not a sudden death. When do you think that it was first discovered on a large scale? During the first major energy crises. People sealed up thier homes and when their wasn't any fresh air people started to get sick...

I agree about the egress. You must have two ways out of the basement. If you don't have a exit consider digging one out. Don't put bedrooms in the basement unless their is an unobstructed exit.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 22, 2008
My previous answer was not very helpful, alow me a do-over. Our radon was level 30 and was reduced to 1.1 ($975). I would suggest you researdh it on the net to educate yourself. Radon is a natural occurace--everything decays and as it does, it releases radiation. Common radon levels outside are approx .03. Only if radon levels are above 4.0 is remediation recommended, so I doubt the sellerts would make it a contegency of sale that it be reduced from 3.3. Find a mitigation contractor who will guarantee to get it to whatever level you are confortable with--like 1.5 or less---I contacted 3 and all had no problem guaramteeing this. Remember to put this in some perspective--everything we live with ahs some adverse implications. Don't drive yourself crazy, you don't want to live in a bubble. I'm not saying to put you or your children at risk--but if you can abate to around 1.5 or lower, you where being a responsible parent.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 22, 2008
I just bought a house with a radon reading of 44... we spent $4,000 to put a mitigation system in and it takes up alot of room in the basement. I wonder how they would be able to do it in a nice finished basement without ruining everything since they have to jackhammer through the foundation and pipe out all the air and stuff using 5" width PVC pipe....
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 4, 2008
IT SOUNDS LIKE YOU ARE OVERLY CONCERNED ABOUT RADON. HAVE YOU EVER KNOWN ANYONE THAT WAS HARMED BY IT. YOU WANT TO USE THE BASEMENT AS BEDROOMS ? I WOULD BE A LOT MORE CONCERNED ABOUT HAVING AN EMERGENCY EXIT PUT IN. SMOKE AND FIRE MAY KEEP YOU FROM GETTING OUT OF THE LOWER LEVEL. I HAVE ALWAYS LIVED IN HOMES WITH BASEMENTS WITH SOME RADON BUT I THINK IT IS TOTALLY NOT A MAJOR CONCERN.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 4, 2008
If you are planning on testing your home more frequently, at least initially, be sure to do the testing when the weather is nice. When the weather is wet Radon will look for a dry escape from the ground and will be much more likely to seek escape through cracks in the concrete of your basement or foundation, thus giving a higher reading. A Radon level of 1.1 is about what you are breathing outside on any given day. Radon needs to be mitigated at a level of 4.0 or higher. For your peace of mind you can pick up the Radon test kits from your County Exchange office, County Health Department or from http://www.Radon.com . The best way to alleviate your concern is to educate yourself as fully as possible about Radon and the issues surrounding it. I'm not an expert but try to read as much as possible about these issues.
Best of luck to you.
Rebecca
Web Reference: http://www.Radon.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 4, 2008
Hi K, it was 8.1 before the remediation. Radon levels will vary daily. For the first year, maybe have it tested every three months? To be honest, I don't know if anyone who actually tests their radon on a regular basis.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 3, 2008
I just purchased a Safety Siren Pro Series 3 Radon Gas Detector after building a home office in my basement. (My levels after 48hrs are 3.0). The monitor displays 30 day Radon average as well as 5 year long term averages, and beeps when levels exceed 4.0 pCi/L.

My feeling is that if you're going to use 8+ hours/day in your basement as an office, bedroom, or whatever, that a continuous monitor is worth having over a occasional test. The monitor cost me $129 online.
Flag Thu May 2, 2013
Thanks Kelly & Bruce (did I call you Brian last time? Sorry!).

Bruce - do you know what the original level was in the house that was remediated to 1.1?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 3, 2008
I totally understand your concern about radon my home tested at 12.0 and so I began to research what exactly this means. I believe if you research radon you find that those levels are just the levels for the day you were tested and could very well be 1.0 or 6.0 the next time you test your home. To get an accurate assessment of the issue you would need to test your home every day for a year to get an annual average. All this being said I just put in the system to get rid of it and so sleep well at night. Instead of fretting about it, get some estimates and put in the system, sleep well, enjoy your new home and your famliy. It 's a small price to pay for piece of mind. Hope this insight helps.....Kelly
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 3, 2008
Hi K (again!), Radon remediation systems can dramatically reduce the radon level in a basement. The radon level has been around 1.1 on the last couple that I've had taken care of. If this is a concern to you, then you should take care of it for your own peace of mind.

Benner Geo Tech out of Frederick does great work (301-696-0547). I've had radon remediation systems installed for $250 up to $900. The cost is a function of how hard it is to install the pipe from the basement to roof and other factors.

Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 3, 2008
For more information - there are 3 beds on the main floor with a very small full bath. There are a nice family room and two bedrooms in the basement, along with a very nice master bath. We were hoping to use the downstairs bedrooms and master bath for a few years, slowly update the upstairs bathroom and then move upstairs once we have our next child.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 3, 2008
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