Is it common to do a radon test along with a normal home inspection in the Boston suburb area?

Asked by Mmyk72, MetroWest Boston Sun Jun 27, 2010

My offer was just accepted and inspection will be in 3 days.

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9
Mmyk72, Home Buyer, MetroWest Boston
Mon Jun 28, 2010
I don't have a concern about radon, but just wondering if the radon test is commonly done when people buy homes in this area. My inital thoughts are that the common 2 day test (leave a charcoal canister open in the basement, collect it after 48 hrs and mail to a lab) is not too revealing since radon levels fluctuate over time anyways and a lot of variables affect the results (such as what the occupants' activities over the 2 days, rain, winds, etc.)

You're right, Christine. I'll wait and see if there are other bigger issues from the inspection.
1 vote
Christine Mo…, Agent, Wilbraham, MA
Mon Jun 28, 2010
The answers below are correct. It sounds like you may have concerns for safety reasons and its fine, but not common to do them. When I purchased my own homes I never did. It is entirely up to the client. Is there a price for piece of mind? I would wait until you talk to the inspector and he has done the rest of the house before incurring extra charges. There may be a problem there much bigger than potential radon. Hope everything works out for you and enjoy your new home !!
1 vote
Greer Swiston, Agent, Newton, MA
Mon Jun 28, 2010
Common or not, it's your right to do such a test. It's an extra cost to your home inspection and it is entirely your perogative to do such a thing. I recommend the test, regardless of contingency.

If it means anything to you, I've always done a radon test when I bought properties myself (though I never made it a contingency). A radon mitigation system should cost, around a hundred to a couple hundred dollars.

My presumption is that there is probably some level of radon in the house if there is a mostly submerged basement (makes the house work a like a chimney for releasing the gas) and I want to know the level in the house when I move in. If there is already a mitigation system in the house, then I'd like the test to tell me how well it's working.

Good luck!
1 vote
William Patt…, Agent, Boston, MA
Sat Jul 31, 2010
Yes,
Single family homes with living area in the basement are prime candidates for a radon inspection.

Cheers,
Bill P
0 votes
Jeff Persons, , Boston, MA
Thu Jul 15, 2010
Definitely, but only if it has a basement or is a condo in the basement. Most inspectors will do it free or at minimal expense. Don't worry though, if they find radon its a $1200 fix with a ventilation fan to take the air out of the basement.
Hope this helps, Jeff Persons ABR http://wesellboston.net/
Web Reference:  http://wesellboston.net/
0 votes
Tean Wong, Agent, Boston, MA
Thu Jul 8, 2010
Radon level is vary though out the year, testing at one particular time does not guaranty that won't come up high later. Radon level can be vary from many factor; humidity, temperature, and lost of things.

I really hope you had done the Radon test, and it went well. There are many good reason to do the test and a lot less reasons not too. Even the radon come up high, there are not too expensive to take care of.
Web Reference:  http://www.teanwong.com
0 votes
Christopher…, Agent, Methuen, MA
Sun Jun 27, 2010
Radon is an odorless, tasteless, invisible gas that is naturally emitted from the ground as a decay product of uranium and it has been linked to health issues. It can be emitted in greater amounts in areas that contain granite rock. The concentration can vary by location and the gas can accumulate inside of homes. Homes that are better sealed and insulated can have more of a problem than homes with more ventilation (i.e. older homes) where the gas can escape easier.

Radon tests are not required here, but you can have them done as an add on to your home inspection if you desire usually for an additional fee. If a problem is found there are systems that can be installed that vent the gas outside of the home. Here is some more information for you to take a look at on the subject.

http://www.nachi.org/radon.htm

http://www.epa.gov/radon/pubs/citguide.html#lower
Web Reference:  http://teamlefebvre.net
0 votes
Quest Inspec…, , Redlands, CA
Sun Jun 27, 2010
It looks like the Boston area has a below average radon concern: http://www.epa.gov/radon/states/massachusetts.html
0 votes
Mmyk72, Home Buyer, MetroWest Boston
Sun Jun 27, 2010
BTW, the house is a 1-story ranch with a finished basement in a hilly area north of Boston
0 votes
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