FAQs: Radon and Selling Your Home

Whether you’re a homeowner or a real estate agent, when you’re selling a home, you want to close that sale quickly. A failed radon test can be an unwelcome roadblock.

High levels of radon can turn off buyers, incur delays, or even derail the sale of a house entirely. You need to get rid of your radon problem, fast. Don’t waste your time with ineffective DIY solutions or hope for the best.

Professional radon mitigation is the only way to guarantee you’ll pass retesting and clear that inspection hurdle. The bottom line: if you hire Radon Abatement Services, it becomes our problem.

It’s important you work with a radon company that is licensed, bonded, and insured. Some contractors cut corners with substandard materials (National ASTM standards require specific types of materials) and insufficient training. This could lead to insufficient reductions of radon levels — or even having to have the work done over again.

Do it right the first time so you don’t pay the price of having to do it again.

Frequently asked questions about radon and selling your house:

Should I test for radon before selling my house?

High radon levels can prove a serious obstacle to closing your sale. In their Home Buyer’s and Seller’s Guide to Radon, the EPA recommends having a home tested for radon as soon as possible. The EPA’s guide also includes a handy checklist of steps to go through when testing your home. In Montgomery County, MD, radon testing is required on all home sales. It’s best to take care of this before you put the house on the market. That removes radon from the equation of the sale.

Am I legally required to test for radon when selling a house?

There are actually no laws requiring a seller test a home for radon before selling (except in Montgomery County, as shown above). However, many states have disclosure laws, which means the seller must reveal any and all testing results. That includes revealing the seller did not test for radon. This may lead to the buyer testing for radon themselves or requesting the seller do so before the sale proceeds.

How do I pass a radon test?

According to the EPA, a house that tests with a radon level of 4.0 pCi/L or higher fails to meet the safety standard. Because home buyers can dig into a house’s history and find out it has high radon levels, this can get in the way of a successful home sale.

The good news is, professional radon mitigation can often reduce that to the average range, between 0.5 and 1.5 pCi/L.

Our goal with any home is to reduce to the average outdoor level of 0.4 pCi/L, though that’s not always possible.

Will a radon mitigation system hurt my home’s sale value?

Buyers looking for a home want to know their families are safe. A house that’s tested and shown to have low levels of radon is much more desirable than a home that could put the inhabitants’ health at risk. A house with radon-resistant features already built in is ideal, but a home without such features can still easily be upgraded to reduce radon levels.

Sellers sometimes worry about a radon system’s impact on the appearance of their home. With the right contractor, a radon system doesn’t have to be an eyesore. We specialize in unobtrusive, aesthetically pleasing installations that won’t hurt sale value.

How long does radon remediation take?

Unless there are extraordinary circumstances, an appointment to install a complete radon system usually only takes between three and five hours (or less). The changes in radon level should be visible to retesting in as little as 24 hours after installation.

Radon Abatement Services provides quick estimates and works with you to schedule service appointments that suit your needs.

How can I be sure my radon problem is fixed?

The best and only way to make sure your radon problem has been fixed is to retest. Radon Abatement Services works with homeowners and real estate agents to facilitate independent third-party retesting. For homeowners who aren’t selling their house, we can provide a sealed testing kit.

In home sale situations, we are happy to recommend an independent, third party to retest your home. We believe that a radon contractor should not perform the retesting themselves, as this constitutes a conflict of interest! In Virginia, it’s actually against the law for radon mitigation companies to retest their own work.

(Learn more about what to expect from reputable, top-rated radon service companies.)

How soon should I retest for radon?

You can retest your home as soon as 24 hours after remediation. We also recommend retesting the following winter with a long-term Alpha Track test kit exposed for at least 90 days, as radon levels often rise during the cold season. After that, the EPA recommends retesting every two years to make sure radon levels are still below the accepted standards.

What if the house doesn’t pass radon retesting?

When you work with Radon Abatement Services, we provide a written warranty that guarantees a reduction in radon levels to below 4.0 pCi/L. In many cases, we can reduce radon much further — even to the average outdoor level of 0.4 pCi/L. When we do your radon mitigation, you will pass your next radon test — guaranteed. (In very rare instances, a house cannot be guaranteed due to pre-existing factors beyond our control.)

Does it matter which radon mitigation company I hire?

“I just want to sell my house quickly, without paying a lot!” The thought of performing expensive and time-consuming repairs doesn’t appeal to a motivated home seller. We understand that homeowners and real estate agents are anxious to sell a home quickly, without complications.

At Radon Abatement Services, we make sure to schedule radon system installations for homes for sale as quickly as possible, because we know you’re often working on tight schedules. We’re known for partnering closely with real estate agents to make sure they can keep their sales on track.

We also know some radon mitigation companies promise “lower prices” and quicker installation times. It’s not always a great idea to do with the fastest and cheapest you can find. Here’s why:

  • Less reputable radon mitigation contractors often use substandard materials, such as schedule 20 PVC pipe. This fittings for this pipe become fragile when exposed outside and are prone to breaking. Companies using this material violate the National ASTM standards. Radon Abatement Services uses only the required (and much more durable) schedule 40 PVC pipe.
  • Some contractors also use improper materials like a metal downspout for exterior vent components, which is prone to condensation and freezing in the winter and can’t be effectively sealed. The dubious aesthetic reasons for doing so are greatly outweighed by the technical problems caused.
  • Shoddy workmanship can lead to radon being improperly vented, or even drawn back into the house.

What does this mean for you? At best, it means delays and costly repairs as another company comes in to fix the damage caused by its the “cheaper” alternative. We’ve seen this many times in our own work. At worst, it means retesting your home for radon and finding your results as bad — or worse — than before.

Have More Questions?

Please explore our complete Radon FAQs to educate yourself about the what’s, why’s and how’s of radon remediation. Then learn why choosing the best local radon removal company is critical.

Ready to move forward? Give us a call or request an estimate.