Day to day we are asked many of the same type of questions from our potential clients. Our role is not restricted to mitigation installers only. When it comes to Radon, Guardian’s role is not only installation, but education and awareness also. Today we wanted to share a few questions that seem to have a recurring theme to them and truly are considered an “FAQ!” Hope you find this information to be helpful.
Q: Recently a former client from Naperville, IL asked us: “I’m thinking of buying a home with an existing radon mitigation system already in it. How would I know if it is working properly?”
A: You can do a couple of things here to verify the system is functioning properly. First, inspect the manometer on the radon pipe inside of the house. This will be U-shaped tube typically with red or blue dye in it. If it is showing offset, the system appears to be functioning. Second, locate the actual fan/motor unit and feel or hear that it is working. Third – TEST THE HOUSE. This will ensure that the levels are still within the “acceptable” range for radon gas.
This next customer just called this a.m.! Thought it was fitting to include it ~
Q: Recently a former client from Plainfield, IL asked the question: “I’m selling my house and they tell me I have elevated radon levels. I’m skeptical, can I retest to be sure?”
A: That’s a great question and one we hear quite frequently. When you are living with a condition that you are unaware of, it’s a hard concept to understand. The answer is this ~ You must have some grounds to invalidate the radon test assuming it was done by a professional testing company. If there are no grounds to do so, then some type of radon reduction method must be performed before you can test again. And in most cases, a reduction method alone (i.e. seal the sump lid, or seal foundation cracks in the basement) is met with limited succes, ultimately costing the seller more time and money.
If you’re house has tested elevated for radon, an active radon mitigation system is strongly encouraged. Remember, although it seems like a stumbling block, it not a reason to stop your closing.
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Congratulations! You’ve made the offer on your new home and all is moving forward as it should – you’ve been prequalified, love the home, found your home inspector, you’re lovin’ life – then the fear sets in. Your soon to be new home has tested high for Radon Gas. All kinds of thoughts run through you mind…..what do we do now? Do we have to find a different house? Who is going to pay for this?…..I’m not gonna pay….and the list goes on. STOP and breathe. Most experienced Naperville real estate agents and real estate attorneys have a great deal of experience dealing with elevated radon levels and real estate disclosure. This is the time to really lean on your real estate team to help you navigate through the process.
Although there is no clear cut answer on who should pay for any repairs, it usually becomes the burden of the seller to correct any safety issues and Radon is definitely a safety issue. If the seller disagrees and chooses to try and sell the home to another party, elevated radon levels and the disclosure will follow. Therefore it will be in the best interest of both the seller and buyer to “work it out.” Eventually, the seller will most likely have the system installed in order to sell the home, but as always it comes down to how committed they are to selling the home and how committed the buyers are on purchasing that home.
There are times when sellers will be advised to offer a credit or reduction in sale price to help cover the cost of the future repair to the buyer. This can be a sticky situation. Many times, depending on the type of loan that is arranged and/or other credits that have previously been offered during negotiations, the lender may stipulate that the radon mitigation system be installed prior to funding and closing the loan. Keep in mind elevated radon is a health and safety issue therefore many lenders will stand their ground. Also worth noting, as a buyer, if you choose to close on the home “as is” you then own the home and any issues without recourse.
Lastly, once it is decided to install a radon mitigation system, be sure and use a licensed, experienced radon contractor. It is also beneficial to hire an installer that bonds and insures in Naperville, IL. Knowing that the system has been properly installed and is functioning properly allows both the seller and the buyer to move forward with the transaction!
Christopher Bice, Founder of Guardian Radon Mitigation & Electrical Services, LLC is a licensed and certified Radon Mitigation contractor through the State of Illinois’ IEMA Division. Guardian is also a current registered contractor in the City of Naperville.