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We are in process of purchasing townhouse in NJ and inspection found radon levels of 4.9 in the basement. Obviously, we will be asking sellers to put in a mitigation system.

Does anyone have thoughts on whether presence of mitigation system might impact future resale value for better or worse? Do people tend to walk away as soon as they hear that mitigation system is present?

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Mitigation system = Beano

bigcat007 (Sep. 14, 2010 @ 4:36p) |

We had elevated radon levels when we bought our current house in Colorado. It is very common in Colorado and almost all... (more)

GermanExpat (Sep. 14, 2010 @ 5:35p) |

Absolutely, serious about it. Yet, according to the new data smoking still increases the danger greatly. The point being... (more)

KingCheap (Sep. 15, 2010 @ 7:21a) |

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how bout just putting a fan to the outside>?

I will definitely insist on putting in mitigation system. Was just curious on future resale value.

quit calling it a radon mitigation system.

You want a basement fan. maybe its to eliminate fart smells.

If the mitigation system reduces the radon to a safe level, the value shouldn't be reduced much if at all. You'll have to disclose the radon system which could turn off some buyers. I don't see it helping resale value.

Depending on where you live, radon mitigation is very common and shouldn't deter buyers unless they are completely uninformed. In fact there are areas of NJ where the majority of homes fail (see map. Zone 1 indicates a failing test average above EPA level.) I also live in a Zone 1 and on my street, over half the homes have radon mitigation systems.

SUCKISSTAPLES said: how bout just putting a fan to the outside>?

My understanding is that proper radon mitigation systems are inserted under the slab to draw out radon. Just installing a fan to the outside is probably just going to draw more radon gas into the basement, exacerbating the problem.

rgreene said: SUCKISSTAPLES said: how bout just putting a fan to the outside>?

My understanding is that proper radon mitigation systems are inserted under the slab to draw out radon. Just installing a fan to the outside is probably just going to draw more radon gas into the basement, exacerbating the problem.
Nah, a fan will get rid of the radon. The problem is in NJ climate, a fan is much more costly to operate than a radon system, when either AC or heat is on.

Actually, I tried installing a fan blowing air out of the basement. This created a negative pressure in the basement, drawing in sub-slab radon, and the radon levels doubled (from about 5 pCi/l to over 10 pCi/l, consistently). I went through a lot of those radon test kits to convince myself of this.

Next I hired a contractor to install a sub-slab depressurization fan, and the levels plummeted to way below 1 pCi/l.

A properly installed system won't decrease value, and may actually provide peice of mind.

kentdirwin said: Actually, I tried installing a fan blowing air out of the basement. This created a negative pressure in the basement, drawing in sub-slab radon, and the radon levels doubled (from about 5 pCi/l to over 10 pCi/l, consistently). I went through a lot of those radon test kits to convince myself of this.

Next I hired a contractor to install a sub-slab depressurization fan, and the levels plummeted to way below 1 pCi/l.
Did you crack open a window in your experiments? I can see what you describe being possible only if your basement is air tight.

kentdirwin said: Actually, I tried installing a fan blowing air out of the basement. This created a negative pressure in the basement, What if you had the fan blowing fresh outside air INTO the basement?

New Jersey: The Lung Cancer State

Radon testing? That sounds like a freaking joke.

Did I miss the thread of "Radon Testing for Fun and Profit?"

SUCKISSTAPLES said: quit calling it a radon mitigation system.

You want a basement fan. maybe its to eliminate fart smells.
SIS took his "medicine" tonight.

The last house I owned (and lived in for many years) had a radon mitigation system, and is in an area where radon levels can be very high. We had absolutely no idea what radon was until I read an article about it many years ago and bought a test kit. At that time very few people in the area bothered to check their homes for radon. This was probably twenty years ago.

Any reading under 4 is considered safe. The reading in our basement, with all the basement windows closed, was over 60. I found a radon mitigation specialist who corrected the problem for about $1,500. He drilled a large (about four inches) hole in the basement and installed PVC pipe going up through the house and up above the roof, with a fan in the attic pulling the air out from under the basement. It's a very effective system. He also sealed the basement floor perimeter.

After that the radon level was consistently under 1 in the basement, and even lower on the first and second floors. I know because I checked it every few years. You can buy test kits at Low/es and HD. NYS residents can also order test kits from a state run agency. But remember that you must send the canister in for testing, and your readings will be entered into a database and will become public information to one extent or another.

Just keeping some windows open will help quite a bit, but just installing a fan won't help, and as mentioned, could even hurt. Nowadays real estate transactions almost always include a radon test. At least in my area.

It's easy to cheat on these tests: if you know you have a problem and are expecting a RE agent or home inspection involving a radon test using one of those instant electronic devices...opening a lot of windows will dramatically lower the radon levels for at least a few hours. It's also very easy to fool the long term canister testing method by opening the windows. Don't believe them if they say the testing devices will detect cheating.

By the way, the presence of the radon mitigation system did not seem to affect the sale of our home when we eventually sold it a few years ago. Most people still don't understand what radon is and how harmful it can be.

cga said: Most people still don't understand what radon is and how harmful it can be.

As evidenced by half of the posts in this thread.

Living in area with high radon levels, many houses here, especially the newly built ones have a radon mitigation system installed. The more commonplace it is, the more buyers will be aware of it. And most mitigation systems can be done fairly discretely (fan under basement slab, exhaust duct and sealing off of basement in unfinished part of basement and/or hidden behind paneling, and small exhaust outside on roof or side of the house). So it shouldn't impact the value of the property either way.

But if you don't get the sellers to put it in now, it might cost you later when you sell the house and the buyers request you remedy the problem.

Besides, you don't really put a mitigation system for resale value. You put it in to avoid respiratory diseases (2nd leading cause of lung cancer and #1 cause of lung cancer for non-smokers ahead of second hand smoke) in the first place. What would you do if you found out it might lower resale value? Not get it done and take your chances health-wise? If you're not paying for it (remedy done by sellers), I think it's a no brainer.

Radon is much more dangerous for smokers than for non-smokers.
What are the risks of Radon if you are a smoker?
If 1000 people who smoked were exposed to this level over a normal lifetime.
ĽAt 20pCi/L - About 135 people could get lung cancer - This is 100 times the risk of drowning

What are the risks of Radon if you are not a smoker?
If 1000 people who never smoked were exposed to this level over a lifetime.
ĽAt 20pCi/L - About 8 could get lung cancer - The same risk as being killed in a violent crime

So, the first priority to safeguard you and your family is to not smoke. Secondly, if Radon is high in your home then you can remedy the situation with a system if needed.

KingCheap said: SMOKING is much more dangerous for smokers than for non-smokers.
SMOKER
If 1000 people who smoked were exposed to this level over a normal lifetime.
ĽAt 20pCi/L - About 135 could get lung cancer
NON-SMOKER
If 1000 people who never smoked were exposed to this level over a lifetime.
ĽAt 20pCi/L - About 8 could get lung cancer


fixed...

IMO, no, radon with mitigation does not affect resale value. If you are buying the house, then you want to have the seller cover the cost of radon mitigation. Typically less than $1000 to install a fan and vent through the slab, out above the roof. Otherwise when YOU sell the house, then you might be expected to install mitigation. It can be as easy as sealing the sump pit with an airtight cover, vented to a small fan (1-inch-water-column at 50-200 CFM), that always runs.

I feel radon is a minor health risk but money is money - I had to have one installed when I sold, and I had the seller install it when I bought; it's a zero-sum racket.

It does look like radon exposure killed Superman's wife, she did not smoke but died of lung cancer anyway.

To me, radon is like global warming. I don't know what to believe, but feel like something should probably be done because if it is in fact a real problem there could be terrible consequences.

Radon is real.
Having the system may or may not affect the value of the property depending on the real estate agents involved.
Having a known radon issue and not disclosing it will get the seller in all kinds of scalding hot water.
Properly disclosing it presale can scare off some uninformed buyers -- therefore being a negative.

what is it from the asbestos??

Since you know that the next buyers will do a radon test (since you did one), I don't understand why it would impact resale value.

Other reason that the next buyers will require radon mitigation is that you'll have to disclose the radon level that was found now. Even if you don't have sellers remedy for your own purchase, you'll have to disclose that you know radon levels are higher than EPA recommended levels. (unless you take risk of not disclosing a known issue during sale which is NOT recommended) Upon disclosure, the buyer would likely ask for remedy and you'll be out of your pocket for it. Better have current seller do it.

Shandril said: ...you'll have to disclose that you know radon levels are higher than EPA recommended levels...

By law (N.J.S.A. 26:2D-73), a property owner who has had his or her property tested or treated for radon gas may require that information about such testing and treatment be kept confidential until the time that the owner and a buyer enter into a contract of sale, at which time a copy of the test results and evidence of any subsequent mitigation or treatment shall be provided to the buyer.

jackcrawfish said: KingCheap said: SMOKING is much more dangerous for smokers than for non-smokers.
SMOKER
If 1000 people who smoked were exposed to this level over a normal lifetime.
ĽAt 20pCi/L - About 135 could get lung cancer
NON-SMOKER
If 1000 people who never smoked were exposed to this level over a lifetime.
ĽAt 20pCi/L - About 8 could get lung cancer


fixed...


Actually, what the real report stated was:

"RADON is much more dangerous for smokers than for non-smokers." Not as you stated "Smoking is..."
Yes, too much radon can be potentially dangerous for anyone, but studies have proven that it is indeed a much bigger problem for smokers.

Couldnt a radon mitigation system just as easily be considered a selling feature? It's effectively ensuring that radon will not be a problem for the new homeowners, just as much as its an indication that there had been a problem in the past.

KingCheap said: jackcrawfish said: KingCheap said: SMOKING is much more dangerous for smokers than for non-smokers.
SMOKER
If 1000 people who smoked were exposed to this level over a normal lifetime.
ĽAt 20pCi/L - About 135 could get lung cancer
NON-SMOKER
If 1000 people who never smoked were exposed to this level over a lifetime.
ĽAt 20pCi/L - About 8 could get lung cancer


fixed...


Actually, what the real report stated was:

"RADON is much more dangerous for smokers than for non-smokers." Not as you stated "Smoking is..."
Yes, too much radon can be potentially dangerous for anyone, but studies have proven that it is indeed a much bigger problem for smokers.


Those figures are actually out of date - latest statistical data is quite a bit higher (check EPA site), but for all the non-smokers here is what should get your attention. At the above levels of exposure, your risk of getting cancer is actually as great as a LIFETIME SMOKER who is not exposed to radon. Take it seriously.

SUCKISSTAPLES said: quit calling it a radon mitigation system.

You want a basement fan. maybe its to eliminate fart smells.

Mitigation system = Beano

We had elevated radon levels when we bought our current house in Colorado. It is very common in Colorado and almost all new houses have it now. Here is a link to maps for your state :

http://www.epa.gov/radon/whereyoulive.html

Very common in my area but the interesting part is that when the houses in my neighborhood were built (around 1998) none of them from what I can tell had a system installed.
You can now see which houses were sold the last couple of years since they all got a system afterwards with an outside PVC pipe. Our levels were measured before and after installation and went down a lot (we had approx. a value of 10 in the basement).

The interesting part is that none of the existing original home owners I know installed one and just accept it. I am 99% sure that most of them will not pass the current test (all 3 houses just sold this year on my street alone got one added after the sale).

It is most critical in the basement so it also depends how you use your house, e.g. have a bedroom down there or just use it for storage.

I would for sure get the system installed by the seller and it won't lower the value of your house.

dl73 said: KingCheap said: jackcrawfish said: KingCheap said: SMOKING is much more dangerous for smokers than for non-smokers.
SMOKER
If 1000 people who smoked were exposed to this level over a normal lifetime.
ĽAt 20pCi/L - About 135 could get lung cancer
NON-SMOKER
If 1000 people who never smoked were exposed to this level over a lifetime.
ĽAt 20pCi/L - About 8 could get lung cancer


fixed...


Actually, what the real report stated was:

"RADON is much more dangerous for smokers than for non-smokers." Not as you stated "Smoking is..."
Yes, too much radon can be potentially dangerous for anyone, but studies have proven that it is indeed a much bigger problem for smokers.


Those figures are actually out of date - latest statistical data is quite a bit higher (check EPA site), but for all the non-smokers here is what should get your attention. At the above levels of exposure, your risk of getting cancer is actually as great as a LIFETIME SMOKER who is not exposed to radon. Take it seriously.


Absolutely, serious about it. Yet, according to the new data smoking still increases the danger greatly. The point being, don't smoke. It's factual by any study that smokers that are exposed to radon are more likely to get lung cancer than non-smokers exposed to radon. Sure, both can get lung cancer, but the studies all show smoking adds more danger. I find it funny how some smokers will go to the expense of mitigating radon, but will still smoke. Stop both and you're better off.



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