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July 19, 2016


High radon levels are prevalent in Minnesota homes.

Have you ever thought about the radon levels in your home? Do you even know what radon is? If you’re not sure, it’s a good time to learn a little more about the potential health risks of high levels of radon in your home.

What is radon? Radon is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas that forms when uranium or radium in our soil breakdown.

Why should we care? This radioactive gas can seep into our homes, sometimes at levels high enough to cause health concerns. While we all breathe low levels of radon every day, prolonged exposure to high levels of radon is a leading cause of lung cancer. Minnesota is one of the states where a high percentage of homes have radon levels at potentially unhealthy levels.

What can homeowners do? The first step in radon awareness is to test the radon levels in your home. You can buy a kit and test the levels yourself, or hire a professional to test radon levels for you. If the radon levels in your home are over 4 pCi/L, health officials suggest that the levels be reduced by radon mitigation. Certified professionals will draw gas from the soil and vent it to the roof. The cost of mitigating ranges from $1,100 to $2,500, averaging around $1,500. If you’re curious about how the process works, check out this episode of “Ask This Old House” that features a visit to a Minneapolis home with high radon levels.

Buying a new home? Since January 2014, Minnesota state law requires more detailed information regarding radon levels to be provided to home buyers in a radon disclosure form. Home owners are not required by law to perform a radon test to sell their home, but if a radon test has been conducted, home owners must disclose the results of the test.

What’s next? Starting in 2018, the rules from the recent Minnesota Radon Licensing Act will go into effect. At that time, professionals and organizations that test, mitigate, or analyze radon levels will be required to obtain proper licensure and use system tags (aka, charge a fee).

Overwhelmed? The Garatoni Group can help! We will help you find professionals to test radon levels or perform radon mitigation in your home. If you’re buying or selling, we’ll help you sort out the radon disclosure form and answer your questions about the process. Contact The Garatoni Group today!