Services for Realtors – Columbia, Maryland

Are You Prepared To Answer Potential Columbia Maryland Home Buyers Questions About Radon?

Radon Columbia Maryland Real EstateAlthough Columbia, Maryland is a desirable community in which to live, prospective house buyers will often ask, as they do anywhere, about the radon levels in the structure. As a responsible homeowner, you want not only to protect the health and your family and preserve the value of your home, but to ensure that future occupants will not be subjected to high levels of radon gas. The good news is that, as far as problems with houses go, radon levels are easily determined and can be effectively managed.

Radon is a radioactive gas that is the by-product of naturally occurring trace deposits of uranium found in the soil and rock formations. It is very toxic and, in fact, is listed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a Class A carcinogen, at the same level as asbestos, arsenic and benzene in gasoline. The Surgeon General has determined that radon is the second-largest cause of lung cancer and attributes radon with being the source of 21,000 lung cancer deaths in the United States each year.

Columbia Maryland May Be at a Higher Risk of Radon Exposure

Tests have shown that the average level of radon in a typical single-family house is 1.3 picocuries per liter of air (pCi/L), the unit of measurement for radon. This, however, is just an average. Since geology is the determining factor in radon levels in specific areas, this number can vary widely from place to place. In Maryland, there is a zone of 7 counties north and west of Baltimore are designated as Zone 1 areas, which means that houses in that zone have a high probability of elevated levels of radon. Howard County is within this zone, with an average radon level of 6.8 pCi/L. In the Columbia, Maryland area, tests have shown that 50% of the houses have levels at or above 4 pCi/L. This concentration is considered by the EPA to be an “action level,” meaning that they strongly recommend that steps be taken to reduce radon in a house.

Again, these are just averages and may not apply to your specific house. The United States Geological Survey describes Howard County as having “extremely localized geologic environments,” meaning that radon levels can change from house to house. A radon test of a neighbor’s house, for example, cannot be considered a reliable indicator of the level in your house. The only way to find out the radon concentration in your house is to have it tested. We can provide fast and accurate testing, which will provide you with the information you need to make important decisions.

Even if the test results show high levels of radon, there is no need to be alarmed. We can design and install a radon mitigation system which will reduce the level of radon in your home. Working together, we can provide a responsible and viable means of managing elevated radon concentrations, safeguarding your family’s health and the value of your house.