Your real estate investment may be the biggest transaction you'll ever make - in fact for most of the population the only transaction they will make that might be bigger is a future real estate investment. Naturally then you want to protect yourself not only from unforeseen costs, which every home owner knows can add up quickly, but you also want to make sure the home you and your family are moving into is safe.
All homes can be mitigated for radon, so one concern you don't need to have is that you are buying a home that cannot be mitigated. There are plenty of reasons you should want to test for radon prior to purchasing your home are however:
If you find a problem it's a great negotiating tool. In fact in the vast majority of cases it's the seller who will fully pay the cost of bringing your home down below Health Canada's radon action level.
You don't want to be stuck buying a home where mitigation costs are exorbitant. Mitigations for most houses are affordable, but every home is unique as are the challenges associated with mitigating them. Better to know up front what the costs are.
You want to move your family into a radon safe home, or take action quickly to limit exposure if the house has high radon levels.
When we identify a home with a potential radon problem, we also provide accurate cost estimates for remediation that you can bring to the seller so that it's them, not you, that bears the cost.
A question we sometimes get asked by some of our more radon-educated customers, is how we are able to identify radon problems using short term testing when Health Canada recommends a radon test be no less than 3 months.
Based on outdoor conditions during the test, length of test, identified spikes and average radon concentrations read through professional grade equipment, and by combining our own experience with data from international studies comparing short term testing with long term potential of a building, we are able to provide 95% confidence that if a house has a radon problem we will identify it with only the 2-7 days generally available to do testing for the purpose of real estate.
Better yet, since we are mitigators, we are able to provide the following guarantee for all homes we test as part of real estate transactions:
If the property you purchase has a radon problem (defined as having average levels over a period of 3 months or longer that exceed Health Canada's action level) and if we fail to identify the problem during short term testing, the entire cost of the test will be applied as credit towards mitigation.
This means, simply, we either identify the problem which will allow you to request the seller to incur the costs of mitigation or if we miss it, the real estate radon test effectively costs you nothing. So no matter what, you are in a position no worse off financially and you will know if your property is safe.
All real estate testing includes a 2-7 day test using professional grade/tamper resistant equipment, setting up of closed home conditions, a 3 month alpha track test dosimeter (to validate the results of the short term test), a mitigation cost estimate if remediation of the home were required, and a report that outlines the terms your real estate lawyer can use for issuing holdbacks when a potential radon problem is identified.