To Test, or Not to Test: that is the question…

One of the biggest “dilemmas” Home Buyer’s face is whether or not to perform radon [air] testing when the house they’re trying to buy already has a radon [air] mitigation system.

When a radon mitigation system is in place, this question and conversation almost always takes place…. I should point out (much like Mr. Shakespeare) the intent of this post is NOT to answer the question, but rather that both arguments – testing and not testing – have a devil’s advocate. First, lets re-cap Radon. According to the US EPA: Radon is a cancer-causing, radioactive gas that you can’t see, smell or taste. Right about now you’re thinking “okay, if radon is cancer-causing where and what is the dilemma?” So allow me…

It is always Maida Services recommendation to test. But, the decision comes down to which is going to help you sleep at night.

The NO test argument:  “We have a short time line and I don’t think we can wait for test results…”  Or, after dually noting that the property being purchased has a mitigation system installed, and, that system’s sole purpose is to remove radon: ” I don’t think I need to pay for a radon test, it’s extra money that I don’t need to spend…” Consider that if / when a radon mitigation system is professionally installed, it’s usually tested to make sure that its working. A simple test can help determine whether an existing system may need to be repaired or upgraded.

The YES test argument: “There doesn’t seem to be any info available on the mitigation system…” or, “I don’t care that this house has a fancy radon mitigation system with ALL the bells and whistles – I want it tested…” Consider that the system may have a continuous monitoring system which could provide read-outs as to the radon levels. Not to mention the probability of the system’s failure warning device.

Pro’s & Con’s: If you don’t have the property tested for radon, are you going to wonder if you should have tested after you’ve moved in? If you have the property tested and you are affirmed that the mitigation system is in fact performing it’s function – Did you waste the time and extra money to find out the system is doing exactly what it is supposed to do? Are you glad you tested because the system needs upgrades?

” Thus conscience does make cowards of us all” – W.S.

One Response to 'To Test, or Not to Test: that is the question…'

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  1. Robert Ritchie said,

    Have the house your buying inspected. The inspection cost is a small price to pay to have piece of mind, and know what you are buying. make sure you have a home inspection contingency in your offer and your P&S to provide you a way out with your money returned should a “defect” be found.

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