Iowa radon home-buyers and sellers fact sheet

How common is radon in Iowa?

The Iowa Radon Survey has indicated that Iowa has the largest percentage (or 71.6%) of homes above the US Environmental Protection Agency action level of 4pCi/L. It is also designated by the US EPA as an entirely zone 1 state, which means that at least 50% of the homes are above US EPA’s recommended action level.

Is radon testing required in Iowa?

However both the state of Iowa and the EPA recommend that a home or residence should be tested before a real estate transaction is carried out. Even though Iowa does not require radon testing , we certainly recommend you have a test performed before you purchase a home.

Do sellers have to remediate radon?

“The seller usually pays for the mitigation and any retesting. Radon in most cases can be mitigated to an acceptable level, but seek the advice of a radon mitigation specialist if you have questions or concerns.”

Is it safe to buy a house with high radon levels?

Levels of 4 pCi/L or higher are considered hazardous. Radon levels less than 4 pCi/L still pose a risk and in many cases can be reduced, although it is difficult to reduce levels below 2 pCi/L. The EPA estimates that a radon removal system costs about $1,200 for an average house .

Can you reduce radon by opening windows?

As a temporary solution, however, you can reduce radon levels simply by opening windows . Opening windows improves air circulation and ventilation, helping move radon out of the house and mixing radon -free outside air with indoor air. Make sure all your basement windows are open .

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Where is Radon most commonly found?

Radon gas is a ubiquitous element found in rock and soil. The burning of coal and other fossil fuels also releases radon. When radon escapes from soil or is discharged from emission stacks to the outdoor air, it is diluted to levels that are normally, but not always, lower than indoor air.

What are signs of radon poisoning?

Is it true that radon poisoning can give you cancer? persistent cough . coughing up blood. wheezing. shortness of breath. hoarseness . chest pain, especially when you cough or laugh. frequent infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia.

Is a radon level of 5 bad?

Safe radon levels . The best radon level measurement would be zero. The average global outdoor radon level varies between 5 -15 Bq/m3, equal to 0.135-0.405 pCi/L. For every 99.9 Bq/m3, or every 2.7 pCI/L increase in long term radon exposure, lung cancer risk rises 16%4.

How long does it take to get rid of radon?

one to three days

Is it OK to live in a house with radon?

There are no safe levels of radon , and there’s no way to eradicate it. In homes where there are smokers present and smoking indoors (instead of outside), the risk of developing lung cancer will be much higher. Levels above 4 pCi/L are considered actionable, so those are in the dangerous levels of radon for indoors.

Should I walk away from a house with radon?

In most cases the buyers will not walk away from a deal after finding out elevated radon levels are present. It is undetectable unless you perform a radon test. It is the second leading cause of lung cancer and according to the EPA and CDC, it kills more than 20,000 annually.

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Is radon a deal breaker?

Radon is a radioactive gas that emanates naturally from soil and rock. Every year in the U.S. some 21,000 people die because of radon . Radon has a nickname that could easily scare away any potential home buyer: “The Silent Killer.” But there’s no need for radon to be a deal – breaker in any real estate transaction.

Do most homes have radon?

Any home can have a radon problem. This means new and old homes , well- sealed and drafty homes , and homes with or without basements. Nearly one out of every 15 homes in the United States is estimated to have an elevated radon level (4 pCi/L or more). Elevated levels of radon gas have been found in homes in your state.

Does finishing basement reduce radon levels?

Radon levels are above recommended EPA levels . Radon levels must be reduced even if you are not finishing your basement . Because it comes from the ground, radon levels are usually highest in basements .

How do I make my house safe from radon?

There are two types of mitigation that can be used to make a home safe from radon gas . These include the installation of a radon sump or a positive pressure unit. Radon sumps are the most popular and effective choice for reducing high concentrated levels of radon .

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