The EPA, Surgeon General, American Lung Association, National Safety Council, and American Medical Association recommend testing in homes since this is the only way to know ones radon levels. There are no immediate symptoms since the medical effects are long term and the reason why testing in home should be performed. In Fairfax County, like anywhere else, high levels can be found in one home while very low levels can be found in all neighboring homes. Below is Radon Level Map of Fairfax County and the color code definitions found on the EPA web site for Radon, yellow=lowest levels, orange=medium, and red= highest levels..
Testing For Radon
When buying a home in Fairfax, buyers should include a Radon Inspection Contingency to their initial offer. Most home sellers will allow for this inspection along with a home inspection in the first 7 to 10 days. (Consult With Your Realtor) Have a certified Radon Inspector perform the test; here is a list of Certified Radon Home Inspectors. Once the results of the Radon test are obtained and if the levels show above the EPA defined high level, the buyer may have three options. Buyers may accept the home as is, request the sellers to install a system to reduce the high levels, or possibly walk away from the deal. I do recommend following the advice of your agent or broker, hopefully me, who knows and understands the details of your real estate needs.
If you already own a home and would like to test it yourself here is a place to find Home Test Kits.
Reducing Radon Gas Levels
There are multiple ways a contractor can reduce radon levels in a home, even do it yourself homeowners can install some Radon Mitigation systems. There are two main methods, the first being a systems that keep radon from entering a home to begin with. The other method is expelling the Radon Gas from the home so high levels are never reached. Here is a guide offered be the EPA to help with the reduction of radon, Consumers Guide to Radon Reduction.
The best advice I can give when buying a home in Fairfax County or anywhere in Northern VA is find a knowledgeable and skilled full time real estate agent to guide you through the home buying or home selling process.
Joey Remondino has been featured on CBS, Washington Post, WUSA Channel 9, and Washingtonian as a Real Estate Expert and is a full time Realtor and Broker with StoneHouse Realty Inc. specializing in residential real estate in Northern Virginia including Vienna, Centreville, Chantilly, Falls Church, Gainesville, Mclean, Reston, Great Falls, Alexandria, Manassas, Manassas Park, Prince William, and Fairfax Counties to name a few. Trained and experienced expert in Estate Homes, New Home Sales, Relocation, and commercial real estate. Joey can guide you through any real estate buying or selling process.