Portland Radon – New Map 2015
As home shoppers tour your home with their buyer’s agent, they’re probably thinking about how big the bedrooms are, whether the kitchen appliances are updated, and how many people can fit on the back deck. What they might not know to ask is, “What’s the radon level like here?”
That’s because radon is invisible and odorless, and is one of those things that home buyers expect to be taken care of before they close on a home. Even though many Portland neighborhoods have been rated at high levels of exposure to radon, a cancer-causing but naturally occurring gas, mitigation is usually simple and it shouldn’t impact your home value.
Running radon tests well before you list your home with a Portland real estate agent is a very good idea. Some radon tests can take up to three months to complete, and that’s the last thing you want to have hanging up the process when you have a ready buyer. Test your home even if your zip code comes up as a “low” risk in the Portland Radon Map, just released by the Oregon Department of Health for 2015. The risk can vary greatly between neighboring homes.
You can do a radon test yourself following the EPA’s guidelines, or hire a specialist to take care of it for you. Radon tests should be conducted in the lowest living space of the home, whether that’s the basement or the first floor.
Homes with basements are more likely to have elevated levels of radon, because the foundation is coming in direct contact with the earth and the basement provides a sealed space to trap any radon that is emitted from radioactive rocks beneath the home.
Homes with crawlspaces should still be tested as they can have accumulated radon as well. Here’s my pro real estate agent tip for passing a radon test for a home that has a crawlspace (and protecting those who live in the home, now and into the future): Do not seal up crawlspace vents, and clean them regularly! While many Portland home owners may block their crawlspace vents to save on heating bills, this means that radon has no escape route. These vents may also become inadvertently clogged with spider webs, pine needles, and other Oregon detritus. It’s worth getting down there to check before you run the radon test.
If you don’t, I will as your real estate agent. I specialize in helping home sales go as smoothly as possible! Call me to learn more about radon, radon testing, and what questions buyers are really asking when they shop for homes.March 25, 2015