Why Radon Testing Should Be Non-Negotiable in Home Purchases

Why Radon Testing Should Be Non-Negotiable in Home Purchases

You might have thought you were hearing about radon for the last time in your chemistry class.

But, SURPRISE! Radon exists beyond the periodic table, actually. And it might be there in the house you’re about to buy.

High radon levels aren’t a good sign and definitely a red flag for your potential house.

How do you know whether it exists in the house?

You can always get a radon test to ensure that the house is free of radon; if not, you can think about the further steps you would be taking in the future.

In this blog, we’ll emphasize the importance of radon testing in your potential house and what makes it a non-negotiable step in your home-buying step.

Let’s first start with what really is radon.

What Is Radon?

The American Cancer Society states that radon within the house is caused by airborne radon gas that decays into minute radioactive elements known as radon progeny.
These elements can lodge in the lining of the lungs and emit radiation, which can eventually cause damage to lung cells. And worse, it can result in lung cancer.
And to your surprise, it’s the second most common cause of lung cancer after smoking. Usually, radon-related lung cancer occurs in smokers.
Yet, high radon levels can still pose a threat to non-smokers. So, it’s important to take precautions to ensure your home’s indoor air quality is maintained and you can promise your loved ones a safe living environment. 

If you’re thinking that we’ll handle the issue once we “see” it, then know that radon is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas. You can’t see it, but you can definitely witness its consequences.

This is exactly what makes the radon testing an essential part of your home-buying process.

Is Radon Testing Really Necessary When Buying A Home?

Getting a radon test is not “really” necessary, but we’d recommend that you get one before buying a house. As they say, “Prevention is always better than cure.”

We already mentioned that radon is the second most common reason behind lung cancer. But that’s not it. The gas also causes another health issue among the exposed: respiratory issues.

Therefore, you want to ensure that the house you’re investing in is aesthetically pleasing, safe, and livable.

How To Test For Radon?

You always have a choice here as you can choose from two kinds of tests. The first one is done by a professional (and we highly recommend this one). The second one is a DIY that you can perform just by buying a testing kit from a hardware store.

When performing a do-it-yourself test, you will place the kit at the lowest point in your home for a minimum of 48 hours. After performing the test, you will submit it to a lab for analysis.
For a professional test, contact a radon professional organization that can perform a test for you and give you better insights into the radon levels.

Short-Term Tests

You usually get your results within 2-3 days with a short-term test. This gives you ample time to decide whether you need to take further preventive or mitigating steps, depending on the severity of the issues. However, if the issue is severe, you can also choose to back out of the deal. Obviously, you don’t want to buy a red flag, do you?

Typically, these tests are cheaper. But it entirely depends on whether you choose to DIY or conduct professional tests. Of course, a DIY will cost less than a professional test.

Long-Term Tests

Your radon will be monitored for up to a year and longer during a long-term test. This is because radon levels can vary, and since longer-term testing accounts for a longer time frame, they may be more accurate. If significant radon levels are found, a professional typically advises you to take a long-term test after the short-term one.

Radon Testing And Home Inspection

In the context of home inspections, radon testing is important since it adds a critical level of knowledge for prospective purchasers.
Traditional home inspections focus on a house’s outside and structural elements, but the testing explores the interior and finds possible health risks.
As part of your due diligence, you should make sure that radon testing is a part of the home inspection procedure.
You can do this by contacting companies that perform home inspections or testing.
Considering the potentially dire effects of increased radon levels, it’s an extra layer of protection.

It is recommended to include the testing within the house inspection procedure.
The best part is that they have mitigation methods besides performing the inspection.

What Should You Do If You Buy A House With High Radon Levels?

There aren’t any accessible medical tests that measure radon exposure.

You must make an effort to quit smoking if you have been exposed to elevated radon levels. Smoking and radon exposure together significantly increase the risk of lung cancer compared to each exposure factor alone.

Discuss with your doctor whether you should undergo screening tests for lung cancer or just routine checkups to ensure there are no symptoms of the disease if you believe you may have been exposed to high amounts of radon for extended periods.

Be aware of the following signs of lung cancer: 

  • Shortness of breath
  • New or worsening cough
  • Tightness or pain in the chest
  • Hoarseness
  • Difficulty swallowing 

If you experience any of these symptoms, contact your doctor right away.


In conclusion, the importance of radon testing in the home buying process can’t be emphasized enough, considering the severe health risks associated with prolonged exposure to this colorless, odorless gas.

The potentially life-threatening consequences, particularly the increased risk of lung cancer, underscore the non-negotiable nature of incorporating radon testing into the home-buying process.

With the ease and accessibility of radon testing methods, ensuring homes are free from elevated radon levels is a responsible and essential measure you shouldn’t miss before buying the property.

By making radon testing non-negotiable in home purchases, you can take a significant step toward fostering healthier living environments and safeguarding the long-term health of your loved ones.

Elevate your living spaces with Top to Bottom Services! From inspections to testing, our experts ensure top-notch solutions for your home. Contact us for excellence in service and transform your home into the dream space you deserve.