Radon is a regular conversation with every client we help buy or sell a home. The last radon tester I spoke to said that over 53% of Illinois has high radon concentrations. Radon is a natural gas emitted from the ground that in high concentrations is potentially cancer causing. Radon disclosure became a regular part of the real estate process on January 1, 2008 (http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=2913&ChapterID=37).
The best thing about high radon is that it can be fixed through radon mitigation. Radon mitigation is where the radon contractor such as Guardian Radon (www.guardianservices.biz) comes to your home and investigates what is needed regarding necessary suction points (depending on home), pipe-work as well as a radon fan along with sealing of cracks and fissures (small hairline cracks) in unfinished areas.
Before you need mitigation you need to test. Some counties like Kendall County sell these tests for about $10 or you can hire a professional tester for about $200. If you get the cheap test and the results are borderline you may want to get a professional test for more accurate results. If the home test is way high you probably have your answer. I do have to tell you that if you are buying or selling a home you can’t do the cheaper canister test. It must be by a professional. On the plus side if you are a buyer and the test is high you can request the seller to cover the expense of the repairs. Most sellers do fix this since it’s a health and safety issue. The radon repair and re-test can run $1100 to $1600 depending on the home.
Now I know there are some of you who don’t think radon is a real issue. I would invite you to read one of our service providers blogs on The Worst Excuses They Have Heard http://guardianservices.biz/the-worst-excuses-weve-ever-heard-about-radon/
I know when we bought our own house in 2004 it wasn’t a required disclosure and frankly we are still dragging our own feet and need to get with the program.
Here is link to the consumers guide about radon from the EPA website http://www.epa.gov/radon/pubs/consguid.html