Purchasing a property is a complicated process, especially right now, so it's important that we don't overlook the finer details when it comes to purchasing a home. Radon is something that is not widely discussed in the UK, and many people don't hear about it until it comes to selling up or purchasing. Let's show you the ins and outs of radon, and what it means when purchasing a home.
What Is Radon?
Radon is a gas that we cannot see, smell, or taste, is colourless, odourless, and radioactive, which can be found everywhere. Some parts of the country are more exposed to radon than other areas, such as Wales and the South West of England; it is formed from rocks and soil found around the UK. Any exposure to this type of radiation is a risk to our health. Of course, radiation is something that we are all aware of and should remember that can increase the risk of cancer. There are tools that can be used to detect and treat it. For example, Positive Input Ventilation, or PIV, can help to reduce radon in homes. As levels are very high inside buildings, it's vital that we know how to deal with radon properly.
What Should You Do When Buying a Radon-Affected Home?
If you are looking to purchase a property, it's a good idea to ask the seller to provide evidence of radon tests. But here are a few things that you should make sure that you do for the sake of yourself and your family:
- Find out if the house was tested for radon. It's always important to ask the seller if this was checked for before it was put on the market. We need to make sure that the test was conducted with the right testing procedures.
- Asking for the results. Test results need to show all aspects of safety, including any contamination inside the property.
- Getting the property tested yourself. If you have concerns, you can get the house tested by qualified professionals. It's vital that you know the levels of radon are safe before you purchase it so you can install a mitigation system, like the aforementioned PIV, as well as other tactics.
Should Radon Be a Cause for Concern?
Being exposed to radon affects people differently. The reason so many of us are not aware of radon is that there is no such thing as having a safe level of radon. Statistically, the average UK home has radon levels of 20 Bq/m3 in comparison to 4 Bq/m3 outside the home. The safe threshold is 100 Bq/m3, so anything over this could be cause for concern. If you are exposed to radon over a long period of time, this could increase the likelihood of lung cancer. If you find high levels inside your property, there needs to be mitigation works carried out.
Would It Have an Effect on Purchasing or Selling a Property?
In most areas, radon is not a cause for concern, but if you live in a location that is likely to be vulnerable to higher levels of radon, it's vital to conduct the relevant tests. Radon is more prominent in Wales, Cumbria, Northumberland, and specific areas in Derbyshire and Gloucestershire. If you live in any of these areas, you may find yourself concerned, however, there are a wide variety of resources to ensure that you can find an area that is low in radon. You can find more information on the UK Health Security’s Radon website, which can offer a lot of information.
Many people aren't necessarily concerned about radon, especially when it comes to concerns like asbestos, but it's something that should be given some consideration, especially if you are moving to any of the areas listed above. While on average, radon gas can cause over 1,000 lung cancer deaths every year, if you are either looking to sell up or you are in an area affected by radon, this could result in a longer drawn-out selling process.
On the other side of the coin, if you are looking to purchase a property, you may believe that this could cause problems in the future. While radon is something that you have to consider in the grand scheme of things, you may not find it as much of a concern as something like asbestos. However, when it comes to finding your dream home or selling up, these are components that we've all got to consider to make sure it either makes for a less stressful life or a smoother selling process.