To say, “gas stinks worse than our friends,” is not a discussion about being at your friend’s house and walking by their teenager’s bedroom or even the person you knew in college who lived in the dorm room down the hall. Instead, the phrase is a re3ference to a different kind of situation which stinks in a way that has nothing to do with smell. Although radon gas is an odorless toxin, if you ever find out it exists in your basement you’ll likely think, “Well this just stinks!”
Older Home Issues
Radon gas is a form of radiation which is known to cause lung cancer. It is odorless and colorless so the only way to detect it is by hiring a professional inspection service. The gas seeps up through the ground and over time can become concentrated in a basement or crawl space. Although it can occur in a newer home, a house is often fine until it settles over time just like all buildings do, or as it develops small cracks in the foundation. When this happens, the naturally occurring radon in the ground under the house can potentially become disturbed and begin to rise into the home.
The only way to protect your family from the health effects of the poisonous gas is to actively check for its presence. It should be a part of your pre-purchase home inspection and is part of the reason you need to hire your own inspection service rather than rely on the seller’s inspection, a building code inspector, or the appraiser. None of those people are there to represent the buyer’s best interest but instead are there to conduct inspections from different points of view which do not include protecting your investment.
After you purchase your dream home, there is a need for ongoing radon inspections. One of the distinct problems with radon is that although it comes directly out of the ground, it isn’t a neighborhood issue. It may wind up your house is fine even if all the surrounding homes have found a radon issue, or it may turn out your next door neighbor’s basement tested negative while your house has an unacceptable level of the gas. Once radon is found, there are ways to treat the home to fix the problem, but that can only happen if you check for it regularly and catch it quickly.