RADON IN DC HOMES

DETECTION, TESTING AND REMEDIATION

Districtre.com Power Papers

Radon in DC Homes

What is Radon?

Radon is a form of ionizing radiation; an odorless, tasteless and invisible gas produced by the decay of naturally occurring uranium in soil and water. Uranium and radium are both commonly found in soil and are released harmlessly into outdoor air. Problems occur when Radon is trapped inside, where it becomes a proven carcinogen.

Where is it found?

Radon has been found in elevated levels in every state in the U.S. and in the District of Columbia. According to EPA statistics, one in every 15 homes has elevated radon levels. District of Columbia Radon Map Radon gas starts out in the soil and enters through cracks in the foundation or walls, openings around floor drains, pipes and sump pumps. Once trapped in the home, it can build up and create a health hazard. Radon can infiltrate from soil in any location around or under a home, even if it doesn’t have a basement, crawl space, or is built on a slab.

Testing

The EPA and the Surgeon General recommend radon testing for all types of homes at or below the third floor.
A home inspector can test for Radon during a standard home inspection. There is an additional cost, and the inspection will be a two part appointment rather than a single appointment. Washington DC homeowners can test themselves, by ordering a free test kit from the DDOE. District residents can call the radon hotline at (202) 535-2302 or submit online at request free test kitTesting involves placing a radon detector in a designated area, making sure the environment is not disturbed (airing out) for the perscribed number of days, then sealing the detector back in the package. If it is determined that there is a build up in an area of the home, use only recommended mitigation methods.

Remediation

EPA recommends the reduction methods if levels in the home exceed 4 pCi/L (or 0.02 working levels [WL] if your lab uses that reporting method).

Common Mitigation Methods

Soil Suction This is a system that draws Radon from underneath the home, then vents it away using pipes.
Sealing Infiltration Points Sealing limits the flow into the home
Pressurization This method uses a fan to create pressure differences that help keep Radon from entering the house.
HRV (Heat Recovery Ventilator) Installed to increase ventilation, HRV uses the heated or cooled air being exhausted to warm or cool the incoming air. This type of system is most effective when used to ventilate only the basement of a house. Heating and cooling costs will likely rise when an HRV system is in place.
Your radon mitigation contractor can offer complete details about different types of reduction systems and will be in a better position to recommend the “best” system for your house after determining how Radon is entering your home. Costs vary, but most systems can be installed for $1,000-$3,000.Your mitigation contractor can offer complete details about different types of radon reduction systems and will be in a better position to recommend the “best” system for your home.
You can have an inspection performed as part of your general home inspection. Installation of a mitigation system is less expensive if done while the home is built, but most builders will not allow a vendor to work on the home until it is delivered. If you’re building a custom home or the builder will allow it, however, take advantage of the timing and savings.

Additional tips

If you are buying a home or selling your home, have it tested for radon. For a new home, ask if radon-resistant construction features were used and if the home has been tested. Fix the home if the radon level is 4 picocuries per liter, or pCi/L,  or higher. Radon levels less than 4 pCi/L still pose a risk, and in many cases, may be reduced. Take steps to prevent device interference when conducting a radon test. Radon is estimated to cause thousands of lung cancer deaths in the U.S. each year.

BUYING OR SELLING DC REAL ESTATE?

The Isaacs Team at Evers & Company

Why work with The Isaacs Team? Our clients will tell you!
Susan not only worked hard to help my wife and me find the perfect place, she was a dogged (and effective) negotiator on our behalf once we zeroed-in. She knows the market and knows the area, but best of all she knows how to play hardball and get things done—exactly what we needed in an agent.
In today’s market in this area, you cannot rely on luck to get you that perfect place or a great deal – you need to have an agent who knows the market cold, is aggressive, and effective – Susan is all of those things and more.
It would not be an exaggeration to say that Susan did the work of both the buyer’s and seller’s agent, spotting and solving problems using a powerful combination of intuition and experience. She brought her impressive professional network to bear on one problem to such great effect that the buyer’s lender gave me–the seller–a closing cost credit. When does that ever happen? 
In today’s market in this area, you cannot rely on luck to get you that perfect place or a great deal – you need to have an agent who knows the market cold, is aggressive, and effective – Susan is all of those things and more.
Susan not only worked hard to help my wife and me find the perfect place, she was a dogged (and effective) negotiator on our behalf once we zeroed-in. She knows the market and knows the area, but best of all she knows how to play hardball and get things done—exactly what we needed in an agent.
Susan responded immediately and impressed me with her patience and almost supernatural ability to find the perfect place for me despite some significant constraints (time, location, finances). I was not an easy case, but she never made me feel like I was a ‘burden’ or ‘not her first priority’. Above all, she treated me with respect and honesty.
When a property popped up in a neighborhood that she and I had scouted, Susan was there within the hour and insisted it was worth us leaving work to check out. If we had a less responsive Realtor, I am convinced that we would not have our amazing house now. Susan’s advice is invaluable. You need a Realtor that knows her stuff. And Susan does!
Susan was an invaluable part of my new home purchase from beginning to end. She quickly understood what I liked, previewed properties and showed me homes that fit our criteria. She made herself extremely available through the process and worked with us through every aspect of the transaction. Susan was so much fun as an agent that she took the anxiety out of the home buying process. I would work with Susan again in a heartbeat.
Susan is a true client advocate who worked tirelessly on my behalf to ensure my purchasing goals were met. We hit some seller stumbling blocks along the way, and Susan used her experience and knowledge to ensure every box was checked on my behalf – She was my personal Bulldog. Her experience in the builder realm proved extremely valuable during the entire process.
Susan is knowledgeable, friendly and very responsive–she got back to us immediately to answer any of our questions at any hour. Even as first-time homebuyers who could be somewhat indecisive at times, she understood what we were looking for in a home, didn’t hesitate to answer our questions and always had our best interests in mind. Her warm, welcoming attitude and confident guidance really took the stress out of a process that, before we met Susan, we had assumed would be overwhelming and beyond our reach.
Susan and Alex are superstar agents. There is no one else I’d want on my side of a real estate transaction. My wife and I first met Susan in 2010 when she helped us buy our first home, a condo. We were so impressed by her deep local knowledge, tenacious negotiating, 24/7 efforts on our behalf, and clear guidance on the home-buying process that we didn’t consider going with anyone else when we decided to buy a 3-BR in our dream neighborhood. We were not disappointed. After a few weeks, we found the perfect house at the perfect listing price. We knew it would be competitive, but Susan and Alex provided expert advice on how to make the offer, and in the end, we provided terms just attractive enough to end the process in our favor, but no higher than final appraisal and just above what their agent later admitted was their line. They also did a fabulous job of staging and selling our condo, which netted $30K over selling price after six strong offers during just two-days of being on the market. They get amazing results and are a blast to work with.
We expected an extremely stressful experience when we decided to sell our home of over 25 years and buy a condo, especially because we live nearly 3000 miles away, yet the Isaacs Team was beyond exceptional in their competent guidance, attention to detail, follow through, and simply doing what they said they would do. While other realtors said, "this is what you need to do;" this team said, "we can do this for you!" Our process was smooth and quick, and they designed a strategy and negotiated a sale well above our asking price; and a purchase price below asking - both in the same market. They are also a pleasure to work with in every respect. Please know that you can turn this difficult personal event over to true professionals and emerge with happy results and fast friends. We highly recommend this team in every regard.
Susan is sooo responsive–pretty much 24-7. She made what could have been a difficult situation very easy to navigate. I couldn’t have bought my property without her, I’m sure. I recommend Susan VERY HIGHLY. She is a delight to work with.
My husband and I loved working with Susan and Alex. This was my 9th real estate purchase but the first time that I have used The Isaacs Team. They were the best agents I have worked with and I can not accurately describe how impressed we were! They were amazing and extremely detailed. They went over and above for us in neighborhood research, service, and contract negotiations. I found them to be extremely responsive, always available, and 100% competitent in their knowledge of the markets they serve. I was really impreseed by their extensive knowledge of the real estate contract. I must say that I was incredibly impressed. They made the process easy and held our hands through difficult negotiations. I will be their client for life!
Susan and Alex are superstar agents. There is no one else I’d want on my side of a real estate transaction. My wife and I first met Susan in 2010 when she helped us buy our first home, a condo. We were so impressed by her deep local knowledge, tenacious negotiating, 24/7 efforts on our behalf, and clear guidance on the home-buying process that we didn’t consider going with anyone else when we decided to buy a 3-BR in our dream neighborhood. We were not disappointed. After a few weeks, we found the perfect house at the perfect listing price. We knew it would be competitive, but Susan and Alex provided expert advice on how to make the offer, and in the end, we provided terms just attractive enough to end the process in our favor, but no higher than final appraisal and just above what their agent later admitted was their line. They also did a fabulous job of staging and selling our condo, which netted $30K over selling price after six strong offers during just two-days of being on the market. They get amazing results and are a blast to work with. 
We’re agents who take your real estate transaction as seriously as you do.

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