I’m surprised by how often my clients do not know what radon is or what the big deal is. I had sellers who raised a family in their home with a finished basement they used often. During the inspection period, the buyers tested for radon and the level came back well over 100 pCi/L. The EPA recommends any level over 4 pCi/L be mitigated. My sellers installed a radon mitigation system in order to sell the home, but had never checked for all the years they lived there.
To give you perspective: “At the 4 pCi/L EPA action guideline level, radon carries approximately 1000 times the risk of death as any other EPA carcinogen” (radon.com). This colorless, odorless gas is a natural radioactive gas that emits from certain rock and soil. It is a heavy gas and, therefore, is often found in basement areas. There is no way to detect radon gas without testing.
It is wise to test the radon level in a home whether you are buying or selling. For sellers, be proactive and check the radon level in your basement. Install a radon mitigation system if necessary and show buyers the new test numbers. Buyers, testing for radon is especially important if the home has a finished basement you will be using.
Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S. It is very common in Pennsylvania. So, yes, radon is a big deal.