9 Replies

In the process of purchasing a multifamily.  We had a radon inspection and it came back 5 times over the EPA allowance.  There is a family living in the house now.  The radon mitigation system can lower the amount in half.  My question is will we be liable for that family if any issues come up?  The 1st level where they are living will have a lower amount of radon that is acceptable by EPA standards but they use the basement to wash clothes, which will have 2.5 times over EPA standard amount of radon.  Any clue what I should do? Back away from deal?  Thanks for any input!

See if they glow in the dark?

Seriously, Radon is a very deadly radioactive gas.

Seek professional advice immediately.

There are real-time radon monitoring systems.  I'd suggest you install those in living areas in order to monitor your radon mitigation system(s).

Do your own research... but I believe radiation like that has a cumulative effect.  If they spend 95% in an area of safe radiation and only 5% of time in an out of spec area then you could calculate that their cumulative exposure would be acceptable.

If you make a good faith effort to keep cumulative exposures under limits and inform the tenants then I think you're operating ethically.  Hopefully that would result in no legal liability nor frivolous lawsuits.

Seems like a challenging but solvable problem.  Bake-in radon testing and abatement systems costs into your deal.

why can it only cut it in half?   Mine went from 16 down to 2.

the company I used guaranteed they would get it under 4.

Our slab was prepped for a system during construction. 

The fan and install was $800.

@David C.  Because of the stone foundation and the fact that concrete floor is not as thick as some newer homes.  If the stone foundation was sealed and more concrete was poured that would help but there is no guarantee that it will lower to EPA standards.  Hope that makes sense.  

Did the radon abatement company suggest any other remedies in addition to the vent fan?  If the basement isn't finished, you can caulk all the control joints in the basement as well as the joint between the slab and wall to reduce radon infiltration.  I had a fan installed and caulked slab joints in my personal residence and lowered by 20 reading down to less than 2.

Since you haven't completed the purchase, it might be worth a 2nd opinion.  There has to be some sort of solution available - regardless.  Get a quote to get it right and work it into the deal.  If you can't, I would consider walking away because of future liability issues.

@Rob Myers  thank you very much, we will probably do just that

Hi Kevin,

I know its been a while since you posted your message but how did you make out? did you buy?  I'm a certified radon mitigator in New York. If you have more questions maybe I can help!

@Kevin O'Donnell  We just closed yesterday.  Thanks for the reply.  The owners put 3 inches of cement into the basement and put two systems in.  They got the levels down to .2.  

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