radon testing: why you need to now

Can you name the second leading cause of lung cancer in America?  Hint: it might be in your basement right now.

Radon - symbol Rn - chemical element of the periodic table

Scary, right? So while you’ve heard about the dangers of carbon monoxide in your home, do you know about radon?  Many homeowners aren’t aware of radon, much less the serious, detrimental effects of extended radon exposure, yet the EPA estimates that 8 million U.S. homes have elevated levels of radon.  Is yours one?

What is radon? 

Radon is an odorless, invisible, radioactive gas that forms as a product of the decay of uranium and other elements in soil. Extended exposure to the gas can be very dangerous; in fact, the EPA says that exposure to radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in America.

Since the earthquake in 2011, there has been a rise in the number of homes that have above acceptable radon levels. In layman’s terms, it has something to do with soil shifts leading to an increase in radon’s ability to seep up into buildings and accumulate there. Radon levels also skyrocket during colder months.

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How do I test for radon? What if we have it?

Radon is something realtors see daily because it is part of the home inspection process when selling your home. The EPA recommends radon remediation at a level of 4.0 PCI/L or higher.  Homeowners should test annually, especially if they spend large amounts of time in their basement. The good news is that testing is inexpensive.

Testing kits can be purchased at Home Depot and Lowes or by calling Arlington Radon, who frequently tests for Patterson Group clients.  If radon at levels of 4.0 or higher are found, a radon mitigation system should be installed by a radon professional.  Depending on your soil and home’s foundation, the cost for mitigation systems will range from $800-$2,000.

Bottom line: Regardless if you are moving or staying, test for radon.  It’s never fun when the last step in your home-selling transaction is installing a mitigation system whose health benefits you did not get to enjoy.

Find out more here.

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Born, raised, and bred in Alexandria, VA, Britt Patterson is a true product of the great state of Virginia. Britt attended Waynewood Elementary (Class of ’96), Carl Sandburg Middle School (Class of ’98) , and West Potomac High School (Class of ’02), she then went on to attend Virginia Tech (go Hokies!) where she majored in Business Marketing and Minored in Real Estate. Britt “officially” joined the family business as a licensed Realtor in 2008 after two years of working the political fundraising field and prides herself on her Alexandria real estate knowledge, alongside her integrity, loyalty, and professionalism as an agent and Vice President for the family business.

The Patterson Group is one of the most experienced and trusted real estate teams in the area, serving Alexandria, VA for over thirty years. We offer professional, hardworking, detailed and friendly service and a large network of contacts and resources accrued over our many years in Alexandria real estate. Comprised of seven Alexandria locals, six of whom are licensed realtors and three of whom are accredited staging professionals, The Patterson Group is passionate and knowledgeable about Alexandria, VA and here for all of your Northern VA real estate needs. Allow us to help you find your home here and discover all that the Alexandria lifestyle has to offer.


400 South Washington Street
Alexandria, VA 22314


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