What is Radon and Why do I Need to Know About It?
Radon is everywhere, and is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. Every home inspector needs to understand what it is and where and when it’s appropriate to discuss with the client.
What is It?
Radon is an odorless and invisible gas. You cannot smell or taste it. It is everywhere in our environment and may be a problem when it becomes trapped in your home. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates Radon causes as many as 21,000 lung cancer deaths in the U.S. each year – more than deaths related to drunk driving, drowning, and house fires.
Here’s a link to the EPA’s Buyer’s and Seller’s Guide to Radon:
Why do Home Inspectors Need to Know about It?
From real estate agents to word of mouth by friends, every homebuyer will hear about Radon more than once when buying a home. The home inspector and real estate professional are most at risk for claims and lawsuits when radon is discovered in the home after the client moves in.
While Radon is excluded from every Standards of Practice in the country, a home inspector is at risk even when having a conversation with the client where its mentioned – usually the result of improper or inaccurate information given by the home inspector. Knowing about Radon will help you answer questions properly, minimize your risk, and better prepare the clients for purchase.
How do I Talk to the Client about Radon?
Discussing Radon with a client is tricky because if we discuss too much about how Radon kills people we could be perceived by the agents as an alarmist and a deal breaker. On the other hand, if we don’t adequately describe the risks of Radon when the client asks about it, we could be on the hook for future claims or lawsuits.
So, what to do?
Take a class and get certified. Look for a course approved for certification by The National Radon Proficiency Program (NRPP) or The National Radon Safety Board (NRSB). Taking these courses will properly prepare you for measuring and testing for Radon in residential properties. Even better, you’ll learn how to discuss the subject with your clients without sticking your neck out whether they choose to have a radon test or not.
With all oF This Risk, Should I even Bother Testing For It?
Absolutely! Once you’ve decided to take the course, talk to your insurance agent and let him/her know you’ll be testing for Radon so they can add the proper coverage to your policy. Home inspectors charge as much as $100-150 for a radon test; depending on where you live, that could mean substantial income for your business! Do your research on the websites we gave you the link to earlier in this article and you’ll soon discover whether testing for Radon is right for your business based on where you live.
HI-TEC thinks like a school AND a business. We have live classes and a fully self-paced curriculum to suit the many needs of our students. We discuss everything about the home inspection career in every class we teach. Like we’ve mentioned so many times, we want to be a part of your success and that means teaching you everything we know about passing the exam and starting your career. It’s how we give you the high ground advantage. We’re better because we focus on the core competencies you need to get started. We’ve worked for the biggest schools in the country. We know what students need to be successful, and how to best provide everyone with the knowledge and skills required to make home inspections a lifelong career. We don’t make sales pitches in class, and we teach the marketing in every class so you can get licensed, get marketing, and start recouping your investment right away.
Give us a call at 877.51.HI.TEC and let one of our admissions experts help you get the answers you need!