Exposure to radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the US. It results in over 20,000 people dying each year. Therefore, if you find that your home of this gas which cannot be seen, smelled, tasted, or touched, your immediate reaction may be to point the finger of blame and go looking for someone to sue in a court of law because the health of you and your family has been put at risk. Not only that, but reducing the danger by having a radon abatement system installed can be costly.
Often, the first course of action many people take when looking for compensation is either the previous owners of your home or, if it was purchased new, the builders. While there are laws that can help to some degree, bear in mind that you are in for an uphill battle. This is because, while most states require a seller to disclose any known defects, regardless of what they are, you have to prove that the seller knew of the problems prior to the property being sold. This is why it is so important to be thorough and why you should have the home inspected by a professional who is experienced in checking for potentially invisible dangers, including radon before you go to close on a real estate deal.
Additionally, you will have a hard time getting retribution because many real estate transactions contain clauses that designate the responsibility of dealing with future problems to only one of the parties involved. Therefore, you need to be 100% sure you know what you are signing before you do so and a realtor or real estate attorney can assist you with that.
However, if you had a home built in NJ, MI, WA, or MN, you may be able to go after the company that constructed your home. That is because these four states require new homes and to be constructed using radon-resistant materials and techniques. Therefore, you should not need radon remediation in these places. However, it is recommended that you check the levels every two years in order to remain safe.
Another way some people try to get help with the costs associated with radon mitigation is to contact their insurance company. However, most will be out of luck because many insurance companies include an exclusion clause that relates to pollution in most homeowners insurance policies. This enables insurers to be free from covering such things as the discovery of asbestos, lead paint and high levels of radon gas. This is done because insurance companies believe that air quality is not a disaster. Many policies state that it is a condition that may affect the value of the property.
However, due to the fact that paying for a reduction system is more beneficial than paying the healthcare costs of those exposed to radon gas, there are several government programs that can help if you are unable to afford the system on your own. In order to take advantage of these programs, you should contact HUD, the EPA, or your state radon office for more information.