Did you know there is a new requirement for radon testing in Montgomery County as of October 1, 2016?


What does the new rule mean for home sales in that area?


Effective October 1, 2016 Montgomery County, MD requires“a single-family home located in the County must be tested for radon before completing a sale of the home.”  This requirement is contained in Chapter 40 of the County Code, as amended by County Bill 31-15.  This requirement applies throughout the county, except in the Towns of Barnesville, Kensington and Poolesville, and the City of Rockville.

The law requires the seller to perform the radon test, OR permit the buyer to perform the radon test.  If the seller offers the buyer the opportunity to do the test, and the buyer chooses not to, the seller must perform the test to meet the statutory requirement that a test be performed.  Both the seller and the buyer must receive a copy of the results of the radon test. The test may be done by the seller, buyer, or a third party (for example a home inspector or radon testing professional) using an approved testing device. (Source: http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/DEP/air/radon.html) 

What does this mean to potential home buyers and sellers?

Mike Benner, owner of Benner GeoTech Radon Services, Inc., believes disclosure of radon test results gives the buyers a peace of mind when purchasing one of their largest investments they will ever make. For the seller, Mike recommends testing as you are putting your house on the market.  Inexpensive do it yourself tests, like the Kidde Radon Detection kit can be purchased from local hardware stores, or a homeowner can have a test performed by a local radon testing company or home inspector. This testing gives the sellers piece of mind and the ability to provide the necessary documentation to comply with the new law. 


So what is radon, and why does it matter?


Radon is the #2 cause of lung cancer in this country--it is a silent killer.  

And Maryland--especially central Maryland--is in the moderate to high risk area. Benner GeoTech has mitigated non-smoking households where dogs have been diagnosed with lung cancer, and the probability of it being radon exposure is very high. Test levels have been seen in many local areas, including above 50 pCi/L in Montgomery County and even above 100 pCi/L in Frederick County. The EPA recommends remediation at levels above 4 pCi/L. For more information on remediation, visit the Benner GeoTech website

At the end of the day, whether or not they are buying or selling home owners need to be aware of the risks associated with radon exposure. It is also highly recommended that ALL homeowners test for radon, even when off market, to protect their families and pets from this dangerous but all to common naturally occurring toxin.