How to check your radon risk


Getting an RICS Chartered Surveyor to carry out a survey before you buy is essential if you don’t want to risk getting lumbered with lots of nasty hidden problems.

But opinions vary about the risks posed by radon.  Radon is a colourless and odourless naturally occuring radioactive gas formed by radioactive decay of small amounts of uranium in rocks and soils.

The main danger from extensive exposure to radon is an increased risk of lung cancer. For most UK citizens radon within buildings is the largest source of radiation exposure.   If radon can’t be dispersed into the atmosphere it can be potentially deadly in larger amounts.   Although in most parts of the UK levels of radon are low, you can still hit problems where in areas where it is more prevalent. Some buildings in these ‘Radon Affected Areas’ have higher levels and should be tested for radon.

It’s possible that mortgage lenders may in future refuse to lend on untreated homes in high risk areas. So before finalising your purchase it’s a good idea to check the National Archives records for any known radon risk.

If you find that the risk is ‘high’ in the postcode area you’re buying in – don’t panic!  The maps are quite small scale, and your property may be in a lower high risk location.

Advoce on works to defend your property from radon can be seen at

You can check other potential risks here.




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Selling privately (continued)

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