Tuesday, May 23, 2006

What's a Little Uranium Between Friends?

Ok, so the home inspection went well-enough. Other than playing lottery with both a furnace and water heater that have outlived their life-expectancies, most of the problems are actually with the detached garage. Fine, I can deal with that.

This morning I found out that the radon inspection came back high, specifically 8.8 pCi/L. The cutoff for livable spaces is 4. I’m not that familiar with radon, as the soil clay here is pretty much too hard for anything to leak out of it, so today I did a little reading.

Radon is formed from the breakdown of thorium and uranium. Decay elements include two different forms of polonium, which are highly effective in damaging lung tissues. Even worse is that it has a synergistic effect in smokers.

The response from the seller is that they do not want to fix it (cost approx. $1500), and are questioning the validity of the test, as technically the basement is unfinished and not a “livable space” and they recall the levels being significantly lower than 8 when they bought the home 8 years ago. They are ordering a retest of the first floor, which should come back with a level half that of the basement. Their agent additionally told my agent that a lower result could be obtained be opening windows, and improving ventilation in the house. While I’m glad he’s figured out a way to destroy the entire integrity of the test, my concern is that radon levels are often quite a bit higher during the winter when the house is sealed up.

I am not really all that concerned about my own personal exposure, particularly as I am only planning on living there for my residency, but it might make the home more difficult to resell to anyone wanting to modify the basement. Ultimately, if when their test comes back negative, I’ll probably just end up doing long-term testing over 6 months to a year, and deciding whether or not to fix it then.

My loan application was “instantly approved” today as soon as I submitted it, and a good chunk of the morning was spent calling for estimates on homeowner’s and auto insurance. It was another thrilling day all around.


I haven’t mentioned my running in terms of distance lately because it has been sporadic at best. And, considering that I’m leaving again on Wednesday for a week, I doubt that I’ll make my original goal of 5 miles by June. Hopefully, I can pull it off before I leave town for a week’s worth of driving a big-ass rental truck!

Today I ran 3.25 miles without stopping. After a few minutes of walking, I was able to do another 0.75, but I was sure huffing and puffing by the end of it!


Anonymous said...

I'm so envious of you. The last time I could run a mile was over 10 years ago. Walking I could do all day, but running is harder. Keep up the exercise and I may have to find a less fit friend:)

Anonymous said...

Did you notice that your exercise ticker has the total as 5.1 miles when you add the miles done and the miles remaining? Ah, the beauty of rounding up

Kate said...

I know! I don't know why it rounded up, but there's no way I'm running 5.1 miles! That is where I draw the line, my friend.

Chris said...

Radon...wasn't he the kid on MASH with glasses?

Brett lives in a finished basement and his biology teacher asked him if we were trying to kill him. We are on thick clay too. Besides, we don't care about radon....no, we have the pure stuff, Uranium 235 just up the road in Oak Ridge, TN.

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