Thursday, January 24, 2013

The very real danger of radon gas

radon inspector Kansas City
Radon gas, a colorless, odorless, tasteless radioactive gas, could very well be present in the home you're looking to buy. Statistically, on either side of the state line in the Kansas City area, one of every three houses tested is found to have elevated radon levels. Radon gas is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. For non-smokers, it is the first. What is the level of radon in your house? The only way to know is to have it tested. And that's why the State of Kansas has gone so far as to name January Kansas Radon Action Month.

In fact, the secretary for the Kansas Dept. of Health and Environment says that homeowners "...should test their homes, address any elevated radon levels and use radon-resistant construction techniques when building new homes." That's how serious a threat to your health radon gas is.

Miki Mertz is a certified radon tester, certified by both the National Radon Proficiency Program and by the State of Kansas. A radon test conducted by Complete Home Inspection costs only $100, and uses a continuous radon monitor that takes samples over a period of two full days. The test unit is placed in the lowest livable level of the house. Windows are kept closed throughout the time of the test.  The test results are then averaged into an overall number for your final report. If the radon level is higher than 4.0piC/l, then it should be fixed, or "mitigated". Inexpensive do-it-yourself test kits are not what you want to rely on when it comes to your family's health and well-being. Instead, rely on the knowledge and competence of a certified radon tester like Miki.

Fortunately, radon is a fixable problem. A small suction fan is installed in a pipe that goes through the basement floor to suck out the radon from under the house and vent it to the exterior of the house. That way, the radon gas isn’t in the breathing air inside the house. The system becomes a permanent part of the house and uses about the same amount of electricity as a clock radio.Such a radon mitigation system costs about $700-900 in the Kansas City area. If you are buying a house, test for radon as a part of your home inspection process.  If the test shows a high radon level, you might negotiate with the seller to correct it. If it comes in low, you have peace of mind knowing that you’re buying a healthier house.

Regardless of whether you're in the process of buying or selling a house, have the level of radon gas tested in the house you're living in. It's too important to your family's health to be put off for some other time.

Whole house inspections, condo inspections, radon testing, mold testing, we do it all for you. Call or E-mail today to schedule your Complete Home Inspection, complete with a radon test, 913-268-0222,

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Would you go in the crawl space?

Of course you wouldn't go into the crawl space when you're looking to buy a house. That's why you hire Complete Home Inspection to do your complete Kansas City home inspection for you. You're too busy looking at the floor plan, figuring out who gets which bedroom and where to put the couch and the piano. But look what you may miss if you DON'T have your home inspected by Complete Home Inspection before you buy it.

home inspector Kansas City - Miki Mertz These photos are from the crawl space under a home I inspected recently. These first two show that one of the floor joists, seen here from two different angles, has been eaten all the way through by termites. And a very poor repair has been done to try to shore up the joist. Damage like this may cause the floor above it to sag since the joist is there to support the weight of the house. And that can cause many other structural problems to develop over time in this part of the house. I also like to run a simple test when a floor looks like it slopes one way or the other - putting a ball on the floor and seeing if it rolls by itself.
home inspector Kansas City - Miki Mertz

home inspector Kansas City - Miki MertzThis third photo shows the roughly 2-inch crack in the found- ation wall that was also revealed during the crawl space inspection. A crack like this can cause even more structural problems to develop over time. It's not something that you would see when you're looking at the property, deciding if the kitchen is big enough, and if there's room for your mother-in-law to live with you. But it is definitely something you need to be aware of before you buy. Armed with knowledge like this, you can make a more-informed purchase decision. And you have the peace of mind that comes from knowing the condition of the property at the time of the inspection.

That's why it's worth your while to make a home inspection from Complete Home Inspection a part of your home purchase. You just don't know what you might be missing otherwise.

Whole house inspections, condo inspections, radon testing, mold testing, and more, we can do it all for you. Call or E-mail today to schedule your Complete Home Inspection, 913-268-0222,