Ward, Hayden

A Hidden Threat: Radon in Your Vacation Rental

Radon pipes in a vacation rental

Radon, a naturally occurring, radioactive gas, is estimated to be present in one of every 15 U.S. homes. It is colorless, tasteless and odorless and can result in serious adverse health effects. In fact, it’s the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S. after smoking, according to the U.S. Surgeon General.   

January is National Radon Action Month, reminding us of the importance of checking our properties for this silent threat. Consider the following information and guidance to help combat this often undetected danger.

How Does Radon Enter?

There are two main sources of radon in a property's indoor air: the soil and the water supply. Radon entering through the soil is typically a much larger risk. Since the air pressure in a typical house is lower than the pressure in the soil around the foundation, the property acts like a vacuum and draws radon in through cracks in the foundation. Radon decays into solids, not gases, and can stick to surfaces like furnishings, floors, walls and other materials, as well as dust particles suspended in the air. Inhaling dust contaminated with radon can expose people to radon particles. The radon in a water supply poses an inhalation risk and an ingestion risk.

When to Test for Radon

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), radon gas levels can vary by day, season and geographic area. Although only some states have laws about testing and disclosing a property’s radon level, unacceptable levels can inhibit efforts to sell, transfer or finance a property and expose a property owner to resident complaints and habitability claims. Fortunately, there are ways you can detect radon and limit its harmful effects, such as testing your property.

The EPA recommends testing for radon if:

  • The home was never tested.
  • The home hasn’t been tested in more than two years.
  • The home has been renovated since it was last tested.
  • You plan to occupy a lower level of the home than what was originally tested, such as the basement.
  • You plan to finish, renovate or alter lower levels (e.g., cellars, basements) that were not previously tested.

Testing for Radon

To test a property for radon, you can order a kit by mail from a qualified radon measurement service provider, purchase a radon kit from a local hardware store or hire a qualified radon tester (often also a home inspector).

If a radon test reveals that your property’s level is dangerous, you can install a radon mitigation system. A qualified radon-reduction contractor can often install a system in less than a day. If your water source has high levels of radon as well, a point-of-entry treatment device can be installed to reduce emissions.

How to Remediate

Fortunately, even very high levels of radon can be effectively remediated. If a radon test reveals an issue in your vacation rental property, take immediate action by working with a qualified radon-reduction professional to install a mitigation system. If your property’s water has high levels of radon, installing a water treatment instrument is necessary. Other typical methods of remediation are sealing cracks and other openings in the foundation and the installation of a vent and fan system.

Breathe Easy With CBIZ Vacation Rental Insurance

Radon safety is not an option; it’s a necessity. Make your vacation rental property a safer place, reducing the risks and ensuring peace of mind. Connect with a CBIZ Vacation Rental Insurance team member today and request a free quote.

This blog may contain scenarios that are provided as examples only. Coverage is subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions of the policy issued. The information provided is general in nature and may be affected by changes in law or the interpretation of such laws. The reader is advised to contact a professional prior to taking any action based upon this information.

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About Us

CBIZ Vacation Rental Insurance, a division of CBIZ Insurance Services,Inc., is the largest insurer of short-term vacation rental properties in the United States. As part of an $850 million New York Stock Exchange traded company (CBZ), we are the first broker to develop specific policy coverage to meet the needs for vacation rental properties and the amenities offered by these businesses. We have insured vacation rental properties since 2002.

The CBIZ Vacation Rental Insurance team knows insurance, specifically the risks and exposures related to short-term vacation rentals.We won't confuse you with technical "insurance speak" ~ our representatives are well versed in explaining your coverage in plain English. With hands-on, personal customer service, we guarantee swift communication and a 24/7 claims team that is ready to respond to your call any time of the day. As specialist in the industry, we leverage our knowledge and passion to ensure you and your business are adequately protected.