Radon exposes unsuspecting property owners to dangers in Nevada
Although January – National Radon Action Month – is past, radon exposure is a problem that faces Nevada residents all year long. The second most common cause of lung cancer, radon-induced cancer accounts for over 20,000 deaths in the nation each year, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Radon is a naturally created gas that is a byproduct of decaying radioactive materials in the earth. The colorless, tasteless and odorless gas enters homes and other buildings and accumulates in poorly ventilated areas. The problem comes when the building has an inadequate ventilation system or has been built in a location that suffers from high radon emission levels.
Typically, there is always some level of radon gas in your home or business structure. The gas seeps in through cracks in the foundation or slab, spaces between walls and floors, and through gaps around plumbing or electrical fixtures. When homes or other structures are closed up to keep out the cold of winter or the heat of summer and radon cannot escape, gas levels can build to dangerous levels.
The University of Nevada Cooperative Extension office reports that one in four homes tested in the state have high levels of the gas, potentially exposing the occupants to dangerous carcinogens. Real property investors in the state should do their research before closing their next deal.
Purchasing real estate in Nevada
Anyone who purchases a home or business wants to keep their families and employees safe from hazards that may be present on or in the property. Although Nevada does not require radon testing or a disclosure regarding radon gas levels during the purchase process, some states now do. However, you can request that a test be performed as part of your inspection process. Limiting physical dangers to tenants, workers and families is only one of many factors to consider when purchasing real estate in Nevada.
Many legal issues may arise during a real estate transaction, requiring professional assistance. Some common real estate disputes may include the following issues:
- Title: A title search may reveal a blemish on ownership to the property. Encroachments and easement issues must be clearly understood and committed to writing. Title insurance may be an option but make all efforts to resolve title issues before closing on a purchase.
- Defects: As discussed, a defective or inadequate ventilation system may lead to serious health hazards. Improper installation of windows or doors can lead to energy losses and defective appliances can cause water leaks that be unnoticed for months.
- Financing: Despite the uptick in the real estate market, financing a purchase can still be a sticking point with many transactions. A title search may reveal outstanding liens against the property or a past foreclosure may mean that you receive only a minimal disclosure of details regarding the property.
For many reasons, it is important to consult an experienced real estate attorney when purchasing, selling or developing property in Nevada. A lawyer knowledgeable about real estate laws can guide you through every transaction and help you avoid possible areas of dispute.