Should I test for radon?

I always recommend a radon test when purchasing a home. Your inspector will ask if you’d like to test for radon. Some homes have radon mitigation systems in place, but many don’t. It doesn’t hurt to test even if a system is in place in order to confirm that it’s doing its job.  Homes on crawlspaces can test high for radon so it’s not just limited to homes with basements.

What is radon?

It is a colorless, odorless radioactive gas that is caused by a breakdown of uranium and moves up from the ground into the air we breathe. So it can exist anywhere and your greatest exposure is in your home where you spend most of your time. Testing is the only way to know your level of exposure.

Is it dangerous?

Yes, radon can cause cancer and it certainly impacts your indoor air quality. Radon is the number one cause of lung cancer among non-smokers.  It is estimated to be responsible for 21,000 lung cancer deaths per year (2,900 of those individuals never smoked).

What level of radon is allowable by EPA standards?

If a home tests at 4 pCi/L (picocuries per liter) or higher then it is recommended that a radon mitigation system be installed. Those systems are very effective at lowering levels and several companies in the area are qualified to do that. The level of radon is an average over a period of time. Nearly 1 out of every 15 homes is estimated to have elevated radon levels.

How is it mitigated?

A vent pipe system with a fan is typically installed to pull radon from beneath the home and vent it outside. It doesn’t require any major changes to a home so it’s relatively easy to add.  The cost can range between $900-$1,500 depending on how large the home is.  Two systems might be required. I would consider inquiring about radon-resistant construction techniques if I were building or remodeling a home. In addition to a radon system, you can also have foundation cracks sealed or anything else sealed that might be letting the gas escape into the home. That will help make the system more effective.

As always, reach out to me with any further questions!

Posted on November 4, 2019 at 7:39 pm
Kristi Gibbs | Category: Uncategorized

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