Radon Testing

Why test for Radon?

Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States after cigarette smoking.

What is Radon?

Radon is a gas that escapes from the soil under our homes. It’s produced by the decomposition of uranium in the soil. So places that have a lot of uranium in the soils, like Colorado, have a lot of radon.

How Does Radon Get in My House?

 It seeps into our homes from gaps and cracks in foundations, and through the soil in crawlspaces.

Is Fixing the Home Hard?

Fixing most homes is fairly easy. In the case of a basement, a 4″ hole is drilled in the floor. A Pipe is glued into the hole and plumbed to the exterior of the home. An in-line fan is installed in this pipe to draw air out from under the basement floor. All gaps and cracks in the floor are sealed. The fan draws the radon out from under the basement slab and blows it outside instead of it coming in the home. The fan runs all the time. 

If there’s a crawlspace, plastic is laid down and sealed to the foundation on all sides. Piping is installed under the plastic. Then the fan draws the radon out from under the plastic through the piping and blown outside.

How Long Does it Take to Test for Radon?

A radon test during a real estate transaction takes 48 hours. You can test for radon for longer periods when time is not ‘of the essence’. 

What Homes Should be Tested for Radon?

The EPA recommends testing for radon in all homes except 3rd floor and above condos or apartments. Testing takes place on the lowest ‘occupiable’ level of the home. So test in basements, but not in crawlspaces.

Should I Test if I Won’t Spend Time in the Basement?

Yes. Furnaces and air conditioners circulate air throughout the home which circulates radon throughout the home. I’ve done tests on 4-level homes and results were very similar on all levels. 

How Much Radon is Safe?

In a real estate transaction, if the radon level is 4.0pC/l or higher a radon mitigation system should be installed. If the radon level is between 2.0 and 3.9, the EPA suggests that you can still lower your risk by installing a mitigation system.

Where Can I Learn More?

For more information on radon visit the EPA’s radon webpage at: epa.gov/radon.

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