Frequently Asked Questions
Facts about Radon Gas
DO I REALLY NEED TO WORRY ABOUT RADON? HOW DANGEROUS CAN IT BE?
The EPA states that radon is estimated to cause thousands of deaths each year. The Surgeon General warns that radon is the 2nd leading cause of lung cancer in the United States today.
HOW DOES RADON GET IN MY HOME?
Radon moves up from the soil in the ground and into cracks and holes in your foundation. Once radon enters the home, it can remain trapped and build up. All types of homes, new or old, basement or without, can have radon build up to dangerous levels.
IS IT A DEAL BREAKER IF A HOME HAS HIGH RADON LEVELS?
Not necessarily. Most homes can successfully mitigate radon for about the same cost as other common home repairs. This does need to be carefully negotiated, so you, the buyer, can ensure a quality radon mitigation specialist is installing a quality system. Or that you’re getting the proper concessions to cover at least part of the cost to mitigate. Radon is is actually much easier to fix than many other plumbing, electrical or HVAC related issues.
CAN I DO A RADON TEST MYSELF?
There are many DIY radon test kits available. The rate of error in testing is much higher when not done by an inspector or specialist with experience, so you’ll want to make sure to follow the instructions carefully that come with the kit. We firmly believe the potential risks of improperly testing and being exposed to radon long-term are not worth the small savings from doing it yourself.
Are you licensed and insured?
We are. As well as certified by InterNachi and ICA2
HOW MUCH DOES RADON MITIGATION COST?
The average cost to install a radon mitigation system falls around $1000 according to about 1500 customer reports from HomeAdvisor. The National Radon Program Services estimates the average cost at $1,200. This cost will fluctuate based on the system that is required and your homes layout/design/foundation.
What is Radon Gas? Where does it come from? What are the Effects?
What is Radon Gas?
Radon is a radioactive gas that occurs naturally in the environment by seeping out of rocks and soil. Radon comes from the depletion of uranium that has been in the ground since Earth's formation. Radon flows from the soil into outdoor air and into the air in homes and commercial buildings from the movement of gases in the soil beneath the structure. Outside air typically contains extremely low levels of radon, but it builds up in larger concentrations inside a building when the gas is unable to disperse Unlike better-known home hazards like asbestos and lead-based paint, many people are unaware of the danger of household radon exposure because the gas is odorless, tasteless and colorless.
Where does Radon Gas Come From?
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that 1 of 15 homes in the United States and as many as 1 of 3 homes in some states about 7 million homes have high radon levels. So you might be asking how does Radon cause so many problems? Radon is a chemically inert gas that is electrically uncharged but it is also radioactive, and it is this fact that creates the potential for trouble. You don't have to be a nuclear engineer to understand that radioactive materials decay spontaneously, we should have all learned that in a basic chemistry class, however, within this decay process, radon progeny are formed which do carry an electric charge, this allows them to bind to tiny dust particles in the air, which can be inhaled by the lungs and adhere to the lining of your lung tissue. These deposited atoms decay within the lung tissue by emitting a type of radiation called alpha radiation, which holds the power to damage cells in the lung and mutate the structure of your DNA. This can start a chain reaction process that can lead to lung cancer.
Our experts have highly calibrated Radon Testing Equipment to ensure the most accurate results!
Professional Radon Testing vs Radon Test Kit
The difference between radon test kits and professionals? Professionals will typically use “time-integrated” sampling with electrets or continuous radon monitors (CRMs). These types of testing are performed over a certain time period which can be anywhere from 2 days (minimum) to more than a year. These results provide a measurement of the average level of radon during that time period. Do-it-yourself kits are not time-integrated and may not be as accurate. Can a DIY radon test kit work just as well? Sometimes, it depends on the reason for the test. If you are curious about the level of radon in your basement, a radon kit might be a good first step in figuring out if there is a potential problem.
But beware! There are potential downfalls. What could go wrong? Often times the accuracy of the DIY radon test can be uncertain because, let’s face it, it is being performed by amateurs. The instructions for the test kit need to be followed very closely. Doors and windows need to be closed at a minimum of 12 hours prior to the test and during the entire testing period. You should not attempt the testing during wind or rainstorms which could possibly give an unusually high radon reading. The “do it yourself” kits are often times charcoal tests and can be very sensitive to humidity. The location of the test is also key. The test should be conducted at the lowest living level, but not in crawl spaces. Testing should not occur by sump pumps, kitchens or bathrooms. Placing a tester in the wrong location can give you a false positive and needlessly give you a false alarm. After the test is performed, you need to send it to a lab where you would wait for weeks to get the results. That is unacceptable for almost any real estate transaction.
Benefits of having a professional radon test! The professional has the certification and training to ensure that radon testing is done correctly. When testing with electrets, a technician can test in multiple areas of a home. This can be a great aid in helping a mitigation company install a radon system. An expert can also use a CRM test to determine if weather systems or humidity influenced the radon levels in the home. Both of these devices are only used by someone who is licensed and uses quality assurance plans on all of their equipment. Radon professionals are required by the state to regularly calibrate their equipment and work to ensure accuracy and precision in the testing process. Also, if time is of the essence (and in real transactions, it usually is!) you don’t need to ship the kit off to a lab. You can get the results within a day by using a local professional. Conclusion When contemplating how to perform a radon test, there is nothing technically wrong with using a test kit to see if there is a problem. But again, beware! There are many ways that the testing process and results can easily throw the measurements off in the home kit. A licensed expert can greatly enhance the accuracy of measuring the levels and provide those three key words “Peace of mind!”.