Frequently Asked Questions About Radon Testing

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Frequently Asked Questions About Radon Testing


Radon remediation system

Do you know when your home last underwent radon testing? If the answer is no, you should really consider bringing in a radon testing contractor.

If you’re in the process of purchasing a new home, it’s always a good idea to have residential radon testing services run some numbers before you sign the papers. If your future home has high levels of radon, it’s not necessarily a deal breaker, but you might want to have the current owner mitigate it, or take some money off the price you pay for the home, since you’ll have to repair it yourself. The point it, if your future home has high levels of radon, you want to know about it and fix it before you move in.

If this is the first time you’ve heard of radon testing, you should pay attention to our list of frequently asked questions.

Frequently Asked Questions About Radon Testing

  1. What is radon testing?

    Radon is the natural bi-product of uranium, and is very common in the environment around us. Virtually every type of soil has low levels of radon in it. It is invisible and odorless, and generally does not pose a threat to your health. However, if radon is leaking into your home, where it cannot dissipate into the atmosphere naturally, it builds up, and concentrated levels of radon can cause lung cancer.

  2. What are the dangers of living in a home with high radon levels?

    According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency and Surgeon General, if a person is exposed to radon levels higher than 4.0 pico Curies per liter over a long period of time, they have a high risk of developing lung cancer. Buying a home with high levels of radon means that you’ll have to invest money into radon abatement, and may have trouble selling your home (or face lower property values) down the road.
  3. How common is it for homes to have high levels of radon?

    The likelihood of your home to have high levels of radon depends on the part of the country you live in, and the type of soil your home is built upon. In the northwest part of the country, it is estimated that approximately 40% of homes have radon levels higher than the 4.0 pico Curies per liter that the surgeon general recommends. Your home might have a heightened risk of radon if you have a basement or a crawl space.
  4. How is radon testing carried out?
  5. The most common method for initial radon testing is the short-term test, which takes about 48 hours to carry out. The test is placed in the lowest room of the house that people spend time in. The windows and doors in the room are shut and the device soaks in the gases that naturally flow through the room during the testing time.

    Radon levels fluctuate through seasons and weather, so if the short-term test comes back positive, it might not be an indication of a long-term problem. You would want to carry out a longer term test to get conclusive results.

  6. What can be done if a radon test indicates radon levels that exceed 4.0?

    A radon abatement system pulls the radon gases from underneath the home and out of an exhaust outside of the home, away from any doors or windows where is could return to the home. This basically involves a plastic tube that is either installed through a hole in the slab, or connected to the sump pump, or placed underneath the sheet in the crawl space floor. The tube has a small fan connected to it. The fan pulls the gases from the soil through the pipe and out of the home, instead of allowing them to slowly seep into the home.

    The radon mitigation techniques that radon contractors use to lower the radon concentration in a home is pretty straight-forward and reliable. In most cases, a contractor can complete the work in a single day.

Radon is invisible and odorless. It’s easy to live in your home for decades without realizing that you have a concentration of radon that you’ve been breathing in and out every day. This isn’t the kind of surprise you want to stumble upon after it’s too late. Take the time to get your home tested for radon today.

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