How common is Radon in homes?

According to several different sources, almost one out of every 15 homes in the United States has a radon level which is considered high according to the EPA. The average indoor radon level in U.S. homes is 1.3 pCi/L. A radon level of 4.0 pCi/L requires immediate attention according to the standards set by the EPA.

How does Radon get into a house?

Radon is created from the soil or rock that is beneath the home. Radon is a gas, so it enters the home through cracks and other openings in the foundation of the home. Concentrated levels are found indoors as the radon gas collects inside of the home and does not have a way of being exhausted from the home.

What is Radon?

Radon is organically created by the natural radioactive decay of uranium in rock, soil or water. It can be found all throughout the 50 United states. The only way to know how much radon is in a home, building or area is to test for it.

What is an “okay” level for Radon?

The Environmental Protection Agency or EPA has set a guideline of 4.0 pCi/L for radon level in homes. If a radon level of 4.0 pCi/L or higher has been detected, it is time to mitigate the issue in an effort to bring radon levels down to a “safe” level.

What is a “picocurie” (pCi)?

This is the rate of radioactive decay of radon. One picocurie is one trillionith of a Curie, 2.22 disintegrations per minute. At 4.0 pCi/L (picocuries per liter) there will be approximately 12, 672 radioactive disintegrations in one liter of air during a 24-hour period. This would be above the recommended level according to the EPA. This level of 4.0 pCi/L was set in 1986 by the Environmental Protection Agency.

We are buying a house, should we have it tested for Radon before purchasing the home?

The EPA recommends that all homes being sold or purchased be tested for Radon. This is a different service than what is included in a typical home inspection, but should be scheduled around the same time. If the test comes back with a radon level of 4.0 pCi/L or higher the buyer would have reason to negotiate the overall purchase of the home so that a radon mitigation system would be installed.

All of my neighbors tested low and my neighborhood is low, do I really need to test?

All homes test very differently regardless of whether or not they are next to each other or miles away. Even if the home was tested a couple of years ago, you still want to test on your own. Scores can vary significantly from one home to another.

How is Radon mitigated?

If you are working with a Radon mitigation professional, they will recommend the correct system for your home's build and square footage. The system will draw the radon from beneath your houseand will vent it above the roofline. This alone will more than likely bring your radon levels well below 4.0 pCi/L.

What happens after the radon is fixed?

After your home has been mitigated for Radon your radon mitigation professional will retest the home for radon levels in order to make sure that your home has been mitigated properly. There is not a great deal of maintenance required to keep the system up and running, other than it is important to make certain that the fan is continuously running.

After testing and install of the new radon mitigation system it is still important to test the house every couple of years to make certain radon levels have not risen. Radon levels will change over time for every house.

Can I fix the radon myself?

Of course you can more than likely complete any repair that your home needs; however whether or not the work has been completed satisfactorily is a totally different question. The answer really depends on your level of experience with home repairs and construction in general. It is definitely worth speaking to a radon mitigation professional to determine the scope of work to be completed.