Radon. Why we test, how we test and what to do after we test
What is Radon?
Radon is a colorless, odorless, naturally occurring, inert radioactive gas that comes from the decay of radium is the only gaseous element of the long, uranium-238 radioactive decay chain. Uranium and radium are commonly found in soil and rocks around the world. People can be exposed to radon primarily from breathing radon-laden air that enters through cracks and gaps in the building’s foundation.
Why we test for Radon.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the National Academy of Sciences and the Center for Disease Control, indoor radon exposure is the leading cause of lung cancer in non- smokers, responsible for more than 20,000 U.S. lung cancer deaths each year. When you breathe in radon, radioactive particles from radon gas can get trapped in your lungs, where they can damage DNA as they release alpha radiation. The only way to know your home or building contains dangerous radon levels is to have a test performed. You cannot see, smell, taste or in any other way sense Radon. Proper testing is the only way to measure the Radon levels.
How we test for Radon.
At Ridgetech we use advanced CRM testing devices that test and record Radon and other levels each hour during the test period. In addition to Radon our devices record the temperature, humidity, air pressure and if the device has been moved to provide better results and protect from tampering . We provide you with a full report not just a number. Our goal is to get accurate test results not just a number.
What if my home tests high?
In a word. Mitigate. Elevated radon concentrations can easily be reduced by an NRPP Certified, or state licensed, if applicable, radon mitigator. How it is reduced depends on how the home is built. Properly installed radon control systems will permanently reduce radon concentrations by up to 99%. so a high test is not the reason to not buy your dream home.
When I am buying a home, what do I need to know about radon?
Be sure to have a radon test performed by an NRPP Certified Radon Tester during the home inspection period. If the test results are elevated, you can request the seller to have it mitigated prior to closing. Since most radon mitigation systems can be installed in one day or less so there is usually no reason to delay the closing. While a seller and buyer can always negotiate the installation costs, it is common for the seller to pay for the system installation. But, since the seller is moving out, they are not often concerned about the qualifications of the contractor or the quality of the work they perform. It is reasonable to expect they will take the lowest bid as long as it includes a guarantee that the post-mitigation test will be below EPA’s 4 pCi/L Action Level.
Ask your agent to stipulate in your agreement that the contractor be NRPP certified, that the system be installed according to ANSI-AARST Soil Gas Mitigation Standards, that the post-mitigation test be performed by the same NRPP certified tester who performed the original test, and that the tester inspects the system to ensure compliance using the AARST Radon Mitigation Inspection Checklist.
What the EPA, U.S. Surgeon General and the CDC has to say about Radon.
“The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Surgeon General, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) strongly recommend that ALL homebuyers have an indoor radon test performed prior to purchase or taking occupancy, and recommend having the radon levels mitigated if elevated radon concentrations are found. Elevated radon concentrations can easily be reduced by an NRPP Certified, or state licensed, if applicable, radon mitigator. All homes should be tested regardless of geographic location or foundation type. Radon, a Class-A human carcinogen, is the leading cause of lung cancer in nonsmokers and the second leading cause overall”
Properly installed radon control systems will permanently reduce radon concentrations by up to 99%. Because most systems prevent soil air from entering the house, you may also notice other air quality improvement – like lower humidity.
Radon control systems will not decrease the home’s appraisal value; in fact, they are nationally accepted as a home improvement. Installations need little maintenance and operating costs are typically less than $10/month.
Radon systems are so effective at maintaining low radon concentrations and eliminating diurnal and seasonal fluctuations, living in a mitigated ho me reduces the occupant’s risk of radon-induced lung cancer to ALARA (as low as is reasonably achievable) – even lower than living in many houses that test below the EPA 4 pCi/L Action Level without a radon system.