Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that you can’t see or smell but can cause lung cancer. The only way to see if there is Radon in your home is to test the home. Testing is always recommended, especially if you are purchasing a home Before you put your home on the market, you should also test it. This will eliminate any surprises during the home inspection and purchase process. And, if there is a problem, doing this will give you time to fix it.
Radon is measured in picocuries. If the radon level is 4 picocuries per liter (pCi/L) or higher, then the home must be cleared of it before you move in. Radon levels that are lower than 4 pCi/L still pose a risk and can be reduced in many cases. This gas can be tricky though. It’s found in every state but can vary in levels in the same neighborhood. Since it is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking, it is a serious risk factor that you need to test. The good news is, it is fixable!
What Can You Do?
There are several things you can do to reduce the risk of Radon in your home. There are a comprehensive list of resources on the EPA’s website. Anything you want to know about Radon, you will find it there.
If there is Radon detected, you can install a Radon mitigation system. This can reduce radon concentrations in the air of a building. The home’s foundation will determine which system will work best. Always talk to a professional licensed for Radon mitigation.
The licensed professionals will perform diagnostic tests before choosing the best system for your situation. Often, a fan is installed that will pull air from the soil and exhaust it outdoors through a pipe. Additionally, cracks in the foundation should be sealed. If you have a crawl space, plastic sheets can be used to cover exposed earth and can be extended up the walls and sealed. In this case, a Radon pipe is also used to vent these gases up and outside.
How Much Does It Cost?
Cost is always a huge factor due to geographic location, the severity of the Radon problem, and the cost for materials. Generally, you can expect to pay $1,500 to $2,500 for a Radon mitigation system.
Once you have installed the system and your Radon levels are reduced, your new home (or even your present home!) is safe to live in! Always remember, Radon is a naturally occurring gas, and being safe and getting tested is always the best course of action!