Radon Testing – A Critical Part of Any Home Inspection

Radon Testing Colorado Springs is a critical part of any home inspection. To get the most accurate results, follow EPA guidelines. Test in the lowest livable level of the house, usually the basement. Avoid testing in rooms used for sleeping, eating, or playing. Avoid operating whole-house fans and heating and cooling systems during the test.

Radon TestingRadon is an odorless, tasteless radioactive gas that can cause lung cancer. It comes from the natural breakdown of uranium and thorium in rocks, soil, and water. As radon breaks down, it releases small bursts of energy that can damage cells that line the lungs. This can lead to lung cancer over a lifetime of exposure. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking. It is also a significant health risk for some workers, such as miners and others who work underground or with phosphate fertilizers.

Radon can enter homes and other buildings through cracks in the foundation, walls, or floors. It can also get into water supplies, although radon levels in drinking water are usually lower than those in homes. Radon in the air can build up over time, especially in basements and crawl spaces. The EPA recommends that steps be taken to reduce radon levels in homes or other buildings when they are above 4 pCi/L (picocuries per cubic liter). This action level was selected for several reasons. First, research indicates that reducing radon to this level can significantly lower the number of lung cancer deaths. Second, this action level is cost-effective when compared to other strategies to reduce the risks of exposure to radon in indoor air.

The EPA also recommends that people be aware of the risks associated with radon and know where to go for information. There are many ways to test for radon, including do-it-yourself radon kits that can be purchased in hardware or home supply stores. These kits measure radon levels for a short period of time and then send the results to a lab for analysis. It is also possible to hire a professional to conduct radon testing and to install a system that can reduce radon in a building. The EPA has a list of qualified contractors on its website.

The EPA’s national program on radon is part of its overall effort to improve public health. The EPA works with state and local agencies to promote awareness of the health hazards associated with radon and to provide educational materials for residents, families, and businesses. The EPA also provides technical support for establishing national approaches to limiting radon exposure.

Why do we test for radon?

Radon is a radioactive gas that occurs naturally in soil and rock. It seeps through cracks in homes and other buildings and can accumulate to dangerous levels. It poses a risk to people in the building, especially those who spend most of their time inside. The risk is greatest in the lowest areas of the home and in homes with well water.

Radon can be detected by testing. There are do-it-yourself tests available that can be purchased at hardware stores and online retailers. They are passive tests that measure radon concentrations over a period of time. It is important to follow the test instructions for a good measurement and to keep windows closed during the testing period to prevent contamination of the readings.

Professionals can also conduct a continuous radon test. These tests monitor radon concentrations over 48 hours and eliminate interference and “measurement noise” that can affect the results of a short-term test. A professional can then provide a report based on the results of the test.

Both short- and long-term radon tests are recommended to determine whether a home needs radon mitigation. The state recommends starting with a short-term kit and, if the result is 4 pCi/L or higher, a long term test should be conducted to ensure that the home’s radon level is not fluctuating.

Radon mitigation systems can be installed to reduce radon levels in a home. These systems can include a vent pipe that connects to the crawl space or basement and a fan that helps exhaust the radon out of the house. The cost of a professional radon mitigation system ranges from $800 to $1,300.

The EPA provides information and resources for schools, daycare and childcare facilities and workplaces about radon. These resources include guidance on radon testing, mitigation strategies and recommendations for remediation. The EPA also provides funding to support research on radon exposure and its health effects in children.

How do we test for radon?

Radon is a gas produced by the natural radioactive decay of uranium in rock, soil, and water. It moves up through the ground to the air above, and can enter homes through cracks in the foundation. The EPA and the Surgeon General recommend testing all homes for radon. Testing is easy and inexpensive – and it is the only way to know if your home has elevated levels of radon.

Testing can be done with a do-it-yourself kit that you mail to a lab, or you can hire a certified professional inspector to test your home. Homeowners can find a do-it-yourself test at many hardware stores, home centers, and online retailers. When choosing a kit, it is important to read and follow the instructions carefully.

The kits measure radon levels over a period of two to seven days. They usually consist of a small plastic container with a charcoal filter that absorbs radon. The kit also contains a sheet of paper for recording test results. When the test period is complete, the kit is mailed to a laboratory for analysis. The radon level is measured in picocuries per liter of air (pCi/L).

You can also test your home with a long-term monitoring device that is placed in the lowest living space of your house. These devices can collect data for at least three months. The data from these monitoring devices is more accurate and can provide a year-round average of your home’s radon level.

To get the most accurate radon measurement, it is important to have the device in the same area of your house for the duration of the test. To ensure that you have a true representation of your home’s radon level, you should avoid placing the monitor in areas with large openings such as a garage, basement or crawl space.

When you get your radon test results, the EPA and the Surgeon General recommend taking corrective action if the levels are above 4 pCi/L. You can take action to reduce radon levels in your home by sealing any cracks or other openings in the foundation, and venting crawl spaces to the outside through a pipe and fan system.

What are the symptoms of radon?

Radon is a gas that forms from the radioactive decay of uranium in soil and rock. It can seep into houses and other buildings through cracks in the foundation and walls, and it can also get into water that comes from underground sources such as wells. Radon in the air poses a risk because when you breathe it in, it can damage your lungs and increase your chances of developing lung cancer over time. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States.

The EPA has identified radon levels of 4 picocuries per liter (pCi/L) and higher as the action level for a home or building. You can test for radon yourself using a short term or long term testing kit. Short term tests are typically activated carbon devices that measure radon for 2-7 days, and you mail them to a lab for results. These types of tests are inexpensive and can be purchased at many hardware or home improvement stores. Long-term testing involves a passive monitor that is placed in your home or business for 90 days or more. These are usually alpha track detectors or chamber detectors, and they can provide more accurate results than short-term tests.

Some symptoms of radon exposure include a raspy or hoarse voice, difficulty breathing or coughing, and fatigue and chest pain. However, in most cases there are no immediate symptoms of radon exposure that people can feel. Radon is known to damage the lungs, but it can also impact other parts of the body such as the heart and joints. In addition, radon has been shown to cause changes in chromosomes of human cells, which can lead to cancer over time.

Children are especially at risk of radon exposure, as they spend more time indoors than adults. Parents can help protect their children by inquiring about radon levels at child care centers and schools, as well as having their own homes tested for radon. You should also test your child’s bedroom or playroom, as it is more likely that this area will have elevated radon levels than other rooms in the house.