Radon can be a problem in all types of homes and has been found in homes in every state, including old homes, new homes, drafty homes, insulated homes, homes with basements and homes without basements. Radon can get in through the following areas in a home:
- Cracks in solid floors
- Construction joints
- Cracks in walls
- Gaps in suspended floors
- Cavities inside walls
- The water supply
According to the U.S. Surgeon General, radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S. today. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recommends that all homes be tested for radon regardless of geographic location because of the link between radon and lung cancer.
The EPA also recommends the following:
- If you are buying or selling a home, have it tested for radon.
- For a new home, ask if radon-resistant construction features were used and if the home has been tested.
- Mitigate the home if the radon level is 4 picoCuries per liter (pCi/L) or higher.
- Radon levels less than 4 pCi/L still pose a risk, and in many cases, can be reduced.
For more information on radon in your area or state by state radon maps visit the EPA website.
Hire a Qualified Radon Tester
It is important to get an accurate test. The best way to assure this is to hire a qualified professional, often a home inspector, to conduct the radon testing. A qualified tester knows the proper conditions, test devices and guidelines for obtaining reliable radon test results. Contact your local NPI inspector today to obtain reliable radon test results.
Lower Radon Levels in Your Home
Since there is no known safe level of radon, there can always be some risk. But the risk can be reduced by lowering the radon level in your home.
There are several proven methods to reduce radon in your home, including:
- Sealing cracks and other openings in the foundation
- Installing a mitigation system with a vent pipe and fan to prevent radon gas from entering the home from below the concrete floor
The cost of reducing radon in your home depends on how your home was built and the extent of the radon problem. Most homes can be mitigated. The average house costs about $1,200, although this can range from about $800 to about $2,500.