“Indoor radon gas is the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the United States and breathing it over prolonged periods can present a significant health risk to families all over the country. It’s important to know that this threat is completely preventable. Radon can be detected with a simple test and fixed through well-established venting techniques.”
(US Surgeon General Health Advisory, 2005)
Did you know that the EPA considers Iowa at high risk for radon gases found in homes? Radon gas is the second leading cause of Lung Cancer, taking an estimated 20,000 lives per year. High radon levels have been found in all 50 states. In Iowa, high radon levels have been found in all parts of the state and in every type of home. The purpose of this post is to provide information everyone needs to know about radon in the home.
What is Radon?
Radon is a gas produced from naturally decaying radioactive materials in the soil. This gas seeps into a house and cannot escape, resulting in accumulation and concentration of radon. Radon gases can enter your home through cracks in the slab or foundation walls, unsealed construction joints, floor drains, open sump pump pits and can even penetrate concrete. Even the best sealed houses can have low, moderate or high levels of radon. Radon is odorless, tasteless and invisible. The only way to know if your home has high levels of radon is to TEST.
Can high levels of radon be reduced?
Yes, radon levels can be reduced to a safer level by installing a radon mitigation system. Mitigation systems cost $800-$1500 on average. Since radon enters a home through the soil, most mitigation systems use a powered vent fan and vent piping to draw air out from underneath a basement or slab and vent to the exterior of the home. Radon levels could be reduced by sealing any obvious points of entry (for example, cracks in the foundation/slab or sealing a sump pit opening).
Radon testing with Integrity Home Inspections
Integrity Home Inspections uses Continuous Radon Monitors for testing. Our tests take as little as 48 hours, so they are ideal for real estate transactions. Continuous Radon Monitors offer more information than passive radon monitors. It records measurements every hour which includes pCi/L, temperature, relative humidity and barometric pressure. These measurements can be valuable when looking for relations to higher/lower radon levels. We offer a measurement-only service, so clients need not to worry about “the sales pitch” for unnecessary radon mitigation systems.
In addition to a measurement, we inspect the property for possible entry points, report on weather conditions, and check existing mitigation systems. Our clients will receive a report after the test is complete and any advice we have for reducing existing radon levels.