Gil Garnett's Blog
Radon has no smell, taste, or color. It is a transparent, radioactive gas. Radon is released when the uranium that is contained in the soil and rocks decays over time. The reason that radon is an issue in a home is because it is released through cracks or openings that exist in the foundation. If too much radon is present in the home, the radioactive particles can attach themselves to dust particles, causing people in the home to breathe the harmful substance in.
What Is A Radon Test?
The radon test is conducted over the course of two days. A testing machine or canisters are placed on the lowest habitable level of a home being tested. This would be either on the first floor or in the finished basement level of the home. The cost of a radon test isn’t very much, ranging anywhere from $65 to $125. The radon test is typically part of the home inspection, but sometimes other circumstances warrant a test or re-test. The canisters take a bit more time to produce results than the testing machines do, so confer with your inspector before the test is done.
One thing you should know is that radon is always present. The level of radon fluctuates constantly. The test is conducted over a two day period to get the average level of radon in the home. The Environmental Protection Agency considers levels of radon at or above 4 pCi/L to be unsafe. If this is found to be true, there is a solution, however, as systems that lessen the amount of radon in the home can be installed. These can come with a hefty price tag, costing anywhere from $1,000 and up.
Radon levels will vary on a daily basis. They can also vary by season, with weather conditions and with the amount of available ventilation. Structural changes that have been made to the home can also have an effect on the levels of radon in the home. If you are getting ready to sell your home and already have a radon mitigation system installed, you may want to test the levels before you even put your home on the market to know what you’re working with. The system may not be working properly, or the levels may have faced a sharp increase, making it hard for the removal system to keep up.
With the proper installation of a radon removal system, the air in your home will be safe to breathe. If you put an offer in on a home and the home inspection finds that there are unsafe levels of radon present, at least you’ll know what you’re dealing with. If you decide that the home is not the place for you and your family, even with a removal system, you’ll walk away from the deal informed. If you’re a seller, beware that the level of radon in your home could affect the sale. Although radon sounds like a scary thing, it’s manageable. Radon tests and removal systems help to keep the levels safe.