In an effort to simplify the confusing world of radon gas, we have answered a few important questions below and have offered a Frequently Asked Questions section. Additionally, you can select an appropriate brochure whether you are a buyer, seller, or REALTOR®.
What Is Radon?
Radon is a colorless, odorless gas caused by uranium and granite decay in the soil. Where a home is situated on the soil can affect whether radon will be an issue inside the home. Radon enters in multiple ways, including cracks or openings in the foundation. By design, homes are built to keep utility costs low and to retain heat; however, this also creates an environment in which radon gas infiltrating the home becomes trapped and can accumulate to unsafe levels.
WHY SHOULD I TEST FOR RADON?
Peace of mind. Various locations in Colorado have dangerously high levels of radon which can affect one's health. Although no level of exposure to radon is safe, the higher the concentrations and longer an individual is exposed to the gas, the more likely that health problems can occur. In the United States, radon gas is the 2nd leading cause of lung cancer and is responsible for 21,000 deaths per year. Both the EPA and the Surgeon General state the only way to find the radon levels within the home is to have it tested. Don't assume the levels in your home are acceptable based on neighboring properties. The levels can vary by a large amount even from homes right next-door to each other. Maps are available showing high-risk areas; unfortunately, Colorado is labeled in red in almost all counties.
HOW DOES RED ROCKS CERTIFIED PROPERTY INSPECTION LLC PERFORM A RADON TEST?
We understand how quickly real estate transactions happen and how deadlines must be met. Because of this, we need to be able to assess the radon levels in a home in a short period of time. Unlike many tests that can be performed and sent to a lab for analysis, we use an accurate, EPA approved Radalink™ AirCat with pulsed ionization chamber that measures the levels of radon in the home over a minimum of 48 hours, and we obtain readouts immediately. Our machines are calibrated yearly and are designed to alert us if they have been moved or tampered with to provide you the most precise snapshot possible.
Frequently asked questions
Q: What is radon and should I care?
A: Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer and the first leading cause among non-smokers. It is a radioactive, colorless, odorless, tasteless noble gas occurring naturally as a decay product of radium. Radon comes from the ground and is everywhere in our atmosphere. However, its concentration can vary widely in buildings and homes where it can build up in interior air.
Q: Our radon test came back at over 4.0 pCi/I. Should we be concerned?
A: Any radon level above the EPA recommended action level of 4.0 pCi/I can be mitigated with a radon reduction system. These systems are not complicated and typically not expensive. There should be no major concern if this involves a property being prepared for sale. After a mitigation system is installed, the radon levels should be tested again to make sure that the system is effectively keeping the radon level below the EPA recommended action level.
Q: How long does a radon test last?
A: Professional radon tests require a MINIMUM of 48 hours to complete.
Q: How much does it cost to have my home tested for radon?
A: Radon tests can vary depending on the size of the property and the state requirements of the testing process. Red Rocks Certified Property Inspection LLC has invested thousands of dollars in training, certifications and equipment, but we have kept our price at $140 for clients who hire us to perform a property inspection.
Q: What does the Radalink monitor used by Red Rocks Certified Property Inspection LLC monitor and record?
A: Our monitors record radon concentration, temperature, barometric pressure, and relative humidity once every hour for the duration of the test. Our monitors also have a sensor that detects if the monitor has been moved or tampered with during a test.
Q: Can we open our windows during the test?
A: No. All doors and windows on all levels of the house must be kept closed, except for normal entry and exit through the first floor doors. Heating and airconditioning equipment should operate normally. Window or wall mounted AC units may be used if the fresh air damper is set to the closed position. Fireplaces and wood stoves may not be used unless they are the primary heat source for the house. Whole house fans may not be used during the test.
Q: Our radon test shows a concentration level below 4.0 pCi/I. What does that mean?
A: A radon average that is less than the EPA recommended action level of 4 pCi/I does not require a mitigation system. A homeowner may decide and choose to have a mitigation system installed, even with a low radon level. That is a choice you will make as a homeowner.