RE: Do you know the radon level in your home?
January marks a new year but is also Radon Awareness Month. In Real Estate, radon is one of the top items we talk about when it comes to a home inspection. I ALWAYS highly recommend having it tested for your knowledge, potential “inspection objection” request, or peace of mind. If you don't know all of the details regarding radon, keep reading and I will tell you!
What is it?
Radon: a chemical element that is a radioactive gas formed when radium decays and found naturally in rock and soil; radioactive, colorless, odorless, tasteless noble gas.
Why is it important?
Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer, behind smoking, in the United States, according to the surgeon general. It's estimated to cause about 21,000 lung cancer deaths per year in the United States and more than 500 in Colorado. Since it is odorless, colorless, and tasteless, no signs of illness can be physically detected. Therefore, a professional test must be completed to determine the level.
How does it get into your home?
The gas moves up through the soil under your home and into your home/atmosphere. Since your home is typically warmer and has lower air pressure than the surrounding soil, gases in the soil, including radon, move into your home.
The most common routes for radon to move into your home are:
- Spaces between basement walls and the slab.
- Cracks in foundations and/or walls.
- Openings around sump pumps and drains.
- Construction joints and plumbing penetrations.
- Basements and Crawl spaces.
- Well water with high radon concentrations.
It is important to know that the age and/or type of home doesn't matter when it comes to whether high levels of radon are present.
What is a “safe” level?
It is stated that “In Colorado, about half the homes have radon levels higher than the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recommended action level of 4 picoCuries per liter (pCi/L).” Anything under 4.0 pCi/L is considered “safe” although still present but 4.0 or higher is considered unsafe and in need of mitigation. It is best tested with windows and doors closed over a 48 hour period of time, which is pretty easy to do in chilly January.
What do you do if it’s considered high?
The best route is to have a radon mitigation system professionally installed into the home in order to vent the air from inside your home to the outdoors. Radon mitigation systems range in pricing from ~$800-$1,000.
If you have any questions, want a recommendation for testing, or thinking about buying/selling a home, give me a call at 303-597-6550!! I am always here to help!!
Information source: https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/understanding-radon