Protect Yourself and Your Family from Radon Gas
Why you should test for Radon Gas
Testing for radon gas is the only way to know if you and your family are at risk. Radon is a cancer-causing, radioactive gas. You can’t see radon, you can’t smell it or taste it. It may be a problem in your home or the home your planning on buying. Radon gas is estimated to cause many thousands of deaths each year. That’s because when you breathe air containing radon gas you can get lung cancer. In fact, the Surgeon General has warned that radon gas is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States today. Only smoking causes more lung cancer deaths. If you smoke and your home has high radon gas levels, your risk of lung cancer is especially high.
More and more, home buyers are asking about radon gas levels before they buy a home. Buyers frequently want tests performed by someone who is not involved in the home sale transaction. Buyers should ask if a home has been tested for elevated levels of radon gas by a PA State Certified Radon Tester, and ask to see documentation of the test results. Testing performed by the current homeowner and the test results cannot be independently verified or confirmed for accuracy.
High Level of Radon Gas?
Since there is no known safe level of radon gas, there can always be some risk. But the risk can be reduced by lowering the radon gas level in the home. There are several proven methods to reduce radon gas in the home, but the one primarily used is a sub-slab vent pipe system with exhaust fan unit, which pulls radon gas from beneath the house and vents it to the outside. This type system does not require major changes to the home. Sealing foundation cracks and other openings makes this kind of system more effective and cost-efficient. Similar systems can also be installed in houses with crawl spaces. Radon contractors can use other methods that may also work in the home. The right system depends on the design of the home and other factors.
The cost of reducing radon gas in the home depends on how the home was built and the extent of the radon gas problem. Most homes can be remediated for $800 to $1,200.
Is your Radon Mitigation System configured correctly?
Ok … so the home you’re purchasing already has a Radon Mitigation System installed. Did you know that home owners are allowed to install their own systems? This inspector has seen many system installations where installation protocols are not followed, components are missing, or sometimes dangerous conditions are present. I have tested for Radon Gas in homes with existing Radon Systems installed were elevated levels of Radon was present.
A Radon mitigation system equipment inspection is intended to determine if an existing installed system is inadequately configured and may need to be repaired or upgraded. Since a ASHI Home Inspection does not include evaluation of installed Radon Systems, you should consider getting an existing system if present inspected for piece of mind. See the average of all Radon tests taken by PA Zipcode
Notice: The Radon Certification Act requires that anyone who provides any radon related service or product to the public must be certified by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. You are entitled to evidence of certification from any person who provides such services or products offered. All radon measurement data will be sent to the Department as required in the act and will be kept confidential. If you have any questions, comments or complaints concerning persons who provide radon related services, please contact the Pennsylvania D.E.P., Rachel Carson, State Office Building, PO Box 8469, Harrisburg, PA 17105-8469 (717) 783-3594.
MYTH: Scientists aren’t sure radon really is a problem.
FACT: Although some scientists dispute the precise number of deaths due to radon, all major health organizations (like the Centers for Disease Control, the American Lung Association and the American Medical Association) agree with estimates that radon causes thousands of preventable lung cancer deaths every year.
MYTH: Radon testing is difficult, time consuming and expensive.
FACT: Radon testing is easy. You can hire a qualified radon test company.
MYTH: Homes with radon problems can’t be fixed.
FACT: There are simple solutions to radon problems in homes. Hundreds of thousands of homeowners have already fixed radon problems in their homes. Radon levels can be readily lowered for about $800 to $2,500 (with an average cost of $1,200).
MYTH: Radon only affects certain kinds of homes.
FACT: House construction can affect radon levels. However, radon can be a problem in homes of all types: old homes, new homes, drafty homes, insulated homes, homes with basements, homes without basements. Local geology, construction materials, and how the home was built are among the factors that can affect radon levels in homes.
MYTH: Radon is only a problem in certain parts of the country.
FACT: High radon levels have been found in every state. Radon problems do vary from area to area, but the only way to know your radon level is to test.
MYTH: A neighbor’s test result is a good indication of whether your home has a problem.
FACT: It’s not. Radon levels can vary greatly from home to home. The only way to know if your home has a radon problem is to have it tested.
MYTH: It’s difficult to sell homes where radon problems have been discovered.
FACT: Where radon problems have been fixed, home sales have not been blocked or frustrated. The added protection is sometimes a good selling point.
MYTH: I’ve lived in my home for so long it doesn’t make sense to take action now.
FACT: You will reduce your risk of lung cancer when you reduce radon levels, even if you’ve lived with a radon problem for a long time.
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