Radon Testing: Is it Necessary?

While radon testing is not mandatory during a home inspection, the EPA does recommend it. This is because radon gas is the leading cause of lung cancer among people today. Furthermore, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states that it is America’s second most common cause of cancer. Although you cannot taste, smell, or see this radioactive gas, it can still create issues in your home. 

When buying or selling a home, people frequently should not be concerned about radon. But radon death data help put things in perspective: According to EPA, radon exposure results in 21,000 lung cancer deaths annually. So when you buy or sell a home, it’s a good idea to have the radon level checked. This article outlines the benefits of radon testing and how to test your home for radon during a home inspection and finally answers the question: Is radon testing worth it?

What Is A Radon Test

The World Health Organization (WHO) classifies radon as a Group 1 carcinogen that can cause more fatalities than pancreatic, colorectal, breast, and prostate cancer. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, radon causes 21,000 deaths annually (EPA). Although it is hazardous, it has no flavor, odor, or color. Without performing a specialized test, it is difficult to discern if the gas is present indoors.

The only way to determine whether a house has elevated high radon levels is to perform a radon test. The majority of tests can be carried out without expert assistance. Depending on your circumstances and the type of residence you own, you should look at various radon inspection options.

Benefits of radon testing

Exposure to radon gas for an extended period can harm your health because it is radioactive. The lower levels of the house are where radon builds up after entering through foundation cracks, walls, and crawl spaces. Thus a radon test becomes essential. The top 4 reasons a radon test is necessary to safeguard your health. 

  1. Radon is impossible to distinguish from other gases due to its lack of color and odor. Even if the radiation hurts you, you could be exposed to radon for years without knowing. A test is the only surefire to determine whether your home is secure.
  2. Radon gas has the potential to be fatal. As mentioned earlier, the second most common factor in lung cancer after smoking and the primary reason in non-smokers is radon poisoning. You are more likely to get cancer if exposed to radon for longer.
  3. Even though two homes are built next to one another with the same components and by the same contractor, their radon levels could differ significantly. A professional radon test must be conducted and repeated over time to determine whether a home is radon-free. Less testing is necessary for a home with a radon mitigation system, but testing is still essential because there is no way to know if the system is working without testing the air.
  4. A house may not be radon-free just because it is on a slab. The idea that slab homes don’t need to be tested is a common misunderstanding. Despite the absence of a storage room, radon can still be found everywhere and built up on the first floor of a building. 

How to Check for Radon in Your Home

Hire a skilled professional to conduct a radon test on your home for the most accurate results. Central Real Estate Inspections is a qualified expert who can inspect your home for problematic areas where radon can seep in and understands clearly where to place the radon monitour to get the truist results.

How Is Radon Testing Performed During Home Inspections?

Long-term and short-term radon testing are the two main types.

Home inspectors typically conduct short-term testing during inspections and leave the radon detector in the house for 2-4 days.

The long-term test is rarely used in real estate transactions because it takes too long. On the other hand, long-term testing is more accurate than short-term testing and can last 90 days or longer. Let’s evaluate each of them in greater detail.

Short-term Radon Tests

Radon concentrations are continuously measured using equipment during continuous radon tests, usually conducted for 2 days (about 48 hrs). Professional testers will carefully place the device in the lowest area that can be used for living based on the floor plan of the house. Over 48 hours, the device will track the elevated levels while trying to minimize or eliminate interruption or “parameter variations” that could lead to inaccurate results. After 48 hours, the inspector picks up the device and compiles a summary utilizing the measurements produced by this.

Central Real Estate Inspections can perform air and water radon tests for you in addition to a comprehensive home inspection and other ancillary services. You get a complete overview of the house’s condition from this.

Radon Testing Kit for Rapid Analysis

You can purchase a simple DIY radon test kit from hardware or department stores. These in-home radon test kits might seem like an easy fix, but they are not as precise as professional radon testing equipment.

Professional testing equipment is superior, but the placement of test equipment in the home is also crucial. Self-installation of the equipment robs you of the benefits of a professional’s experience and knowledge, which reduces accuracy.

Understanding the Results of Your Radon Test

The unit of radon measurement is picoCuries per liter (pCi/L). Although there is no safe radon level, the EPA has established standards for acceptable levels. If the radon levels in your test results are 4 pCi/L or higher, you should take radon mitigation and abatement steps to lower the gas in your home.

Even though immediate action might not be required if the radon levels are somewhere between 2.7 and 4 pCi/L, you should still consider significantly lowering them.

Radon Abatement / Mitigation

If radon is found in your house, you should take action to lower the levels immediately. A straightforward radon mitigation process utilizes pipes and fans to retrieve the gas from around and beneath the foundation to mitigate radon gas from entering your home. Gas levels can be reduced by silicone sealant or sealing cracks in floors and walls. Additionally, you may still need to install a radon reduction system.

Is Radon Testing Worth It?

A professional ongoing radon test can deliver accurate results within a few hours. This test is an excellent option for homeowners and potential buyers who are worried about the amount of radon in their homes and want to prevent any potential long-term exposure. For added assurance, a long-term test can be carried out to validate the ongoing test results.

Professional radon testing is the most complex and costly way to test for radon in a home compared to buying testing kits. Professional testing can cost anywhere between $150 and over $500, depending on the region, the immediacy of the test, the facilities you choose, and the size of your home.

However, in contrast to at-home test kits, professional testing does not involve the risk of human error. Qualified professionals use more precise equipment to measure radon and can provide you with the results in just one day.

Bottom Line

Before the closing, you can quickly and inexpensively find out if your home has high radon levels by having radon testing done. Radon is a significant problem in many households and can cause serious health issues. A radon test performed by a qualified professional can help you and your family be guarded if you are unsure of the radon levels in your home. You will be liable for the cost of the radon mitigation system if you don’t get your home tested for radon and later discover that it has unsafe levels. However, if you learn about it before closing, you can request the seller to cover the cost of the system.

Contact us at www.inspectrochesterhomes.com for radon testing Rochester to learn more about radon and radon testing. In order to keep you and your family safe, we conduct efficient radon testing, present the findings to you, and recommend radon mitigation systems and strategies.

What are the limitations
on an inspection?

A real estate inspection or home inspection is not an appraisal or a check for compliance with building codes; it’s also not an evaluation of environmental hazards. See the NYS Standards of Practice for more information on the limitations of a home inspection.