All About Radon Gas

Radon black and yellow poison sign

What is Radon?

Radon is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless radioactive gas. The gas emits from cracks in the ground and seeps into homes through cracks in the foundation, sump pumps, or other drainages or ventilations. From there, it starts to build up in your home by attaching itself to dust particles floating in the air. After it attaches itself to dust particles, you either start breathing in the radon particles and it starts attaching itself to your lungs; or it begins to change form and becomes a chalcogen called Polonium.

Why should you worry about Radon?

As Radon and Polonium in the air breaks down, they give off radiation that causes damage to the DNA in our body’s cells. If left undiscovered, elevated levels of Radon have been found to increase your risk of getting lung cancer, and exposure can also lead to several other serious medical problems and even death. Did you know high levels of radon have been found in Jefferson, Berkeley, Hampshire, Hardy, Morgan, and Grant County, West Virginia?

Do we offer Radon Inspections?

A radon inspection is an add-on service offered by Ellingwood Pro. The add-on inspection would be an additional charge on top of the home inspection cost. However, if you add the radon inspection at the time of booking your home inspection, the cost would be less expensive compared to adding it on after. A radon inspection is definitely worth adding on because it would provide peace of mind that your home is safe and free from this unnoticeable radioactive gas.

How do we test for Radon?

There are several methods used to test for Radon, but we use the most common method called a continuous radon monitor (CRM).  We would set up a continuous radon monitor in the home that would run continuously for at least 48 hours. After 48 hours, we would return to the home to remove the monitor, read the results, and then share the results with the client.

What happens if Radon is found in your home?

A reading between 2-4pCi/L is concerning, but it is recommended by the EPA that action be taken if a home has a reading of 4pCi/L or higher. Levels this high are considered unsafe and should be mitigated. Unfortunately, radon cannot be completely eradicated, but there are steps you can take to keep it at a safe level. You could open the windows in the home to allow the toxic air out of the home and the fresh air to enter the home, but this is not a permanent fix.The most common repair made to homes is to install a vent under the foundation or in the crawl space that helps move the gas directly to the outdoors. This vent would create a low-pressure area to attract the gas and give it a clear path to the outdoors. The cost of a Radon Vent can range between $800 to over $2,500.00. There are also professionals who can seal the cracks that may be allowing the gas to come into the home. A radon inspection is crucial when determining if your home may have high levels of radon. Consider Ellingwood Pro Home Inspections for your next Radon Inspection.

This Blog was Written By Sabrina Faircloth with Ellingwood Pro Home Inspections

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