Should I test for Radon?

If you are looking to buy a home, you should consider not only getting the home inspected but also tested for radon before making your purchase. Radon is dangerous and if present you’ll want to know all your options prior to purchase.  Professionals can test for radon and get the most accurate measurements.

Don’t Know What Radon is?

Radon is a colorless, odorless and a tasteless gas that comes from the natural radioactive decay of radium and uranium found in the ground beneath your home. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States and is the leading cause of lung cancer for non-smokers in the United States. Radon can accumulate in enclosed areas, such as homes and underground mines. Affecting the air you breathe.

Radon typically moves up through the ground to the air above and into your home through cracks and other holes in the foundation. Basements are a good place for radon to come right up through the ground and into your home. Radon can also enter your home through well water. Without proper ventilation your home can trap radon inside.Michigan Radon Map

Radon in Michigan

Radon is a radioactive gas that has been found in homes all over the Michigan and the United States.  Elevated levels of radon gas have been found in homes primarily in southern Michigan, but the whole state is suspect to high elevation levels.  As a matter of fact, nearly 1 out of every 15 homes in the United States is estimated to have an elevated radon level (4 pCi/L or more). In Michigan, we find that almost forty percent of the homes have radon or elevated radon levels which typically come up through the ground seepage.

Washtenaw, Jackson, and Lenawee County have some of the highest potential for the existence of radon gas in Michigan. Other counties like Livingston and Oakland have test to have elevated level of radon gas according to the Environmental Protection Agency. (See Map)

Should I Test for Radon?

Some states require radon tests during an inspection.  Radon is likely our leading environmental cause of cancer mortality in the United States. During the past 50 years, over a million people have died nationwide from radon-related lung cancer. Radon-induced lung cancer is responsible for an estimated average of 21,000 deaths annually in the United States.

Any home can have a radon problem. This means new, old, well-sealed, drafty, and homes with or without basements. In fact, you and your family are most likely to get your greatest radiation exposure at home. That is where you spend most of your time.

How Do I Cure the Radon Gas?

If your home has radon levels higher than 4 pCi/l, the EPA recommends that you take action to lower the levels. There are many ways to save money on lowering the radon levels. Getting the radon levels lowered is called radon “mitigation.” You can accomplish this by sealing every crack and crevice in your house’s foundation. To make the job easier, you can call a professional radon mitigation contractor. They will show up at your house, help you locate most of the cracks and help seal them up.

Some radon reduction methods can reduce the radon levels in your home by up to 99 percent, According to the EPA. Another one of these methods are called “sub slab depressurization” and it is one of the most effective ways out there. By installing a vent pipe in the basement and then out to the exterior, it will lower the radon level in your house by drawing the radon out.

TLN Homes  is a certified home inspection firm.  We perform complete inspections for both buyers and sellers.  Radon testing is one of the options we offer our customers.  All homes should be checked for radon gas.  Even if you lived in your home for years a check for radon may be in order.  Give us a call at (248) 795-3322.

Personal Note: My opinion is every house should be tested for radon. Whether the home has a basement, crawlspace, or a slab, it should be tested. Long term, consistent exposure to Radon can cause health problems, so it is a serious health risk. Controlling radon is a lot cheaper than the consequences.  It’s your home.  Why not test for it? Exposure to radon gas is a killer, is it worth the risk to you and your family?   

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