Home Inspection

What is Radon?

Radon is a naturally-occurring radioactive gas that in large quantities can lead to the development of lung cancer. Radon gas is inert, colorless and odorless. Radon is naturally in the atmosphere in trace amounts however radon disperses rapidly outdoors and generally isn’t a health issue.

  • 01 How does Radon enter my home?

    Most radon exposure actually occurs inside homes, schools and workplaces. Radon gas becomes trapped indoors after it enters buildings through cracks , drains, sump crocks and other holes in the foundation. The good news though is that indoor radon can be controlled and managed with proven, cost-effective measures which we refer to as a radon reduction system.

  • Breathing radon over time increases your risk of lung cancer. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. Nationally, the EPA estimates that about 21,000 people die each year from radon-related lung cancer.

  • Testing is the only way to know exactly how much radon is in your home at any given time. A Radon Specialist will come to your home, setup a radon test and let it run for 48 hours. After 48 hours the information from the testing device is automatically uploaded to a NYS certified lab for analysis. We typically receive the results from the lab within 24 hours and then determine the best course of action (if any) to mitigate and bring the indoor radon levels well within the EPA designated action level. EPA guidance suggests mitigating if levels are at or above 148 Bq/m3 (4 pCi/L).

  • A radon mitigation system works by drawing air and radon from under the slab of your home or business before it has the opportunity to enter any living space. Our certified installers install a specially designed properly sized draw fan attached to an inlet pipe which is placed underneath your home to draw any radon out and away from any conditioned living space. The radon gas is then exhausted outside your home at which point it dilutes into the atmosphere safely away from you and your family.

  • When high levels of radon gas are released into the air, microscopic radioactive particles attach themselves to the lining of the lungs when inhaled. This can lead to damage of the lung and ultimately kill living cells within your lungs causing lung cancer. Although smokers are 10 times more likely to develop radon-related lung cancer, radon still causes a significant number of lung cancer deaths among non-smokers in the United States each and every year.

  • There really is no safe level of radon exposure. Radon gas is measured in picoCuries per liter (pCi/L). The current airborne radon level at which the EPA recommends action is 4.0 pCi/L. Further, the EPA says to consider mitigation if the indoor radon level is 2 to 4 pCi/L and suggests that every home and workplace be tested for radon gas in the air every 2-5 years.

  • -Time of year - Radon levels usually are highest during the Fall and Winter season. If you are performing a long-term test, choose a time period that will span heating and non-heating seasons.
    -Test location - The EPA recommends testing for radon in the lowest livable level of your home, where radon levels usually are highest, typically the basement or crawl space.
    -Weather patterns - Do not conduct a short-term test during conditions that can influence the test results, such as stormy weather or very high winds. Both can play a major role in altering testing results.
    -Test interference - Do not move the test device or open doors and windows during the test, as these actions can result in inaccurate radon levels.
    -Follow directions - Leave the test in place for the required time period, fill out all required information and mail the device to the laboratory immediately after completing the test. For best most accurate results consider hiring a radon professional like Rochester Radon to administer a 48hr lab certified radon test.

  • Contact a professional radon contractor/mitigator to discuss mitigation system options. Well qualified professionals like ourselves can design and install a system for your home that fits your homes specific needs.

  • Remember, this is a radioactive cancer-causing gas so fixing your home is best left to a professional. Would you use anyone but a mechanic to fix your car? Would you hire just anyone to repair a plumbing problem in your home? No, because those professionals know the ins and outs of their specific trades and when it comes to your families safety it pays to hire the right person.

  • A Radon Mitigation Specialist will look at many factors that are contributing to radon gas entering your home including your home’s construction, the type of soil beneath your home, whether you have a finished basement or a crawlspace, the climate in which you live, and so on. Our mitigation contractor will design a radon mitigation system that will draw the radon gas from beneath your home and safely exhaust it outside, reducing the radon level to below 4.0 pCi/L. The system installed will be what is called a sub-slab soil depressurization system. Part of the install will also include sealing all major cracks, large saw cuts, floor drains, condensate drains, sumps and crawlspaces.

  • Our radon mitigator will offer to retest your home to ensure the radon level has been reduced well into the EPA designated safe zone. To keep the radon levels low, the radon fan must run continuously. Check the manometer from time to time to see if your system is operating properly and have a radon professional inspect your system every 2 years to make sure the system is working at its peak performance level. Overtime like any system, its components can wear and will need to be serviced but here at Rochester Radon we use the highest quality material and components to ensure a long life and minimal maintenance.

  • Yes, the manometer reading can fluctuate slightly as the system conditions change. Within its first two weeks of running the measurement may change by 0.1-0.3 as the ground soils begin to adjust to the system. Its important to note that any major changes by more than 0.5 as noted on the water column from its original measured reading can indicate a problem with the system and should be inspected by a qualified technician.