Tag Archives: radon mitigation

The Average, High, and Risky Radon Levels

Radon is a naturally occurring gas, so it’s impossible to make your home radon-resistant for a long time. This gas keeps coming back; that’s why installing a radon mitigation system is essential. But when is the right time to consider radon mitigation? To answer that, knowing the average, high and risky radon levels is crucial.

Understanding Radon Level Measurement Units

Since radon is an invisible, odorless, and tasteless gas, it’s challenging to know if it exists in your home. Not only that, but it is also hard to tell if your home has high radon levels. You might be wondering, how is this gas measured?

The radioactive decay of radium generates radon. Radium is an element which was originally discovered by Pierre Curie, Marie Skłodowska Curie, and G. Bemont2 in 1898. Take note that radioactive elements are unstable. They either hold onto all of their atomic energy in the nucleus or release some of it. The decay in the nucleus is what emits radiation.

One of the most preferred measurements for decay speed in radon is Picocuries per liter of air or pCi/L. This measurement is equal to one trillionth of a curie, abbreviated as pCi. pCi unit is commonly used in the United States since it is required by federal law. The World Health Organization also used it, but they also use the Becquerels unit, whereas one pCi/L equals 37 Bq/m3.

Acceptable and Risky Radon Levels

The truth is, zero is the safest radon level. But since it is pretty challenging to keep your home radon-resistant consistently, there are so-called acceptable radon levels. If the radon levels in your home exceed the number, then that only means they could be risky to your health. 

Acceptable radon levels vary from country to country. However, the World Health Organization has established a generally accepted action level of 100 Bq/m3 or 2.7 pCi/L. If your home has achieved a higher than WHO’s action level, it is advised to take remedial action to mitigate radon. WHO also suggests an upper limit that should not exceed 300 Bq/m3 or eight pCi/L.

Here in the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) established an action level of 4 pCi/L. This measurement is the standard which is a little bit higher than that of the World Health Organization. EPA recommends reducing radon levels to sub-4.0 p/Ci to cut cancer deaths from radon in half.

Many people have died because of lung cancer. People would think that being a smoker or exposing themselves to second-hand smoking are the only reasons. However, a silent killer can also cause a deadly disease. To mitigate radon, installing a radon mitigation system is advised.

radon testing

Long-Term Radon Testing: Why Is It Important?

It’s almost the end of the year, but still, some people are unfamiliar with what radon can bring to one’s health. To simplify everything, radon is an invisible, tasteless, and odorless gas that can cause lung cancer. The only way to find out if it exists in your home is through radon testing. You might have heard of short-term radon testing, but it is highly recommended to do long-term radon testing as well.

Short-Term vs. Long Term-Radon Testing

You’ll never know if your home is safe from radon unless you conduct a radon test. It is suggested that every homeowner consider it since there are areas in the United States with high radon levels. Even if you hire a licensed radon contractor, they recommend doing the radon testing first.

You can do the radon testing yourself, but if you have never tried it before and you want the results to be more accurate, it would be best to hire a radon professional from your state. Besides, it is ideal for engaging in a real estate transaction. With the radon test results, you can decide whether you want to install a radon mitigation system or not.

But what is the difference between short-term and long-term radon testing?

A short-term radon test allows you to measure radon levels for 2-7 days. It is a faster way to screen your home for radon. With this test, you can identify the existence of the cancer-causing gas, but deciding to install a radon mitigation system based only on short-term tests is not advised since radon fluctuates. A radon mitigation system is only recommended if you have consistent radon levels in your home.

On the other hand, a long-term test allows you to measure radon levels for a minimum of 90 days. Radon contractors recommend this because they can give you an estimate of your home’s annual average of radon. Long-term testing should include both heating and non-heating seasons when doing this test.

Guidelines for Radon Testing

Suppose you are doing the radon test; here are some guidelines that can help you:

  • Always read the instructions that come along with your radon test kits. Make sure to fill out the information needed.
  • You can do a short-term test any time of the year, but it would be best to do it during the heating season. You have to do them both in heating and non-heating seasons for long-term tests.
  • Several factors, such as weather, can affect radon levels in the home. Make sure the weather is fine when doing the radon test.
  • It is advised to do the radon test in the lowest level of your home, such as the basement. Make sure to place the test kit at least 20 inches above the floor. Keep it away from high humidity areas such as bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms. 

Radon is a dangerous gas, yet some people neglect it. If you want to be safe from its adverse effects, conducting short-term and long-term radon testing is crucial. With radon test, you can tell if your home has consistently high radon levels, helping you decide whether to install a radon mitigation system or not.

Radon Facts: Should You Buy A Home With A Finished Basement?

Buying a house does not only require money for you to make the purchase worth it. Suppose you are buying a home in no time; you have to decide whether you’re choosing a house with a finished or unfinished basement. You also have to be knowledgeable when investing in properties like this. Later on, you’ll find out why this is an essential factor.

What A Finished Basement Offers

The basement is often referred to in horror movies as a scary place. It is often neglected in homes, but it is an ideal place to bond with your families. You can also make it as storage if you need extra space. When buying a home, many homeowners consider a house with a finished basement. It might be pretty expensive, but here are some things that you can enjoy if your home has it:

  • Centralized HVAC system
  • Comfortable extra space
  • Extra living rooms

A finished basement might offer some advantages, but it also has some downsides. It’s because you need to renovate it if you don’t want serious problems to occur. For instance, you have to open up the walls if the house doesn’t have an HVAC system. You also need to consider it if you plan to install special lighting. However, this could be time-consuming and costly since you need to repair the walls afterward. 

Unfinished Basement: Radon Reduction and Other Advantages

Having an unfinished basement might sound like a hassle for some, but there are attractive benefits that you can enjoy if you choose a house with an unfinished basement. Here are some of them:

Create your dream house.

If you are buying a ready-built house, the previous owner might have placed something you don’t like, especially in the basement area. If it has an unfinished basement, the good thing is you can decide what to do with it, allowing you to create your dream house. 

Detect possible problems.

It is highly recommended to check the house before buying it. Check the basement and see if it has a radon-reduction system that can help you mitigate radon. This way, you can solve even the slightest problem that might create bigger ones if not detected.

Identify the best radon reduction system.

If the basement is unfinished, you can ask your contractor and request the best radon reduction system installed in the place.

Buying a house with an unfinished basement might not sound like a good idea, but it is especially if you want to customize your home. In terms of radon reduction, you can ask your contractor to install the best radon reduction system, which is easier to do in an unfinished basement.

How To Prevent Radon in New Construction

Suppose you have hired contractors to build a new house for you; it is critical to see if your home will be radon-free. But how can you prevent radon in new construction from entering your home? Find out in this article.

Radon in New Construction: 5 Techniques to Prevent It

Not all home contractors install a radon mitigation system in houses. This is because not all areas where homes are built have high radon levels. Besides, radon mitigation depends on the owner, whether they want to install it or not. If you want a safer home for you and your loved ones, installing a radon mitigation system would be best. 

Check out the following techniques that can be used to make your home radon-free.


Ask your contractor to use a 4-inch layer of clean, coarse gravel that will be placed below the “slab” or foundation. This allows radon and other soil gasses to move freely underneath the house. The “airflow layer” or “gas permeable layer” since the loose gravel permits the gasses to circulate.

Junction Box

Another technique to consider is installing an electrical junction box (outlet) in the attic for use with a vent fan. It would be best to conduct long-term radon testing to see if a more robust system is needed.

Plastic Sheeting or Vapor Retarder

Radon contractors can use heavy-duty plastic sheeting (6 mil. polyethylene) or a vapor retarder on top of the gravel. As such, they can prevent the soil gasses from entering the house. In addition, the sheeting prevents the concrete from clogging the gravel layer when the slab is poured.

Sealing and Caulking

One of the popular techniques when preventing radon in new construction is sealing all the cracks, crevices, and other types of openings in the concrete foundation floor. It also includes the slab perimeter crack and walls with polyurethane caulk. If considered, you can prevent radon and other soil gasses from entering the home.

Vent Pipe

The last technique to consider is running a 3-inch or 4-inch solid PVC Schedule 40 pipe. Place it vertically from the gravel layer through your home’s conditioned space and roof. Doing this allows you to safely vent radon and other soil gasses outside above the house.

As the homeowner, you can ask your contractor what radon mitigation system is best for your house. If they don’t have a plan yet, you can recommend the above techniques and ask them to include them to prevent the cancer-causing gas from entering your home.

Should A Buyer or Seller Pay for Radon Mitigation?

It was reported that radon is responsible for more than 21,000 American deaths every year. This is a huge number, considering that it only comprises American citizens. Aside from that, the World Health Organization stated that radon is also the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers, whereas it is second overall only to smoking. 

With these facts, it is evident that radon is dangerous, so you have to eradicate it in your home, whether buying or selling one. When it comes to radon mitigation, who should pay for radon mitigation? Let’s all find out.

A House With Radon Mitigation System: Who Should Pay for It?

If you are buying a home or relocating to a new one, you must ensure that the house is radon-free. And if not, radon mitigation must be installed, especially if the result of radon tests are consistently high. But installing a radon mitigation system requires fees considering the materials used and the radon contractor who will install the system. 

The question is, should you, the buyer, pay for it? Or is it the seller responsible for the expenses?

Usually, it is the seller who pays for radon mitigation. The radon mitigation system is part of the sale, which helps sellers convince people to buy the house. If you are selling your home, you may conduct long-term radon testing before the date you want to sell the house. If the results are consistently high, you have to consider radon mitigation. 

If you are a buyer and the house has no mitigation system yet, you may also conduct radon testing and give the test results to the seller. The seller will only pay for a new mitigation system if the radon levels are over four pCi/L. Suppose you are within the safe range; it is up to you, as a buyer, to pay for mitigation.

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Radon Tests?

Many homeowners consider houses with insurance, but do they cover radon tests? Unfortunately, the answer is no. High radon levels do not come from toxic spills or accidents. Therefore, homeowners insurance does not cover other radon testing or mitigation. Take note that you can only take advantage of  your insurance policy only in when damage is “sudden and accidental.” In this case, radon is not included.

Radon is a silent killer; that’s why you have to do all the things you can do to eradicate it. If you cannot install a radon mitigation system despite the high radon levels, there could be huge risks to several health concerns, including lung cancer. Therefore, make sure to have a radon mitigation system, whether buying or selling a house. Either way, you can help yourself, your loved ones, and those who will live in the house safe from the cancer-causing gas.

How Effective is Installing Drains With Valves in Radon Reduction?

Radon can cause lung cancer, and that is a fact. Even the World Health Organization states that this radioactive gas is the second leading cause of lung cancer. Despite the millions of deaths, it can cause, radon reduction is often neglected. But if you care about your health and your loved ones, too, it’s time to mitigate radon in your home.

Addressing the Issue of Radon Entry Through Floor Drains

Since radon is a gas, it can pass through floor drains or a sump. As such, those structures can be exposed to what others put in the sewer. So how can you address this issue? Should you install drains with valves for radon reduction? The answer would be drain installation with a valve. Doing so allows the water to flow into the sumps and floor drain. The good thing about this technique is that the drain seals out radon, insects, and odors from the sub-floor area. 

What to Consider in Radon Reduction

In mitigating the cancer-causing gas, identifying the radon levels first is one of the first steps to determine which radon reduction technique is best for your home. Installing drains with valves for radon reduction might sound a good idea, but it’s not always the case. Before you consider any technique, it would be best to contact a professional radon contractor in your state to help you with radon testing.

There are two types of radon testing, short-term and long-term. Both tests can help you check the existence of radon, but long-term testing is ideal if you want to know the consistency of radon levels. Remember that radon fluctuates, which can be high or low, depending on several factors. With a long-term radon test, you can tell if installing a radon mitigation system is worth your money.

Simple Radon Mitigation Techniques

If you’re not ready for a drain installation, there are simple radon reduction techniques that you can try. Though they might be a temporary solution, they can still help you reduce radon. Here are some methods:


Sealing the cracks and other openings that you can find in the foundation is one of the simplest ways to reduce radon. With this technique, you can limit the flow of radon into your home, which makes other radon reduction techniques more effective and cost-efficient.

Natural Ventilation

All homes have natural ventilation. You can take advantage of it to reduce radon in your home. Try opening windows, doors, and vents on the lower floors. Doing so increases the ventilation in your home.

Radon reduction might sound challenging, but with the guidance of professional radon contractors, you can mitigate the cancer-causing gas in no time. Suppose you have tested your home for radon, and the results say your home has high radon levels; you may try the simple mitigation techniques or consider installing a drain with a valve.

4 Major Causes of Radon in Your Home

The COVID-19 pandemic started last year, but its effects are still felt up to these days. It has brought turmoil to the world, as many families have lost their loved ones. Not only that, but many people have lost their jobs. It is indeed fearful to acquire the deadly virus; that’s why everyone has to follow all the safety protocols to minimize its risks. Aside from the coronavirus, there are also silent killers that everyone should be aware of, which is radon, a cancer-causing gas.

Major Causes of Radon in Homes

Radon is a naturally occurring gas that’s why it can quickly enter your home. Although you cannot see, smell, or taste it, knowing its sources can help you mitigate it. The following are the significant causes of radon in both residential and commercial properties.

Cracks and Gaps

The cement in the home’s slab or basement can pose risks because of the cement’s porous nature. The cracks in the foundation and gaps in your flooring could be the entryway of radon, giving the gas an easy access. You can always filll every crack and gap with caulk but doing so is a temporary solution.


Not all people know this, but rocks and stones consist of veins of radioactive materials which eventually decay into radon. As it’s released from stones outside, the radon in the rocks below your home’s foundation is released directly. It passes through small cracks into the house.


Radon is the decay of radioactive elements which naturally occur in rocks and stones. These materials can also be found in the soil. There is a high probability that there is radon in your home’s soil, and if so, the gas could find its way through cracks, gaps, and porous materials into your home. 

This is why radon is primarily high in underground basements. As such, it can rise into the house through the smallest of basement wall or floor cracks. Therefore, radon testing is essential to monitor the radon levels in your home.

Well Water

Not all homes have well water, but if your home has it nearby, know that it can also be a source of radon. Take note that well water is in close contact with rocks and soil. Since the radioactive material naturally occurs in soil, rocks and stones containing radon can be carried into your home.

Radon is no joke. Like COVID-19, it has affected millions of people. Some are aware of it, while others are not. That’s why raising awareness to promote radon mitigation is essential to avoid the increasing number of lung cancer patients. When mitigating radon, it is critical to identify the significant causes of radon in your home. Knowing where the gas comes from allows you to create better plans in eradicating this radioactive material.

Does High AQI Affect Radon Tests?

Radon testing is one of the first and vital steps in radon mitigation. As a homeowner, you have to perform short-term or long-term radon testing to confirm the existence of radon. If you want to monitor the levels, long-term testing is recommended. The latter is essential because it is the only way to determine whether your home has consistently high radon levels. This is because certain factors can affect radon levels and eventually the radon test results. In regards to these factors, does high AQI affect radon tests?

What is AQI?

AQI stands for Air Quality Index. The United States AQI is what the Environmental Protection Agency uses when reporting air quality. AQI is like a yardstick that runs from 0 to 500 in which the higher the value, the greater the air pollution is. Therefore the higher AQI is, the more dangerous it is. If the AQI is 50 and below, that means the area has good air quality. However, if it exceeds 300, that means the air is hazardous to one’s health.

Suppose your home has high AQI, and you want to test it for radon, does high AQI affect the result of the test? 

According to experts, high AQI does not significantly affect radon tests. One reason for this is because radon testing identifies the amount of radiation and not the chemicals in the air. Besides, it is usually performed in basements, and this is because the soil is where radon is mainly found. Since it is a naturally occurring gas, conducting radon testing at least below ground would be best.

Factors That Affect Radon Tests

High Air Quality Index does not affect radon tests, but certain factors can do it. If you are conducting the radon test yourself, here are some factors that can significantly affect it:

Test Placement and Movement 

As mentioned earlier, radon is a naturally occurring gas, and it comes from uranium which is usually found in soil and rock. As such, it is normal for your basements to have high radon levels since the gas enters through the lowest level of your home. Since location can affect the radon test results, make sure to conduct the testing in the best place. Ensure that the test is located at least 20 inches off the ground and a minimum of one foot away from the outside walls.

Weather Conditions 

Weather conditions like rain, thunderstorms, and high wind can also affect radon test results. For instance, radon readings can significantly go down as the outdoor wind speed increases. This is why you have to choose the best time to get the most accurate results. If you consider getting your home for radon from fall to winter, the results can be affected.

Radon testing is vital to ensure that your home is free from cancer-causing gas. But since some factors can affect the test, you have to do the tests at the right time. When in doubt, you can always seek professional assistance. Hiring a licensed radon contractor from your state can help you with accurate radon testing and professional assessment.


10 US States With the Highest Radon Levels

Radon has been one of the leading causes of lung cancer in the United States. Some people overlook it, but little do they know that this radioactive material has been affecting thousands to millions of lives every day. Though it doesn’t affect you right away, it can cause lung damage as time passes by. The problem is, you cannot detect it using any of your senses; that’s why radon testing is a must. If you think mitigating this silent killer is not essential, you might need to reconsider, especially if you live in one of the states with the highest radon level.

Radon: A Silent Killer

Some people still think that radon can be easily detected. Others believe that this gas smells like rotten eggs. However, this is only a myth because you cannot see radon using your five senses. This gas is invisible, odorless, and tasteless, but its damage to your health ranges from mild to severe, depending on how much radon you expose yourself to. Radon is a silent killer; that’s why learning more about how you can eliminate it is crucial to you and your family.

States With Highest Radon Level

Radon is prevalent in the United States. Although there are states with the highest radon levels, it doesn’t mean that you are safe if you don’t live in these places. Radon is a naturally occurring gas; therefore, you can find it anywhere. Besides, it is usually high in the basement at home since it enters through the foundation’s cracks and sealings. Living in a place where there is high radon can increase your risk of radon exposure, so if you live in the following states, call a licensed radon contractor to ask for the best radon mitigation system.

Here are the 10 US states with the highest radon levels:

  • Alaska (10.7)
  • South Dakota (9.6)
  • Pennsylvania (8.6)
  • Ohio (7.8)
  • Washington (7.5)
  • Kentucky (7.4)
  • Montana (7.4)
  • Idaho (7.3)
  • Colorado (6.8)
  • Iowa (6.1)

Based on the United States Environmental Protection Agency data, there are 1 in 3 homes checked in seven states that had high radon levels. This means the gas exceeded the recommended action level for radon exposure which is four pCi/L. Take note that the PCI in “pCi/L” is a picocurie. It is one trillionth of a curie and measures the rate of radioactive decay of radon. 

According to Air Chek, Inc, although the states listed earlier have high radon levels, it doesn’t mean that others have low levels. 31 states have radon exposure above four pCi/L. When you check the places, they are located in the northern half of the United States. 

If you are curious which states have low radon levels, they are as follow:

  • Arizona
  • District of Columbia
  • Florida
  • Hawaii
  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi

Radon is a hazardous gas since it can cause damage to your lungs. Although radon exposure doesn’t kill you right away, this radioactive material still poses some health risks. If you live in the US states with the highest radon level, it is time to take the right actions to mitigate radon. Ensure to contact a licensed radon contractor from your state to install a radon mitigation system in your home.


The Benefits of Hiring A Licensed Radon Contractor

Radon mitigation is crucial because it is one way to ensure that your home is safe from radon, a cancer-causing gas. There are simple and even Do-It-Yourself radon mitigation techniques that you can do at home. However, you cannot guarantee their effectiveness because not all are true to their claims. If you are aiming for a radon-resistant home, it is recommended to hire a licensed radon contractor.

When Should You Consider Radon Mitigation?

Radon fluctuates from different periods; that’s why it is essential to monitor the radon levels. This way, you can assess whether you have high or low radon levels. When considering radon mitigation, the first thing you need to do is get your home tested for radon. There are two kinds of radon testing, the first one is short-term, and the other is long-term. It would be best to consider long-term radon testing because it can help you assess the levels better.

The question is, when should you install radon mitigation at your home? It would be best to do it as soon as possible. That’s why you have to test your home for radon to see the results. Though there are some DIY techniques, it is better to hire a radon contractor from your state. Make sure that the one you are hiring has a license to operate.

3 Benefits of Hiring A Licensed Radon Contractor

Hiring a radon contractor might be more expensive than doing some DIY radon mitigation techniques. However, the benefits are advantageous once you entrust the work to a licensed professional. The following are just some of the benefits that you can enjoy when you consider a licensed radon contractor:

Get guaranteed professional services.

If a radon contractor shows his/her license, it can keep your worries away because it only means that that contractor is an expert for the job. It’s not that easy to acquire a license because it requires contractors to become knowledgeable about radon mitigation. If a radon contractor has a license, you can minimize the risk of having unprofessional services.

Save more time and cost.

Hiring a radon contractor without a license will not guarantee you professional services. You’ll never know if he/she has received enough training or if the contractor is an expert in the field. Suppose you have hired an unlicensed contractor; you might need to repeat the process if a problem occurs.

Tailor the services.

If you don’t have enough budget for the radon mitigation system, you can ask the contractor how you can do it step by step. You may start first by monitoring the radon levels before installing the mitigation system right away.

Hiring a licensed radon contractor may sound more expensive, but the truth is, all the contractors’ fees are worth it. This is because you can get the most out of what you’ll pay to them. Aside from getting guaranteed professional services, you can save more time and money because you don’t have to redo the work. So if you want to install a radon mitigation system, trust no one but the experts.