Tag Archives: radon testing

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.

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.

Radon Levels: Average, High, and Risky

Radon could be everywhere, even in the places you think you’re safe from this gas. Unfortunately, some people don’t understand how dangerous this gas is. If you want to learn more about radon, you have to familiarize yourself with what it is and what radon levels are considered average, high, and risky. This way, you can take the necessary steps to mitigate this cancer-causing gas.

Understanding Radon

Radon gas is naturally occurring because it is a byproduct of the radioactive decay of Uranium in the soil. Radon levels vary depending on your geographic location. You’ll never know whether you are inhaling as much as 0.75 pCi/L.

Testing your home for radon is a must to ensure that you are achieving a radon-resistant home. Remember that the national average of outside radon levels is 0.4 pCL. According to the National Academy of Sciences, the outdoor radon levels cause approximately 800 of the 21,000 radon-induced lung cancer deaths.

Is There A Safe Radon Level?

Not everyone knows that radon gas is a carcinogen, meaning it can cause lung cancer. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, radon exposure reduces a person’s risk of lung cancer.  To avoid this risk, you have to mitigate radon in your home. The lower the radon level is, the lower your family’s risk of lung cancer.

Since radon is invisible, tasteless, and odorless, you have to conduct radon testing in your home. Short-term tests can help you identify the existence of the gas. For level monitoring, you have to consider long-term radon testing. Knowing the radon level can help you assess which radon mitigation techniques should be applied in your home.

Radon Levels

Radon levels can be categorized as low, average, high, and risky. An average person receives a higher radiation dose from the radon levels than their combined exposure to all other radiation sources. In other words, radon is more dangerous than other materials, and mitigating it is the only way to prevent radon’s adverse effects.

The following images are grabbed from EPA, which show how dangerous radon is for smokers and non-smokers:



When it comes to radon levels, zero is the safest. Suppose you have conducted radon testing, and through your monitoring, you’ve found out that your home has zero radon levels. That is good news for you and your family because it means you’re safe from the cancer-causing gas. But if it is not zero, then there’s a potential that it could go up. So before it’s too late, consider radon mitigation.

Radon is a dangerous gas because it is proven to be one of the causes of lung cancer. The World Health Organization recognizes this radioactive material as the second leading cause of lung cancer. Therefore, mitigating it is a must even if there are acceptable radon levels. There is no safe radon level because even small traces of radon can cause short-term adverse effects to people. If you want to reduce your risk of lung cancer, radon mitigation should be prioritized.

Is It Safe to Live in A House With Radon Gas?

Having a comfortable house is everybody’s dream. After a tiring day at school or work, it is where you can take some rest. Your home is one of the best places where you can be yourself, and no one will judge you. But, it is not enough to create a comfortable living space because you also need to make it safe. In your house, invisible enemies like radon can significantly affect your health. Is it safe to live in a house with radon gas? If not, what can you do about it?

Radon: A Naturally Occurring Gas

If you have never tried testing your home for radon, then you cannot tell if it is safe from this cancer-causing gas. Since radon is inert, odorless, and colorless, you can’t determine if it exists in your home unless you conduct a radon test. It’s not your fault if your home has radon because it naturally exists. Besides, radon can be eradicated as long as you install radon mitigation in your home.

Radon mitigation is crucial because you and your family could be exposed to high radon levels without it. Long-term exposure to this radioactive material can damage your lungs and, worse, cause lung cancer. The World Health organization recognizes radon as the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. The US Environment Protection Agency estimates that about 21,000 people die each year from cancer caused by radon.

House With Radon Gas

As mentioned earlier, radon can cause cancer. Therefore, living in a house with radon gas is not safe at all. Though small traces of it cannot cause death right away, would you still wait for that moment for the levels to rise? No one should because if your home has radon, it is important to eradicate it by installing a radon mitigation system. The process of installing radon mitigation starts with radon testing. 

You have to test your home for radon to see if it exists in your home. If the results say your home has radon, you need to monitor the levels first. If the radon tests show consistently high radon levels, contact your state’s radon contractor to ask for some professional advice. The contractor may recommend trying standard radon mitigation techniques to see if they will work out. But if not, you might need to install a radon mitigation system to lower the radon levels.

Your home should be your safest haven, but invisible enemies like radon can cause risks to your health. As a homeowner, you have to be aware of these because they might put your life in danger. A house with radon gas increases your chances of getting lung cancer, so it would be best for you and your family to take the necessary actions right away.

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.

radon test kit

What are Some Issues with Radon Gas Detectors?

Radon gas detectors might all appear to be the same. After all, they all have the same function: to warn you of the presence of radon. However, there is a little more to them than that. Some radon detectors, for example, can only be used once. Other radon detectors must be calibrated on an annual basis, which can be costly. Some radon gas detectors are more accurate than others. Considering all of these variables, a lot goes into making a radon detector effective, and even more, goes into making one outstanding.

Two Types of Radon Tests

Many of you may be confused as to what should be applied in radon gas testing. There is a reason why the terms “test kit” and “detector” differ. So what is their difference?

A radon test kit is a one-time use instrument that works similarly to old-school film in that exposure to light causes a picture to appear on the film. In the case of the test kit, radiation exposure induces a chemical change in the test kit, resulting in a “radon image” that can then be examined. In short, this kit is analog, which means it lacks a clear readout or display, so you won’t know your radon levels until the test is finished and assessed.

On the other hand, radon detectors detect and show the amount of radon present in a given space. They monitor radon levels, which means they keep you informed about how much radon is present in your house. This is helpful because you can use the same equipment to assess the situation, test other rooms, and monitor the impact of any action you take to reduce radon from your house.

Arising Problems Regarding Radon Gas Detectors

When purchasing radon gas detectors, there are numerous aspects to consider to avoid specific problems and keep a clean and healthy home.


One of the essential aspects to consider when purchasing a radon detector is accuracy. First and foremost, the finest radon gas detectors must be accurate. If the sensor does not produce reliable findings, you will face serious health problems. Of course, detectors can be wrong by a few percentage points, but be sure the sensor you choose allows for an error of no more than 10%. 


One disadvantage of all radon detectors is that they can only monitor radon gas in a single room. You must move the sensor to measure the gas in the other rooms. However, the simple alternative of relocating is the Airthings Wave Smart Radon Detector, which requires only one screw to be attached to a wall. As a result, it is easy to remove.

Ease of Use

It is the most crucial factor for every gadget. It is pointless to get such a device if you do not understand how to utilize it or its figures. A radon detector has to display the radon gas level and notify if it exceeds the critical limit.

Why Radon Gas Detectors Are Important

Radon detection is critical for protecting your lung tissue from alpha particles in the short term and radioactive materials in the long run. Both of these may cause cancer, and because radon gas levels fluctuate over a year, it’s a good idea to invest in a radon detector to ensure that the air you’re breathing is safe. Radon gas is dangerous that’s why it must be taken seriously.

Radon detectors have several advantages over the less expensive but single-use test kit alternatives. Suppose you want to do numerous radon tests or monitor radon levels in your home, a radon gas detector is the most cost-effective solution.

Why You Need to Test Your Home for Radon

Testing is inexpensive and simple, and it might save your life. Radon gas cannot be seen, and you can’t even smell it. However, it is risky. Breathing in high amounts of radon might increase your chances of developing lung cancer. The only method to determine if you have a radon problem in your house is to test it, and if you do, you’ll be able to solve it. The question is, when should you get your home tested for radon?

Why is Radon Dangerous?

Radon is naturally produced by rocks and soil in the earth, and it is constantly present in the air around us. The issue arises when radon gas seeps into a property through fractures or holes in the foundation, and too much of it can accumulate on the inside. The radioactive particles in radon gas can become lodged in your lungs if you breathe it in. The problem is they have the potential to induce lung cancer over time. Two factors determine the dangers of radon:

How much: High radon levels are riskier.

How long: The longer you are exposed to radon gas, the higher your risk.

High radon levels can be dangerous in any state. Radon may be an issue in both old and new homes, and homes with and without basements may both do so. Furthermore, two properties next to one another may have quite varied radon levels, which is why every home must be examined.

If You Consider Purchasing a Home…

One of the ultimate aims that everyone strives for is to have a safe location to live in for the rest of their lives. But how can you guarantee that your house will be the safest location on the planet? If you’re thinking about buying a house, you must consider the following:

  1. You can either accept the seller’s previous radon test results or request a new radon test from a licensed radon contractor.
  1. If the house has not yet been radon tested, make sure a radon test is performed as soon as possible.
  1. If you plan to finish or renovate an unfinished part of your house in the future, a radon test should be performed both before and after the project. In general, installing a radon-reduction system before (or during) renovations is less expensive than installing one later. 

2 Ways to Get Your Home Tested for Radon

Because radon levels vary from day to day and season to season, as a homeowner, want what is best for your protection. With that being said, there are two general methods to test your home for radon: short-term testing and long-term testing. 

Short-term Testing

A short-term test might be used if you are in a hurry. Some of these tests detect radon for just 2 or 3 days, while others detect it for 90 days. For a short-term test, keep your windows and doors closed as much as possible and prevent fans that bring in outside air.

Long-term Testing

Long-term testing can be kept in your house for up to 90 days. For this sort of testing, alpha track and electret ion chamber detectors are often utilized. A long-term test result is more likely than a short-term test result to reveal your home’s year-round average radon level. 

If you want to be sure, the ideal time to get your home tested for radon is RIGHT NOW. Why? Because having lung cancer puts your life and the lives of those around you in jeopardy with each passing day. It might not be very comforting to discover that your house has excessive radon levels. You may, however, take precautions to make your home safer.