The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has designated January as National Radon Action Month. If your home tested positive and you haven’t begun mitigation, or you have made recent changes to your home that may warrant re-testing, we encourage you to take this opportunity to take action. Portland radon issues are real. Recent news posts have covered radon issues in the area including Portland Metro and the Vancouver area. So what is this mysterious gas and what can be done about it?
What is radon?
Simply put, radon is a colorless, odorless, tasteless, and radioactive gas. What this means for homeowners is that it is undetectable through our natural senses, so outside testing must be done, and it is a known carcinogen. It is the second the leading cause of lung cancer after smoking. According to the EPA, an estimated 20,000 lung cancer deaths, each year in the U.S., are radon-related.
How does radon enter the home?
Radon can enter the home through a variety of sources and can affect new or old homes with a basement or without one. Some of the primary ways known to leak radon into the home are cracks in floors or walls, gaps around pipes or in suspended floors, construction joints and wall cavities, as well as through the water supply. Because it can affect any home in any zipcode, we encourage professional testing in all homes.
How can a home be tested for radon?
There are three types of testing that can be done in your home:
- Short term tests last 2 – 90 days
- Long term tests last more than 90 days
- A Continuous Radon Monitor (CRM) shows periodic readings of radon levels over time
Both short term and long term tests come in the form of a kit for the home, which many homeowners do themselves. The short term test is for “closed house” conditions while the long term test is for normal home conditions. For the most accurate read, a CRM is recommended. As the graph on the right demonstrates, the fluctuations in radon levels can vary within the same space.
What can be done if radon is found in the home?
Based on the amount (pCi/L) of radon found in your home, mitigation may be necessary. Removing this dangerous gas from your home can be relatively simple and involves a fan system that removes the gas from your home. However, you can’t simply buy a fan and blow it on your neighbor’s property – the proper mitigation protocol is required. Because of this, we recommend professional mitigation services.
If you’re concerned about the level of radon in your home, have questions about testing, or know you need mitigation, we have a preferred partner that we recommend to clients. We care about you and your health and want the best for your home and family. Simply call us at 503-406-5232 and we would be happy to provide you with their information.