Holiday Celebrations and Radioactive Radon Gas
This weekend commemorates both Passover and Easter which means family and friends may be visiting your home or possibly you will be spending the holidays visiting others. That means many people coming and going from the house which is not the best scenario for radon testing.
Radon testing requires “closed house conditions” for a valid test to be performed. Closed house conditions means doors and windows to a home, including garage doors MUST be closed to the exterior at all times however normal entry and exit from a home with immediate closure of doors after passing is perfectly fine. Windows MUST remain closed at all times during testing.
A short term test requires 48 hours of data collection minimum with closed house conditions established as well as 12 hours of closed house conditions prior to deployment. Even opening a window can create a vacuum cleaner effect drawing more radon into the home due to interior pressure changes.
Performing a radon test when your home is bustling with guests for the holidays is probably not the best time to perform a radon test. Select a time when activity in the house is at a minimum so you can fully enjoy your guests when they visit for the holidays without rushing to close the door behind them.
Happy Passover! Happy Easter! Happy Spring! Thanks for reading and stay safe!
Radon and Negotiating a Real Estate Sale
You have found your dream home and testing the home has shown the radon levels are elevated. You want the seller to “fix” the home because you feel they should. Since there are many states in the United States that have no guidelines , laws or rules about radioactive radon gas, the seller may feel it is not something they “need” to do when there are other buyers who are not so demanding.
The process of “fixing” a home by installing a radon mitigation system is one of the most inexpensive home repairs that can be done with some of the most beneficial results…living safely in one’s home without the dangers of elevated radon levels. A professional radon mitigator will study the home’s construction to identify the best placement for maximum results.
If the seller of your dream home is putting up a fuss about installing a radon mitigation system before closing on your home, don’t fret! Arrange a system to be installed by the professional of your choice (another perk of doing it on your own) so when you close, the mitigator can go to work immediately. Make sure arrange to re-test the home once the system has been running for 24-48 hours to ensure the levels are at a safe level. The next step is to MOVE IN and ENJOY!
Indoor Radon Levels and the Weather
Radioactive radon gas is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United Staes and can pose a serious health risk by breathing it over prolong periods of time. Radon enters a home through common entry points such as cracks or holes in the foundation, fissures, sump pumps and poorly sealed pipes. The radon builds up in the home because it becomes trapped.
Weather conditions can cause more radon to enter a home. High winds can create an overall negative pressure on the home while positive pressure is being exerted in the soil on the windward side resulting in more gas being forced into the home.
Radon is a gas and gases seek to saturate a space with a lower concentration hence the reason it flows from the soil into buildings. When rain or snow cap the crown of the soil, saturated or frozen soil prevents the gas from escaping to the outside. This forces soil gas to enter the home.
Frequently, higher radon levels can be seen during heating months. This is when the suction placed on the home’s foundation is the greatest.
There may be fluctuations in radon concentrations inside a home depending on the season. It is recommended not to test for radon if extreme weather conditions exist or are expected such as a heavy rain or snow storm. Wait a few days until the stormy weather is over to obtain the most accurate results!
Test Your Home…Protect Your Family!
Should I Buy a Home With Elevated Radon Levels?
Should I buy a home with elevated radon levels is a question frequently asked and the answer is yes. Go ahead and buy your dream home with the understanding that the home needs to be “fixed”and this should be done prior to taking occupancy. “Fixed” means installing a radon mitigation system by a professional mitigator based on the construction of the home for maximum results. After the system is installed and running a minimum of 24-48 hours, the home should be re-tested to determine if the system is drawing enough radon out of the house to be deemed safe. Testing is the ONLY way to know!
New construction homes are frequently built with a passive system in place. If the home is tested and the radon levels come back elevated, the appropriate size fan can be added to the passive system to activate it. Testing post fan installation is imperative to identify if the home has had the radon levels reduced adequately for the home to be deemed safe for occupancy.
EPA action level is 4.0pCi/L however the EPA has concern between 2.0pCi/L and 4.0 pCi/L. If the seller of your dream home refuses to install a radon mitigation system, buy the home anyway and install one after you close then re-test. A radon mitigation system is one of the least expensive home improvement projects and by far, one of the most beneficial.
Test Your Home…Protect Your Family!