What Is Radon Gas?
Radon is a Class A carcinogen. It is known to cause lung cancer in humans.
38% of homes in Chicagoland have a radon level at or above the DNS action level.
Radon comes from the soil, not the home. No home, new or old, expensive or modest, is exempt from radon.
Each home interacts with the ground beneath it differently. This is part of the reason why homes next door to each other have dramatically different radon levels.
Radon levels will fluctuate daily and seasonally within a reasonable range. A short-term radon test is a snapshot and a good indicator of whether or not the home has a radon problem.
Radon has a half-life of 3.8 days. This means that radon levels will not be any greater if the house is closed up for 6 years, 6 months, or 6 days.
How Does Radon Gas Enter a Home?
No home is completely air tight.
Radon gas can enter through any penetration in the home such as sump pits, plumbing and utility entrances, and small cracks in the foundation.
The only way to know the level of radon in the home is to have a radon test.
RADON TESTING PROCEDURES
Testing a home for radon gas is a unique process when done as part of a real estate transaction.
During the home inspection a licensed radon technician will place the radon monitors in the home. Monitors will be placed in basements, in rooms above crawl spaces, and in rooms on concrete slabs. Typically between one and three monitors are placed in the home for the radon test.
The technician will shut all windows, close the damper on the fireplace, and make sure the heating and cooling system is operating in the required manner. The technician will also seal any applicable windows with anti-tampering tape to ensure that closed house conditions are maintained.
The radon monitor(s) stay in the home for 2-3 days measuring the levels of radon gas in the home. A technician will return to the home once the radon test is complete to retrieve the monitors and generate a report. The radon report is sent to the clients, their Realtor, and their attorney.
If elevated levels of radon gas are detected, professional mitigation is recommended by the EPA.