The Environmental Protection Agency recommends that all homes be tested for radon. This naturally occurring, colorless, odorless, tasteless gas kills 20,000 people every year, and you don’t want yourself or your family members included in those statistics. Our radon mitigation company provides radon testing to homeowners throughout the Denver area, and our process is simple from start to finish.
We have multiple radon testing options to fit all needs and budgets. Whether you’re looking to test with easy-to-use kits or with the latest testing technology giving you instant results and reports right on-site at the end of the test, Absolute Radon Safety can help make sure your home is safe by providing honest accurate results.
When doing radon testing home inspections, it’s important to follow certain protocols. For instance, a home radon test should be done on the lowest level of your home that is used as a living space. Thus, if your basement is used only for storage and laundry machines, the test kit would be placed on the first floor. But if your basement is finished and you use it as a family room, playroom, guest room or any other type of living space, the test should be placed there.
The reason for this is that radon originates from the earth. Because it’s a gas, it easily escapes from the rocks and soil beneath your home. As it seeps out of the ground, it enters your home at the lowest level — the basement. That’s why the highest concentrations of radon are found on this level.
How much radon gets into your home — and stays there — depends somewhat on your home’s construction. If you have an old home, it is likely easier for the radon to enter through cracks and loose-fitting joints. However, it may be just as easy for the radon to escape through uninsulated walls or old windows.
With new constructions that are built over large concentrations of radon, the gas seeps easily into the home but cannot get out as easily, due to the tight construction and high efficiency of the walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors.
The bottom line is, level of radon in homes is unpredictable when based on the year of construction or the types of materials used, because we don’t know precisely where the highest concentrations of radon are underground. We do have an idea, however, and that’s how the Environmental Protection Agency is able to draw maps of the areas in the U.S. with the highest levels of radon, which includes Denver and most of Colorado.
We offer multiple home radon test options to fit all needs and budgets. Our radon testing kits are roughly divided into two categories: short-term and long-term tests.
Short-term radon testing is done quickly — usually in about 48 hours. The good part about short-term radon testing is you get your results fast instead of being on pins and needles waiting to hear back from the lab.
Like many rapid tests, the issue is that they can be somewhat less accurate than long-term tests. The reason for this is that radon levels can vary in a home from day to day, week to week, month to month, and season to season. For instance, radon in homes tends to be higher in the winter when you’re using your heat more and your windows and doors are closed. If you had a radon inspection done at this time and got a high result, you would know you need a radon mitigation system.
When we do radon testing home inspections in summer months, we advise clients to keep their doors and windows closed during the testing period and for a period of time before, in order not to skew the results.
A longer test period tends to give a more accurate picture of radon in homes. However, if you are concerned about radon and want answers as soon as possible, you may not want to wait.
Keep in mind that although radon in homes tends to be at lower levels in the summer when windows and doors are open more often, there are still periods of time in which levels can rise dangerously. This would include times residents are keeping doors and windows closed, such as during a heat wave when they are running the air conditioning, during a rainy spell to keep out dampness, or during allergy season to keep out pollen.
If you live above a large radon deposit, there is really no safe season. There is no time of the year in which you want your family exposed to high levels of radon. Any readings above 4 pCi/L is dangerous, and we have done radon inspections in Denver homes that resulted in readings of 12.6 pCi/L.
Exposure to such high levels of radon over time can cause lung cancer. This happens when you breathe in the radon and it gets trapped in your lungs, where it slowly emits radiation. You know that when you get an X-ray at the doctor or dentist, they cover you with a lead apron to protect you from cancer-causing radiation, so you can imagine the damage breathing it in every day can do.
Radon poisoning is insidious, however, because it takes many years for the effects to show up, so you may not even be aware of the problem until it is too late. The effects are even more detrimental to smokers, whose lungs are already compromised. You may notice more coughing and wheezing than usual as well as trouble breathing. Smokers may not seek help for this, since these symptoms are an expected result of smoking.
We spend much time and energy today wearing masks and protecting our lungs from killer diseases such as COVID-19 and from smoke from wildfires — don’t get complacent and assume you are safe in your own home. Get a radon testing home inspection today.
This type of radon testing home inspection is completed by using two National Radon Proficiency Program-approved charcoal test kits that are analyzed by an independent, third-party, NRPP-approved laboratory. Our technician comes out to your Denver home to set up the home radon test kit and walk you through the process. Once the recommended time has passed, you box up and mail the pre-addressed, postage-paid kits to the lab. The lab will analyze the results at no cost to you and email you the full report. These tests provide accurate results that show the level of radon in homes. The radon tests are completed in seven to 12 days, and you get a $25 rebate toward any radon mitigation systems you may decide to purchase after receiving your results.
Regardless of which home radon test option you choose, we are happy to walk you through your options for radon mitigation system installation, should the results come back positive for high levels of radon in your Denver home.
Already have a radon mitigation system? We’ll perform a complete inspection of your existing system as part of the radon testing process to check to be sure it is doing its job correctly.
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