Do all homes have some level of radon?

Author: Jules Kuhic  |  Last update: Wednesday, December 22, 2021

The simple answer is “yes” – at least trace levels of radon will exist in every home. ... We also know that there are certainly areas throughout the U.S.A that have a significant radon issue, while others not so much. Any home can have a radon problem.

How common is radon in homes?

It's common: About 1 in every 15 homes has what's considered an elevated radon level. The gas is odorless and invisible, says the EPA, and it causes no immediate symptoms, so the only way to know if your home is affected is by testing your individual residence.

Why do some houses have radon and others don t?

The fact of the matter is radon comes up from the ground, and it depends on variable factors like “soil and atmospheric conditions” (University of Minnesota), among other factors such as construction materials and structural soundness. In short, no home is more or less susceptible because of its “type.”

Which homes are more likely to have a radon problem?

Exposure to radon can be especially high for people who use their basements as a living space. Like basements, homes with slab-on-grade foundations have many openings that allow radon to enter. Homes with crawl spaces (vented and sealed) can also have elevated radon levels.

Do all homes have radon mitigation systems?

Radon gas is measured in picocuries per liter (pCi/L), and the EPA recommends radon mitigation for all homes with radon gas levels of 4 pCi/L or higher.

How dangerous is radon to your health?

Do all basements have radon?

Basements aren't the only place you can find radon. This is a common assumption since radon is most commonly found in basements. Unfortunately, it's also very wrong. Radon gas can be found anywhere in any home, not just in the basement.

Should I walk away from a house with radon?

"You should definitely take it seriously but you really don't need to walk away from the home. It's actually pretty easy to remove radon, and it's not that expensive," Consumer Reports Home Editor Paul Hope said. Home inspections often include testing for radon - using short term kits.

What type of foundation has no radon risk?

Earth-based building materials such as solid stone materials, cast concrete, concrete masonry, brick, and adobe ordinarily are not significant sources of indoor radon.

Where is radon most common?

Radon levels are usually higher in basements, cellars and living spaces in contact with the ground. However, considerable radon concentration can also be found above the ground floor.

Where is radon most likely to accumulate in a home?

About one in every 15 homes is thought to have high levels of radon. The highest concentration of radon tends to be found in the basement or on the first floor.

Is radon more common in older homes?

No particular style of home is more likely to have a radon problem; including old homes, new homes, drafty homes, insulated homes, homes with basements, or homes without basements.

Does radon travel upstairs?

Radon is known to be a heavy gas. ... Please understand that the radon level can be significantly higher on an upper floor. Even if the radon level is lower on the first floor than say a basement radon level, it could be higher on the second floor. The only way to know is if you test.

Is radon a deal breaker?

You can't see it, smell it, or taste it, but radon gas is a leading cause of lung cancer, according to the National Cancer Institute. However, the presence of radon in your home doesn't have to be a deal breaker.

Does opening windows reduce radon?

Opening windows improves air circulation and ventilation, helping move radon out of the house and mixing radon-free outside air with indoor air. Make sure all your basement windows are open. ... Opening basement windows helps reduce negative air pressure, diluting radon with clean outdoor air.

How do you know if your house has radon?

The only way you can tell that you might have radon in your house is looking for the entryways. Finding cracks in your floor or walls might mean radon has made its way into your home, but there's still no way to know for sure.

Is radon testing necessary when buying a home?

EPA RECOMMENDS: If you are buying or selling a home, have it tested for radon. ... EPA estimates that radon causes thousands of cancer deaths in the U.S. each year. *Radon is estimated to cause about 21,000 lung cancer deaths per year, according to EPA's 2003 Assessment of Risks from Radon in Homes (EPA 402-R-03-003).

What type of soil has the most radon?

Granitic type soils present higher levels of radon gas. Non-granitic soils have traditionally been considered to have very low radon levels.

How long do you have to be exposed to radon for it to be harmful?

If a person has been exposed to radon, 75% of the radon progeny in the lungs will become harmless lead particles after 44 years. When a particle damages a cell to make it cancerous, the onset of lung cancer takes at least five years, but often takes 15 to 25 years and even longer.

What state has the highest radon levels?

Alaska has the highest radon levels of 10.7 pCi/L. Homeowners in Alaska are encouraged to test for radon every two years.
...
Here are the 10 states with the highest Radon levels:
  • Alaska (10.7)
  • South Dakota (9.6)
  • Pennsylvania (8.6)
  • Ohio (7.8)
  • Washington (7.5)
  • Montana (7.4)
  • Kentucky (7.4)
  • Idaho (7.3)

Does radon permeate concrete?

Radon, soil gasses, and water vapor will easily pass through any openings, cracks, gaps, drains, or thin concrete (rat slabs) in the basement.

Does concrete block radon?

Poured concrete and masonry block are the most common materials in new construction. ... A poured concrete wall is a good barrier to radon transport. The major points of radon entry are the cracks, joints and other penetrations. It is these openings in the walls that allow soil gas to enter the building.

Is radon worse in basements?

Also, once the windows, doors, or vents are closed, the radon concentration returns to the previous level within hours according to EPA studies. FACT: Its concentration is usually the highest in basements, simply because it emanates out of the soil through the basement.

How much does it cost to fix radon problem in home?

The cost for the installation of a radon mitigation system typically ranges between $2,500-4,000. The cost depends on how radon gas enters the home and moves within it, and each home is unique. Costs for mitigation of adjacent homes can vary significantly.

Are sellers required to fix radon?

Importantly, the seller is not legally obligated to pay for the radon mitigation system. However, a buyer can certainly request the seller cover the cost of any home repair, including a radon mitigation system. While the buyer or the seller could pay for the mitigation system, we suggest a seller allowance or credit.

Does buyer or seller pay for radon test?

4. What are some concerns sellers might have about radon? If after testing your home, you discover elevated levels of radon, there's no need to panic — you can fix the problem. “There are a variety of ways to lower radon levels.

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