Is A Radon Test Important In Florida?
If you are in the market for a new home, your real estate agent has probably told you about the importance of getting a home inspection performed. However, it may also be equally important to have a radon test performed as well. Measuring the indoor air quality of your new home will give you insight into whether the house has a radon problem or not. If it does, your agent can work with the seller to negotiate a lower price to compensate for radon mitigation.
If you own a home already and have never had a radon test performed, it may not be too late to have one done as an important safety measure. You can purchase a simple radon test from the hardware store, but if you really want to be diligent, it is best to hire a professional home inspector that is certified in radon testing procedures.
What Is Radon?
Radon is a colorless and odorless gas that occurs naturally in the earth. As radioactive elements such as uranium and radium start to break down deep under the earth's crust, they release radon gas. Because the elements like uranium and radium are radioactive, it naturally goes without saying that radon gas is also radioactive. As a result, heavy concentrations of radon gas can cause lung cancer. Radon gas is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States.
Radon isn't a problem outdoors as it quickly dissolves into the air leaving only a minuscule trace in the air we breathe. However, most modern homes are tightly sealed. That means if radon creeps into your home, it sticks around putting you at risk.
Because radon is a colorless and odorless gas, the only way to know if you have a problem is to get a radon test performed. Both EPA and CDC recommend checking radon levels even if you don't believe you live in an area with any high radon risks.
How Is Radon Gas Detected?
A radon test simply collects radioactive particles in the air in order to measure the amount currently there. Because the radon rises up from the ground, a test needs to be performed at the lowest level of the home. Since we don't have basements here in Tampa Bay, the first floor of our homes is typically where the test is done.
There are two types of radon tests: active and passive. A passive radon test uses activated charcoal to attract radon particles to the surface. The sample is then sent to a laboratory for measurement. An active test uses a stationary metering device to collect a continuous sample in the home for a period of about 48 hours and in some cases up to a week.
Though a test kit you buy at the hardware store is convenient, it is not the most accurate or reliable way to measure radon in your home's air. These kits are small and the placement of the kit can determine what kind of reading you get. For the best results, it is best to hire a certified home inspector to perform the test.
When you get your test results back, they will be shown in picocuries (pCi/L). According to the EPA, any result showing more than 4 picocuries of radon per liter of air will need to have a radon mitigation service performed to eliminate the concern of any health risks. The World Health Organization recommends mitigation at 2.7 pCi/L.
How Much Does A Professional Radon Test Cost?
Hardware store tests are pretty inexpensive coming in somewhere around $15. However, if an accurate detailed result is needed, a professional radon test is suggested. They can be bundled with your standard home inspection typically at a discount. Depending on where you live and the square footage of your home, a radon test can add another $90 to $250 to a home inspection.
How Do You Find A Radon Test Professional?
Whether you want a detailed test before buying a home or a follow up test from a DIY test you bought at the store, call Solid Rock Inspections Group to help test your home's air quality today. A radon test isn't necessarily part of our standard home inspection checklist. However, our team is certified to inspect every aspect of your home to meet your needs. Want to know more? Schedule your next professional home inspection, call us at (727) 386-8627 today or contact us on our website here. We look forward to serving you and protecting your largest investment, your home.