Under Further Review- Home Inspections
HOW OFTEN SHOULD A HOME BE TESTED FOR RADON?
Thomas Kelsey| HouseMaster|February 2022|Home Inspections
It is February, which is Radon Awareness Month just ended, and everyone is discussing how often should one test their home for radon? Look at it from this perspective, do you change the filter in your furnace every few months or do you simply wait for the unit to stop working before acting. We all know a proactive stance is better than a passive one and the same goes for radon. Many of us may not have looked at it that way and believe once is enough.
Radon is an invisible, odorless, and tasteless gas that seeps up from the ground and disperses into the air. Lower levels of radon aren't a cause for too much concern as everyone breathes in small amounts of radon every day. The serious health risks come into play when areas with radon have inadequate ventilation thus increasing the levels and the risk of developing lung cancer.
You may not have thought of it, but seasonal changes can really affect the amount of Radon in your home. If a short-term radon test was performed in the spring, you should probably consider doing another test during a different heating/cooling season, like the fall or in the winter. Most homes in Colorado have fossil fuel-burning heating systems. These systems need a lot of air to operate. To get that air, they pull it from any source including soil gasses containing radon. Our hot summers or a very rainy spring may also affect testing. It isn't an expensive endeavor or even difficult to test for the potentially deadly gas plus it's really the only way to know if any changes have occurred to the levels of radon inside of your home.
Changes in the Surroundings
The EPA identifies the following major ways that radon can enter a home: cracks in solid floors, construction joints, cracks in walls, gaps in suspended floors, gaps around service pipes, cavities inside walls, and the water supply. This means that if renovations, changes in ventilation, natural disasters, settling soil beneath your home, or even just time have occurred, radon could be finding new ways to enter your home, and you should retest just to be sure.
In fact, according to the EPA, "If you are planning any major structural renovation, such as converting an unfinished basement area into living space, it is especially important to test the area for radon before you begin the renovation. If your test results indicate a radon problem, radon-resistant techniques can be inexpensively included as part of the renovation."
Otherwise, if you finish the basement and then do a radon test, you may end up needing to redo the finished portions of the basement in order to install the necessary mitigation pipes. Because major renovations can change the level of radon in any home, you should always test after any work is completed.
Living Pattern Changes
Not only do the radon levels in your home change, but so do your living arrangements. If you decide to turn your basement (closer to where radon enters your home) into a master suite or a family room, you should retest the home on that level.
You may not need to test radon as often as you change your furnace filter but it is a good idea to test them every so often. The certified radon tester specialists at HouseMaster can help with any concerns you may have about the levels of radon in your home. HouseMaster is a testing-only firm. We do not offer mitigation services or receive financial consideration for mitigation. Contact us for your radon test 720-295-2065.
HouseMaster Denver North- Thomas Kelsey