Did you know that approximately 50 percent of Colorado homes have radon levels that exceed the EPA recommendation? Are you aware that all 64 counties in Colorado are at risk for high radon levels? In our continued effort to keep you informed on all things real estate, we want to make sure you know the facts about radon.
What is radon?
“Radon is an invisible, radioactive gas created from natural deposits of uranium and radium in the soil. Radon gas can be drawn into a building and accumulate to concentrations that can increase the potential for contracting lung cancer.
Although there are rare cases where the source of the radon has come from building materials created from spent-uranium processing plants, the major source of radon in Colorado homes comes from the natural deposits of uranium commonly found in Colorado geology. It is seldom caused by human intervention like other environmental concerns.” (Colorado Dept. of Public Health and Environment)
Radon is the 2nd leading cause of lung cancer in the United States and contributes to as many as 500 lung cancer deaths in Colorado each year.
How do I test my home for radon?
Radon testing is easy and inexpensive. You can purchase a test kit at most home improvement stores for as little as $10 or purchase one online. Make sure the test says it is “certified by the National Radon Proficiency Program.” If used correctly, these tests are just as accurate as one done by a contractor. Of course, if you would rather be on the safe side, you may hire a contractor to test your home.
Where (in my home) do I perform the test?
The answer to this question depends on your future plans. Are you testing to continue living in your home? If so, test on the lowest level of living space. Are you testing to sell your home? If this is the case, you need to test on the lowest level of possible living area. That means that if you have an unfinished basement that the buyers could turn into living space once they move in, you will need to test in that unfinished basement.
How long does it take?
A short-term radon test takes 48-120 hours. The house is closed for 12 hours, then the testing device is put in place for 48 hours or more. Specific directions will come with the testing device.
What do I need to do if the test shows high levels of radon?
“Radon mitigation is any process used to reduce radon gas concentrations in the breathing zones of occupied buildings or radon from water supplies.” (wikipedia.com)
The good news is that if your home test shows that the radon level in your home is above recommended levels, it can be fixed. A radon reduction system can be installed into your home. Usually this fix costs about $800-$1,200 as long as no difficult design issues are present.
(If your water comes from a private well and you found a radon problem when you tested the air in your home, you should test the water. In this case, a professional will need to be contacted.)
More Useful Information…
While the testing is usually inexpensive, there is help available. Visit www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/categories/services-and-information/environment/radon for help. You will find low-income assistance for testing and mitigation.
Of course, you can always call us to help you with any of your real estate needs. We are happy to assist you in preparing your home for sale. Call us TODAY @ 720-593-2014