With me today is Jerin Zander from Zander Solutions, the area’s expert on radon gas and the remediation of it.
Our first question is, “What is radon gas and where does it come from?”
Radon gas is produced from the radioactive decay of the element uranium, which can be found naturally in the ground. It can seep into your home through the cracks underneath your basement and accumulate in your home. Because radon is an odorless and tasteless gas, you will not know whether you have it unless you test for it.
“How do you test for radon?”
There are a couple ways which you can test for it. You can purchase a charcoal canister from stores such as Home Depot. The test itself takes 24 hours, but you have to send the canister into the state to get the results. This can typically take about three weeks.
Another choice you have is the electronic measuring system. This option only takes 48 hours to do the test and you can receive the results in another 48 hours. This may be the best option since when you are purchasing a home and need to test, you do not typically have three weeks to wait for the results.
“What does it cost to test for radon?”
Most tests are about $150. This will include setting the test, picking it up after the 48 hours, and a printout of the results.
“What is the big deal about radon gas?”
Medical professionals believe there is a strong link between radon gas and lung cancer. In fact, the EPA says that is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. Second hand smoke is the third leading cause.
“If you tested 100 homes, how many would come back positive for radon?”
I would say based off of what we've done over the last 20 years with radon testing, it is more than 50%.
The EPA has a threshold for concentration set at 4.0 pCi/L. “Do levels stay consistent?”
Radon levels can increase or decrease based on weather patterns. If you have a very cold, rainy or snowy conditions, the barometric pressure will trap the radon gas in your basement more. So, your levels will be higher than during a warm, sunny day. Once you have a system in your house, it should not fluctuate because you will have a constant fan that draws the gas out.
You should test for radon about every five years to ensure that levels are where they were previously.
“How do you fix it?”
You can fix the issue with PVC piping and an inline fan, you just need to make sure that you follow the EPA guidelines for venting to prevent it coming back into your house.
“What does it typically cost?”
They can range from $800 to $900. Unless you have some obscure scenario in your house which could mean about $1,200 to $1,500 to correct.
“How long does it take to fix?”
Typically, less than one day.
“How often should you have your house tested?”
You should test about every five years to ensure that levels are where they were previously. Since there is a lot of construction from new subdivisions, there is a lot of disturbance in the ground which could affect the levels in your home.
If you have any other questions specific to radon, feel free to reach out to Jerin by phone at (608) 833-6620 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Of course, if you have any questions about buying or selling, you can contact me by phone or email anytime. I look forward to hearing from you soon.