Radon Testing

Radon Testing

We offer discounted radon testing to our clients with a property inspection.

Most of Colorado has levels of radon considered to be elevated by the EPA. Radon testing has become more prevalent in our region, as more people are aware of the gas and potential consequences. A level of 4.0 pcL (picocuries per litre) is compared to smoking half a pack of cigarettes a day - that concerns me.

Testing for the presence of radon gas in the living area of a home takes a minimum of fourty eight (48) hours. We use "continuous radon monitors", for the best type of "short term test", giving us hourly readings for the test period as well. While charcoal filter types are available in the hardware store for a few ten dollar bills, they are not nearly as accurate as the system we use - you get what you pay for. We offer Radon testing to our clients, at a discounted rate, when performed with an inspection. Other companies charge $250.00 for testing, plus trip charges! Call us for details on testing your property.

Radon Gas Information

There are cracks in the foundation. Nothing structural. Nothing thats going to threaten the stability of the home, but theyre there. Nooks, crannies and holes through which seeps an invisible threat. Colorless, odorless and undetectable by your average human, it is none the less the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States.

Radon gas - even the name sounds ominous, evoking images of radiation and nuclear devastation is created when uranium in the soil decays. The gas then seeps through any access point into a home. Common entry points are cracks in the foundation, poorly sealed pipes, drainage or any other loose point. Once in the home, the gas can collect in certain areas especially basements and other low-lying, closed areas and build up over time to dangerous levels. The Environmental Protection Agency of the US Government has set a threshold of 4 pico curies per liter as the safe level. As humans are exposed to the gas over a period of years, it can have a significant and detrimental effect.

How widespread is the problem? Radon has been found in homes in all 50 states. Certain areas, like Colorado, are more susceptible than others (http://www.epa.gov/radon/zonemap.html), but no location is immune. Concentrations of radon-causing materials in the soil can be either natural or man-made. Homes built near historic mining operations may be at higher risk. The only way to tell for sure is to have a home tested.

Testing for radon comes in two forms: active and passive. Active devises constantly measure the levels of radon in a portion of the home and display those results. Passive devices collect samples over a period of time and then are taken away and analyzed. Either method can help you determine your level of risk. Over a period of days, the device is left in the lowest level of the home which is normally occupied. This eliminates crawl spaces under the house, but includes finished or unfinished basements. Then the results are analyzed by a professional. The other option is to engage a qualified professional to conduct the tests properly. The EPA web site (http://www.epa.gov/radon/manufact.htm) provides information on finding appropriate resources and testing devices.

If high concentrations of radon are found in your home, you have several options. Since radon is only a problem when it is concentrated in high volume, improving the ventilation in an area is often sufficient to solve the problem. In other cases, it may be necessary to limit the amount of radon getting into the home by sealing or otherwise obstructing the access points. Once again, a professional should be engaged to ensure that the radon is effectively blocked.

If youre buying or selling a home, radon can be a significant issue. Buyers should be aware of the radon risk in their area and determine whether a radon test is desirable. When in doubt, the EPA always recommends testing. If test results already exist, make sure they are recent or that the home has not been significantly renovated since the test was performed. If in doubt, get a new test done. If youre selling a home, having a recent radon test is a great idea. By being proactive, you can assure potential buyers that there is no risk and eliminate the issue from the start.

For more information, visit the EPA web site on radon at http://www.epa.gov/radon.

Providing Home and Commercial Inspections in Telluride, Mountain Village, Ouray, Ridgway, Norwood, and Montrose Colorado. 
Energy Ratings and Energy Audit Services, Radon Testing, and Mold Testing Available

Senter Lane Inspections, LLC
PO Box 426
Ouray, CO 81427

Office - 970.325.4333
Fax -    970.324.4334
Cell -    970.318.1197
Email - slinspect@msn.com