Professional Radon Testing Services
Radon is a tasteless, odorless, colorless gas. It comes from the breakdown of uranium. When radon accumulates in indoor air, it poses an increased health risk of developing lung cancer. Radon enters buildings through cracks and seams in the foundation floors and walls, and openings around floor drains, pipes, and sump holes. Sometimes radon enters buildings through well water and also from some building materials. Radon Air testing should always be performed on a property you will be living in and especially with little kids. It is always good practice to test a property even if there is a mitigation system in place already as there is no guarantee is it working the way it should even if the water gauge is showing suction.
The way we do radon testing is the tried true method of using 2 charcoal canisters that are left on site for a min of 48 hrs and then returned to Nelson Laboratories in Manchester, NH where they will analyze the samples and report back the results via-email in 1 to 2 days.
Almost all risk from radon comes from breathing air with radon. Exposure to radon gas is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States, with more than 21,000 deaths attributed annually to radon-related lung cancer. There is no safe level of radon. Any exposure poses some risk of cancer. Smokers have an increased chance of developing lung cancer in a home where radon is found.
Why should you test?
Nearly one out of every 15 homes in the U.S. is estimated to have elevated radon levels. The prevalence in New Hampshire is even greater – one out of every three homes. You will never know the levels until you test for yourself and it is recommended to test every year or so as levels can change.
It is recommended that even if a system is already installed in a home you are looking to purchase you should test before purchase to confirm the system is still working properly. There could be a leak in the system or the system was not designed properly for the home in the first place!
What do the test results mean?
Radon is measured in picocuries per liter (pCi/L) of air or water, a measurement of radioactivity. The U.S. EPA recommends that if your initial air test result shows a level of 4 pCi/L or higher, you should confirm the result with a follow up test. The EPA recommends a radon mitigation system be installed to lower the radon levels below the 4 pCi/L level.
Private well water should also be tested and has a different recommended level along with it. In NH the state recommends steps should be taken to lower levels over 2,000 pCi/L. There is no federal recommendation for this and NH has one of the lowest thresholds for this amount. I would recommend talking to a certified water treatment specialist to understand what their thoughts are on you specific case.
Can Radon levels be fixed?
A home with elevated levels in the air or water can both be treated. Radon in the air can be lowered by having a mitigation system installed which removes the gas from below the home and deposits it outside before it has a chance to accumulate in the home. Radon in the water can also be treated by the preferred method of aeration. In either case please consult a certified radon mitigation specialist to work on the proper system for your home as each home has its own solutions
The cost of reducing radon levels varies, but the general cost is $1,000 to $2,000 for air mitigation and $3,500 to $5,000 for water mitigation.
The presence of elevated levels of radon should not deter you from not buying a particular home as it is very possible to reduce levels into a safe range.