The problem of radon in our homes has not been as prevalent a news topic as it has been in the past. However, radon is still a very real problem that all home owners should be aware of, especially since the EPA estimates that Colorado has one of the highest concentrations of radon gas in the nation, with nearly 73% of homes in our state having high levels. It can’t be seen or smelled, but it can cause serious health issues. It is the second leading cause of lung cancer, after smoking.
Let’s look at what every Colorado home-owner needs to know: 1) How radon gets into our homes, and ; 2) What we can do to protect ourselves from this dangerous gas.
Radon comes from the ground and is the natural breakdown of uranium in soil, rock, and water. It typically moves up through the ground to the air above and into a house through cracks and other holes in the foundation. When this happens, radon gets trapped inside the walls of our well-insulated homes. The only way to know if you have elevated levels of radon in your home is to have your home tested. Fortunately, testing for radon is easy and inexpensive. Better still, if you do find that you have a problem, fixing the problem,isn’t as expensive as you might guess. Nationally, the average cost for radon mitigation is $1,200.
You can test one of two ways: purchase a canister kit available online or at most hardware stores, or hire a professional radon testing firm to run some tests.
Analog radon testing is the old standard of the industry and involves a charcoal test kit that can be easily set up in a low-lying area of the house, ideally a basement or crawl space. This kit acts like a classic photographic film. As radioactivity from radon bombards the test kit, it makes an impression that can later be analyzed.
Digital radon tests and detectors are part of the new age of radon testing. A digital radon monitor, like a smoke detector, constantly analyzes the air. Unlike a smoke detector, these devices display readings of radon levels on the device itself.
Radon testing is not required when selling in Colorado. However, since prospective buyers may request a radon test, be assured that radon does not need to derail a sale. As a Colorado real estate specialist, I’m quite familiar with these issues, so call me if you’d like to know more.