Why Is Radon a Problem?
In 1900, radon became the fifth radioactive element discovered. Radon is a naturally occurring element that is produced by the radioactive decay of radium 226, which can be found in many types of ores, stones, and rocks, all common to the terrain of Tennessee.
Radon gas is dangerous and can be life-threatening. Long-term exposure to radon gas is estimated to kill 20,000 or more people per year.
Contributing factors to its deadly nature include: it is odorless, tasteless, and invisible. Testing is the only way to know if it is present.
In 2005, the U.S. Surgeon General stated, “Indoor radon gas is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers in the United States. Breathing radon gas over prolonged periods can present a significant health risk to families all over the country. It’s important to know that this threat is completely preventable. Radon can be detected with a simple radon test and fixed through well-established venting techniques.”
The U.S. Surgeon General, Environmental Protection Agency, and the American Cancer Society all recommend that every home be tested for radon. Our advice: call us for radon testing in your home!
Is Radon Gas Present in Tennessee?
Yes. Most home buyers are still unaware of the dangers of radon gas even though it is known to be present in every county in Tennessee. Eastern and Middle Tennessee are the two regions the EPA considers radon to be the highest threat to homeowners.
According to the EPA, the counties where we live, Davidson, Wilson, Rutherford, Knox, Loudon, Anderson, Blount, Roane, Union, Grainger, Jefferson, and others, are the most likely to have radon gas exposure above 4 pCi/L, which can be deadly.
Roughly 30% of the homes we test contain dangerous levels of radon gas of 4 pCi/L or more!
Homes have an indoor average radon gas greater than 4 pCi/L!
Homes are likely to have average radon gas levels between 2 and 4 pCi/L!
Homes are likely to have average radon gas levels less than 2 pCi/L!
Do I Need a Radon Test?
Most likely, the answer is, “Yes!” The EPA states that 1 out of every 15 homes in America has a radon problem. In some Tennessee counties that number is as high as 7 out of 10. The EPA recommends EVERY home in America be tested for radon.
“All homes should test for radon, regardless of their geographic location or zone designation.” – Environmental Protection Agency
“My home is on a slab, I don’t need a radon test do I?”
Yes! A very high percentage of the tests that come back with elevated levels of radon gas are in homes with slabs. This includes homes with basements. Radon gas rises through the small pores in the concrete slab, the space around plumbing, and infiltrates the home.
“My home has a vented crawlspace, do I need a radon test?”
Homes with vented crawlspaces are less likely to have high levels of radon gas inside the home than a home on a slab. However, it is not impossible for a home with a crawlspace to have high level of radon gas inside the home. Over the years, we have seen a number of homes with a vented crawlspace have high radon gas levels.
Should you do it? This is a personal decision. If you are comfortable living in the home without testing, don’t order a radon test. If you are unsure and want to be sure, order the test.
What is Involved in a Radon Test?
“How long does it take to complete a radon test?”
Radon testing takes two to three days to complete. Industry standards dictate that the radon monitor must be left in place for a minimum of 48 hours to get an accurate reading. When we place a radon monitor on Thursday or Friday, typically, we deliver the results on Monday.
“Where do you place the radon monitor?”
We place the radon monitor in the lowest livable level inside the house. If your home has a basement, it is placed there. In homes without a basement, the radon monitor is placed in a room away from windows, doors, vents, and chimneys.
Placing the radon monitor strategically away from vented areas provides a more accurate reading.
“I’m unsure of the radon gas levels in my home, now what?”
If you are a homeowner in Nashville or Knoxville, Tennessee, and you don’t know the radon levels in your home, the obvious answer is that you need a radon test. 1st Choice Home Inspections is happy to perform a residential radon test for you. Our home inspectors use Radstar professional radon measurement equipment.
After testing, your inspector provides a written report stating that radon levels are either below or above the recommended EPA action levels.
Your health and the health of your family are too important to take chances with anything other than a Certified Radon Report.
My House Tested High for Radon, Now What?
About 30% of the houses we test in East Tennessee have dangerous radon gas levels. So what can you do to correct this problem?
According to the EPA, radon mitigation is necessary when radon levels reach 4 pCi/L in your home. A number of companies in the Knoxville area perform radon mitigation.
This usually involves drilling a hole in the slab and running a vent pipe through the ceiling and out the roof, or alternatively, through the side of the house. A small fan is often inserted to pull the radon through the pipe, bypassing the home’s intererior.
Does 1st Choice Home Inspections perform radon mitigation?
No, we do not do radon mitigation. 1st Choice Home Inspections only carries out the testing.
How Much Does a Radon Test Cost?
Depending on the location of the home and other factors, radon testing costs between $195-$250*.
*Could be slightly higher in outlying areas
Nashville Radon Testing (615) 538-7707 | Knoxville Radon Testing (865) 938-7575