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General  | Radon Testing | Radon Mitigation

General Radon FAQ

Does radon really cause cancer?

Yes. Radon rapidly decays, releasing radioactive particles into the air. When inhaled, these particles damage cells in the lung. This risk is associated with long-term exposure to high levels of radon. Exposure to smoke and/or other existing lung diseases compounded with radon exposure may increase risk.

What causes radon in the home?

Radon is a radioactive gas that forms naturally when uranium, thorium, or radium, which are radioactive metals break down in rocks, soil and groundwater.

Where is radon concentration the highest?

Radon levels are usually higher in basements, cellars, and any living space in contact with the ground.

If my radon levels are high, will there be an odor or any other indicator?

No. That’s the tricky part about radon. It has no smell, is invisible to the naked eye and has no taste. It is considered one of the most life-threatening forms since it cannot be detected without proper testing. The Surgeon General and American Lung Association warn that radon gas has been proven the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the United States.

How long does it take for radon to cause cancer?

Radon decays quickly, giving off tiny radioactive particles that are airborne as a gas. When inhaled,  radon gas can damage the cells that line your lungs, which can lead to cancer.

Radon is responsible for about 21,000 lung cancer deaths each year in the United States, though it usually takes 5 to 25 years to develop symptoms.

Is radon more likely to be in older homes?

Older homes are typically less insulated and have outdated windows & doors, and gaps in walls.  All of these factors can lower the levels of radon that get trapped in the home.

Older homes should always be tested for radon. It’s very common for cracks to form in an older home’s foundation.

Is it true that radon is not in new build homes?

Unless the home already has a Radon Mitigation System installed, newer homes can actually be at a higher risk for elevated levels of radon. Newer homes are better insulated and therefore can keep radon trapped inside the home.

You should always get a newer home tested for radon before you move in or as soon as you can.

When a new home is built, radon control techniques (also referred to as radon-resistant new construction) can be used to help keep radon from entering the home. The EPA has developed a voluntary guidance document on radon control techniques for new residential construction. The guidance recommends and describes the installation of a “passive sub-slab or sub-membrane depressurization system.”

Radon Levels & Radon Testing FAQ

Are radon levels higher in Kansas & Missouri?

Kansas City Radon Zone MapsYes, Most of the Greater KC area is in the Zone 1 for Radon levels. 1 out of every 3 homes will test over 4.0 pc/l. Learn more Here.

If my Radon levels are high, will there be an odor or any other indicator?

No. That’s the tricky part about radon. It has no smell, is invisible to the naked eye and has no taste. It is considered one of the most life-threatening forms since it cannot be detected without proper testing. The Surgeon General and American Lung Association warn that radon gas has been proven the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the United States.

How often should I test for Radon?

The EPA recommends testing every two years, even if the property has a mitigation system. Testing yearly provides extra peace of mind. Certified Radon offers discounted radon testing when done yearly. If you haven’t tested recently, call today! 816-587-3500

What kind of radon testing do you do?

Certified Radon conducts an affordable, professional short-term radon test that meets the EPA’s standards of radon testing. The testing device, a continuous radon monitor (CRM), is a calibrated instrument that will be placed in the lowest level of the home or building suitable for occupancy. Radon testing requires a minimum 48-hour test period with 12 hours of “closed-house conditions” prior to conducting the test. The continuous radon monitor (CRM) will take hourly readings for the duration of the test.

Should I test the soil for radon before building?

Testing the soil can be very costly and still not determine what type of radon pathways are opened up as a result of building. The most effective way of determining levels in an individual home is to test the home itself with the correct radon testing measures. Testing soil will not give you an accurate idea of levels once a home is built.

What’s a high radon level?

The EPA recommends homeowner take action for levels over 4.0 pc/l. The World Health Organization recommends action be taken for levels over 2.7.

How does rain affect radon levels?

Heavy rainstorms invite lower air pressure or barometric pressure around your home, causing radon gases to rise from the soil into the air at an elevated rate. As a result, the radon levels in your home could increase during precipitation events. Read more.

Are DIY radon test kit results as accurate as a professional radon level reading?

A professional radon measurement technician must be certified by NRPP (National Radon Proficiency Program) with mandatory re-testing biennially.

Certified Radon RMPs (Radon Measurement Professionals) use “time-integrated” continuous radon monitors (CRMs).  A short-term radon test provides a measurement of the average level of radon during a 48 hr time period.

Do-it-yourself kits are not time-integrated and may not be as accurate. There are many variables that must be considered to get an accurate result when testing for radon.

Radon Mitigation / Remediation FAQ

What is the most cost-effective and successful means of remediation?

The most cost-effective and successful method of radon remediation – or radon removal – is the active depressurization system (ADS). The ADS system draws air from under the slab or from under a radon polyethylene barrier (if there is no slab) and exhausts it to EPA’s standards through PVC pipe and a specially designed in-line fan.

How much does it cost to install a Radon Mitigation System?

A Certified Radon installed Radon Mitigation System, or Radon Removal System, cost range is between $825 and $1250. Situations that attribute to the cost variance are working in a finished space, roof penetration costs, and distance from our location.

How long does a Radon Mitigation System installation take?

A fairly standard installation is anywhere from 2-4 hrs. We always clean the workspace and wear foot protection in the house to ensure it is as low-impact to your home and normal schedule as possible. Other than your discreet, expertly installed system, we want to leave the place looking like we were never there. We try to do that as efficiently as possible.

How often will I have to pay attention to a mitigation system?

More often than not, you set it and forget it in a sense. That’s kind of the point, peace of mind. We recommend you check the levels on the system once a month to ensure your fan is getting the right amount of suction. Other than that, it requires no real monitoring. That being said, sometimes fans start running loudly or burn out (usually 10 years later), and they require service. In short, you probably won’t have to think about it 99.9% of the time.

How do I know my system is running as it should?

Every system installed by Certified Radon has a vacuum pressure gauge. This indicates if the fan is creating an effective sub-slab vacuum. We recommend you check the gauge monthly and after any major storms. This will ensure that the fan is functioning properly. However, the only way to know what the radon levels are in the home is with periodic testing.

How much debris is left once mitigation is complete?

At the end of the day, we are drilling through concrete, which comes with some mess. However, we follow our process for each job that ensures that we leave a very clean workspace. We want to have clean installs that we can be proud of as well. Rest assured, we will not be leaving a mess in your home.

Do I have to have the fan in a specific place?

Exterior mitigation systems and the most cost common and cost-effective type of radon mitigation. In an exterior system, the primary suction point is inside the home (typically in an unfinished area) along the foundation wall. The PVC piping runs up the foundation wall and exited through the joist pocket. On the exterior of the home the fan is mounted vertically and discharge is ran up the side of the home. Where the fan is mounted is based off the most desirable spot on the interior and exterior of the home. Our licensed mitigation technician will access the property and present the best option(s) to the homeowner at the time of installation.

Interior mitigation systems are also an option for those needing to meet HOA guidelines or wanting the most aesthetically pleasing type of mitigation system. These systems are typically routed through the basement, into the garage, and through the accessible attic space above the garage. The fan is mounted inside the attic and the discharge is run through the roof.

Does the U-tube on the Radon Mitigation System indicate Radon Levels?

No. It is not an indicator of radon levels, but rather an airflow through the system. It should be uneven, if it is even if you are not getting proper airflow. Give us a call.

Why does the exhaust point have to be so high?

Certified Radon installs all mitigation systems per government codes & regulations. Discharge pipes are required to be 10 inches above the lowest roofline and at least 10 feet away from any openable windows or doors.

How much does it cost to maintain a Radon Mitigation System?

A Radon Mitigation System has three essential system components that might need to be replaced or repaired.

  • A fan replacement cost is between $325-$425.
  • A vacuum gauge replacement costs $25.
  • To Update or Replace the discharge costs $250.
  • An electrical service update costs between $50 – $225.

* A Radon Mitigation System’s standard service charge is $125.

Read more about the cost of Radon Mitigation System installation.