Radon FAQ’s

Radon FAQ’s

There are many misconceptions and questions surrounding the effects of radon and just how serious exposure can actually be.  We want you to have the most accurate data on radon and its harmful effects on you and your family.  If you don’t see your own question here, please contact us and we’ll be happy to go over any further questions you may have.

Is Colorado really at that high of a risk for elevated radon levels? 

As you can see on the graph below, Colorado has some of the most concentrated high levels in the entire United States.  No matter what county or area you reside, there is a good chance you will not only have moderate levels but high levels of radon in your home.  The only way to know for sure what level your home has is to do a radon test.

Radon Levels of The United States.

The home was built in the last few years.  Are new constructed homes still at risk?

Unfortunately, even newer homes can test high for radon.  There simply isn’t a way for a builder to know what the radon levels will be until the home is completed.  Since radon sneaks into the home using the cracks in the foundation, basement floor or crawlspace, the home must have closed conditions in order to get an accurate test.  This means even with the new building material technologies that have been introduced into in home building, radon can still get in.

Can anything be done in the building process to include a radon system in case the home needs mitigation after construction is completed?

Absolutely! This is called a Passive System and is done during the building of a new home. The best time to install the infrastructure of a Passive System during construction is after the framing is complete, and before the insulation and drywall go up.  This is normally when the plumbing and electrical are installed.  The pipe can be routed through the interior of the walls and through the attic where it can vent out the roof.  If a home is already finished, the only way to have the same type of installation is to remove the drywall so the pipe runs through the interior of the wall.  Then you would have to reinstall the drywall and repaint/retexture this section.  This is why having us install a Passive System (everything but the fan) is the best solution to have a discreet yet functioning mitigation system.  Not only will you be ready if your radon test comes back with high levels, but it will increase your property value having a full functioning radon mitigation system hidden.

What exactly is radon?

Radon is the breakdown of the radioactive decay chain of uranium.  It is a colorless and odorless gas that is the second leading cause of lung cancer, so even non-smokers are at risk of developing lung cancer.

What if a home has a crawl space instead of a basement slab? Can radon still get in the home?

Unfortunately yes.  Radon gas comes up through the soil below the home.  The negative pressure that the home creates is very similar to placing your hand down flat in a bathtub.  Even if your hand is flat and your fingers are tightly pressed together, the water will still find a way to sneak between your fingers.  So a home that has a crawl space with exposed soil, or a home built slab-on-grade (on the dirt) will still have a high risk of having radon in the lowest level. 

If the basement isn’t really ever used for anything but storage, does a homeowner still need to mitigate?

Again yes.  Even though the radon levels are highest in the basement (or lowest level) the radon gas still travels up since it is lighter than oxygen.  Therefore, it has what is called a “half-life” on each level above.  For example; if your basement has a reading of 10.0 pci/l, then the level above the basement has a 5.0 pci/l, and the level above that has a 2.5 pci/l.  Another factor can be the furnace or ducts being located in the basement – this means anytime the furnace fan is on for either heat or air conditioning the home can have levels that are just as high as the basement!

If the cracks in the foundation are sealed will that protect the home from exposure?

This can help, and is the reason that our technicians will always seal any visible and accessible cracks after the mitigation system is installed.  However, this action alone will not protect the home from radon gas.  As homes get older they will continue to shift and settle, meaning the radon levels would continue to increase over time without an active fan on a sub-slab mitigation system pulling the radon out from underneath the slab.

If the radon levels are above the recommended level of 4.0 pci/l what is the best thing to do?

The best and most efficient way to decrease radon levels on a long-term basis is to have a professionally installed mitigation system in place.  You should always hire a certified and licensed radon mitigation expert to install the system. The radon will be removed using pipes and a fan before it has the chance to enter your home.  These systems are proven to work and are very low cost to have in operation.

Just how serious is radon exposure?

Thanks to the EPA for creating this great risk assessment chart that really spells it out! There is no reason to take the risk of not knowing what you and your family are exposed to:

Radon Exposure Risks

Note: If you are a former smoker, your risk may be higher.

More Services:

Radon Mitigation in Fort Collins

Radon Mitigation in Colorado Springs

Radon Mitigation in Denver

Radon Mitigation in Highlands Ranch