Cincinnati

Home Inspections

RADON TESTING

Do you know if your Cincinnati home has radon gas? Radon is a radioactive gas that comes from the natural decay of uranium and other elements in soil, rock, and water. The EPA estimates that one out of every 15 homes in this country contains high levels of radon. If you are not sure, it would be wise to have your home tested for the presence of radon before closing on your new property. 

Many people don’t realize they could be living with such an invisible threat to their health, so it’s best to take precautions now while there is still time. Cincinnati Home Inspections can provide you with a voluntary radon test for the presence of radon in your Cincinnati home.

How Radon Testing is Done?

At Cincinnati Home Inspections, we will open all windows and doors to the room to be tested, then close them off from other rooms in your house or apartment. If a fan is being used, it must run for four hours before the results are ready. Next, a charcoal canister containing a paper carrier is placed in an opening in the wall or floor of the room, being tested and left there for 4-12 hours until radon testing is complete. After gathering at least 48 hours of continuous air sample data, a short-term “Alpha Track” detector device attached to the carrier paper strip, which has been inserted into a chamber, slides out from underneath the paper carrier after the four-hour test period, rendering results.

A scintillometer measures the alpha particle activity on the slide, which shows how many alpha particles are in the air sample. The lower the number of alpha particles, the lower that room’s radon level is considered. So if your Cincinnati home has high levels of radon gas, your inspector can recommend contractors who can help you fix this problem before it becomes hazardous to your health.

What are the Health Risks Associated with Radon?

Radon exposure over time has been linked to lung cancer due to radioactive particulates inhaled into lungs, causing DNA mutations resulting in tumor growths inside of lungs. Breathing second-hand smoke for extended periods also increases your risk for lung cancer.

Cincinnati Home Inspections cannot stress enough the importance of testing your Cincinnati home for radon levels. We can help you determine if radon is an issue in your Cincinnati home and, if it is, we can also provide you with a contractor to fix this problem before it becomes hazardous to your health. This country’s average death from lung cancer kills more people each year than breast cancer, prostate cancer, and auto accidents combined, so don’t be another statistic.

How long should I wait to radon test again?

Radon levels will vary throughout the year and from season to season, especially in areas with significant weather changes, such as Cincinnati. Two main factors cause those variations: the first is the change of gas pressure inside the home (which can be caused by opening or closing particular doors or windows), and the second is the difference between indoor and outdoor temperatures. Therefore, it’s best for radon test to be done during a period of relatively stable conditions. So if you moved into your home recently, it’s probably not a good idea to test until things have had time to calm down. The EPA recommends waiting at least 3 months after moving into a new house before radon test but says 1 month is a minimum.

If you have a pool, the water needs to be treated with a type of chlorine that does not produce air-borne vapors, so they don’t affect your radon test results. The EPA recommends having your pool water tested for the proper chlorine levels before beginning your 4-12 hour radon testing period to determine how much time is needed between ending your test and getting into the pool.

The average American adult spends 90% of their life indoors, and indoor air quality has been linked to everything from allergies to headaches and even cancer, according to scientists at the National Institute of Health (NIH) and other federal agencies like the EPA. Cincinnati Home Inspections has more than 10 years combined experience providing complete residential inspection services to people who care about this stuff and want peace of mind that their home is a safe, healthy environment.

Is there anything I can do to lower the radon gas level in my house if it's found to be high?

Absolutely! Cincinnati Home Inspections has partnered with reputable environmental contractors to help you fix the radon problem in your Cincinnati home and provide you with a lifetime warranty. While no guarantee lowering your indoor radon levels will reduce your risk for lung cancer, the American Cancer Society suggests that it be part of an overall plan to reduce radon risks.

Since only 5-10% of homes overall have high radon levels (and some houses don’t even test positive), many experts say it’s simply not cost-effective to do much beyond radon tests and possible mitigation if necessary to reduce the chances of developing lung cancer from this issue. It is estimated by statisticians at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore that a person who smokes a pack of cigarettes a day and lives in a home with high radon levels has about the same risk of developing lung cancer as a non-smoker who lives in a house with average radon levels.

For more information, visit this EPA website:

http://www.epa.gov/radon/pubc/citguide.html#intro

What to do if you have a high level of radon in your home?

If you test positive for high levels of radon, there are two ways to fix this problem. The first is a “passive system” which captures the radon gases from under the home and vents it above the roofline, where it’s carried away by the wind. Passive systems are less expensive but less efficient than the “active mitigation systems” that Cincinnati Home Inspections recommends. Passive systems can also require a much more significant amount of pipe because they have to catch all the way around your house – active systems have much smaller pipes that go into just one or two rooms where radon is found to be high.

The second way to fix the problem is with a “sub-membrane depressurization system” known as an “SMD mitigation system.” These systems have a higher initial cost but are much more efficient and work better over time. They can be installed in less than half a day by one experienced environmental contractor, and they’re built to last for many years without any maintenance required.

Our partner contractors at Environmental Air Systems install both types of mitigation systems – if necessary – and provide you with lifetime warranties on their labor, including free inspections and re-certification every six months to make sure everything runs smoothly.

Why Cincinnati Home Inspections?

Cincinnati Home Inspections is a locally owned and operated professional residential inspection company that’s been helping people with home inspections, radon testing, pool safety testing, and mold testing for more than 10 years. We have highly trained staff who have experience inspecting hundreds of homes in the Tri-State area – they know what to look for, so you don’t have to be a specialist or a contractor yourself.

When you want a complete home inspection from start to finish, call us at 123-456-7890– we’ll come out for an appointment at your convenience. Also, if you’re looking for information on Cincinnati Home Inspections or our radon tests services, visit our website: www.cincinnatihomeinspections.com.