What is Radon?
Where is Radon Commonly Found?
Radon is a radioactive gas that has been found in homes all over the United States. It comes from the natural breakdown of uranium in soil, rock, and water and gets into the air you breathe. Radon has been found in all 50 states and poses a risk in all regions.
How Radon Enters the Home
Radon typically moves up through the ground to the air above and into your home through cracks and other holes in the foundation or well water, becoming trapped in your home. Any home can have a radon problem, including new and old homes, well-sealed and drafty homes, and homes with or without basements.
How Can Radon Be Harmful and Dangerous?
Radon gas decays into radioactive particles (known as “progeny”) that adhere to dust particles and get trapped in your lungs when you breathe. As they break down further, the progeny release small bursts of energy, which can damage lung tissue and lead to lung cancer over the course of your lifetime. Radon is the number one cause of lung cancer among non-smokers, and the second overall leading cause of lung cancer, according to EPA estimates. Radon is responsible for about 21,000 lung cancer deaths every year; about 2,900 of these deaths occur among people who have never smoked. Radon does not present any short-term symptoms (such as coughing or headaches) and often goes undetected.
Inspection & Testing
Signature Environmental is now offering same-day results for radon testing. With our continuous electronic monitors, we can provide our clients with quicker results with higher accuracy than charcoal canisters. Our monitors utilize six susceptible sensors that produce reliable data and less variation; the temperature, barometric pressure, and relative humidity are all incorporated into our reports.
The Benefits of Using Electronic Continuous Monitors vs. Charcoal Canisters
Charcoal canisters will only give an average of the radon levels they are exposed to during the 48 hour sampling period; our electronic continuous monitors provide interval reporting every 30 minutes.
Charcoal canisters are left out and easily tampered with; our electronic continuous monitors can detect fluctuations that may indicate potential tampering (movement of the unit, windows opening, etc.).
Charcoal canisters can take up to several days following the completion of the sampling for results to return from the lab; our electronic continuous monitors allow us to give our clients the results within a few hours after collecting the samples!
The Testing Process
IMPORTANT: The testing of radon levels in your home requires a minimum of 48 hours to complete the sampling using our electronic continuous monitors. If there is a time constraint, such as a pending real-estate transaction, we ask that you please kind this in mind when scheduling.
PREPARING YOUR HOME FOR RADON TESTING
Radon levels can fluctuate inside the home on a daily, and even seasonal, basis. Furthermore, your daily activities such as turning on ceiling fans and opening doors and windows can also affect the levels.
Click the button below to download the Radon Agreement Form.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Radon?
Radon is a gaseous radioactive element having the symbol Rn, the atomic number 86. It is an extremely toxic, colorless gas; it can be condensed to a transparent liquid and an opaque, glowing solid; it is derived from the radioactive decay of radium and is used in cancer treatment tracer in leak detection and radiography. (From the word radium, the substance from which it is derived. It is a radioactive, colorless, odorless, tasteless noble gas.
Where can Radon be found?
Radon is produced from the natural radioactive decay of uranium, found in all rocks and soil. Radon can also be found in water. Radon escapes easily from the ground into the air, where it decays and produces further radioactive particles.
What are the symptoms of radon in your home?
Possible symptoms include shortness of breath (difficulty breathing), a new or worsening cough, pain or tightness in the chest, hoarseness, or trouble swallowing. If you smoke and you know you’ve been exposed to high radon levels, it’s essential to quit smoking.
How common is it to have radon in homes?
Nearly one out of every 15 homes in the United States is estimated to have an elevated radon level (4 pCi/L or more). Elevated levels of radon gas have been found in homes in your state. Contact your state radon office for information about radon in your area.
What is a safe Radon level?
A safe level of radon gas is no radon gas. Radon gas is a carcinogen that causes lung cancer. The US EPA has put it plainly, stating, “Any radon exposure has some risk of causing lung cancer. … World Health Organization, 2009 studies show that radon is the primary cause of lung cancer among people who have never smoked. Radon Is a Cancer‑Causing, Radioactive Gas
But it still may be a problem in your home. When you breathe air containing radon, you increase your risk of getting lung cancer. In fact, the Surgeon General of the United States has warned that radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States today.
How much does it cost to get rid of radon in your home?
Some radon reduction systems can reduce radon levels in your home by up to 99%. The cost of fixing a home ranges from $800 to $2500 (with an average cost of $1200). Your costs may vary depending on your home’s size and design and which radon reduction methods are needed.
What does the inspection look like?
Our trained technician will visually assess the structure to determine the best location to place the Continuous Radon Monitors (CRMs). CRMs will be strategically placed throughout the lowest livable level of the structure. The monitors will need to be in a closed environment during testing for a period of 48 hours. Upon collecting the monitors, our office will download the readings, and we will generate a report showing the overall average and graphs that will show readings collected every 10 minutes. This will allow us to see if there are any spikes from humidity, temperature, or radon levels, depending on the day. The monitors are also sensitive to motion and will note if any disturbance or tampering was observed during testing.
When can I expect my report and results?
The report will be ready no later than the business day following the pickup of the devices. A report will be generated, explaining the results of the devices. All documents will be sent via email in PDF format. The report and results will be sent only to the client. Please do not ask us to disseminate this information to other people. The client is at liberty to share the information with anyone they wish. This states that if anyone wants to know about the results, they cannot get the information from us without a subpoena. This includes real estate agents, lawyers, sellers, buyers, tenants, etc. Unless the client has authorized us to release information specifically on the original agreement, the client will be the only recipient of the information.
How can I prepare for the inspection?
To get an accurate representation of the current levels present, it is recommended to keep the windows and doors closed as safety permits for at least 12 hours before the inspection and during the 48 hour testing period. The property may remain occupied during the testing process; we recommend the normal amount of entering/exiting be performed, but extended periods of open doors and windows would affect the readings. Windows, doors, HVAC, or exhaust system must remain closed or turned off as much as possible during the sampling process; the HVAC system can run in recycle mode only circulating the air in the home around. (Most HVAC systems are designed to run in recycle mode.) The state of California requires a minimum sampling time of 48 hours inside the structure.