Radon Testing in the Pacific Northwest
NW Oregon & SW Washington
Why Do You Need Radon Testing?
Everywhere in the United States has a potential risk for radon to be found in the home. The location, the homes structure, and how tight the building is constructed all play a factor into contributing to higher concentrations. The higher the concentration, the greater the risk. With no way to treat Radon gas, we rely on the saying, “Dilution is the Solution”. The idea is to get the Radon to the exterior of the home and let it dilute with the outside air, as this happens it becomes far less of a danger to us.
Radon Levels in the Pacific Northwest
Parts of the Portland Metro Areas and into Southwest Washington have been known to have pockets of higher radon concentration. It is not uncommon to find high enough level inside of these homes to warrant a mitigation system. Most buyers in these “high risk” parts of town opt into having a radon test done which helps protect their family and their investment. We find that many buyers on the west side and in other “lower risk” areas opt out of testing but radon can still concentrate in these homes to unsafe levels. We recommend to have your home tested during the purchase and after any major improvements are made which may seal up the home to become more efficient.
How Do I Know if I Need a Radon Test?
Although we recommend every home to be tested, here are some traits in homes we find that influence radon concentration results.
- The newer the home, the tighter the construction is for efficiency reasons. This results in an increased amount of trapped radon gases.
- Houses with a concrete slab such as a basement, garage slab under the whole first floor, or a slab-on-grade built home typically have higher concentration levels. The crawlspace with its vents allow for some of the radon gases to escape before it gets inside the home.
- Some areas are now requiring passive radon mitigation systems to be installed in new construction, we have seen this to drastically help lower the concentration averages we use to find in these new homes.
Here’s an interactive map from the EPA that shows average radon levels by county.
How Does Radon Affect a Home’s Value?
If a home has very high levels of radon and no radon mitigation system in place, the cost of installing system may be asked of the sellers, money out of pocket is the same as accepting a lower offer sometimes.
The perceived value of a home can potentially decrease if radon levels are high and not addressed. Not only because of the cost of installing a mitigation system, but that the house may be considered unsafe.
However, radon can also increase the value of a home. Not by having it of course, but since radon safety is becoming more well known, a radon mitigation systems already installed may help relieve the stress of the potential risk of unsafe levels.
What Are The Benefits Of Radon Testing?
The biggest benefit of radon testing is safety. Radon is a chief cause of lung cancer, causing more than 21,000 cases according to the EPA’s 2003 Assessment of Risks from Radon in Homes.
Radon testing also helps you determine how you can solve this problem, and take steps to remedy high radon levels, like install a radon reduction system. Radon can often be drawn away from the home using an exhaust system, or by installing high-density plastic sheeting that makes it difficult for the gas to pass through the foundation and crawlspaces.
If you’re interested in radon testing, either for your own home or for a home you’re interested in buying, we encourage you to schedule your appointment with us right away. You can also contact us for more details about the radon testing process, and to get more information about the risks of undisclosed radon issues in your home.