Radon is a popular topic in the area. In fact, Iowa and Missouri have some of the highest radon-rate zones in the country. (See our related article here in Advanced Spotlight.) Advanced Restoration Services regularly receives calls from persons in the community who ask about radon testing.
Since January is National Radon Action Month, we want to do our part to help our community understand the topic.
Your home—a potential radon trap
Radon is a radioactive gas. Caused by the natural decay of uranium, it is found in nearly all soils. It moves up through the ground and can enter into the air above. Cracks and holes in the home’s foundation allow the gas to enter your home. Once inside, it can build up to dangerous levels. Any home is susceptible – new and old, well-sealed and drafty, those with and without basements.
Protect the health of your family. According to the EPA, among nonsmoking Americans radon is the leading cause of lung cancer deaths, with an estimated 20,000 each year. Radon exposure is a preventable health risk. The key is to have your home tested for radon. If high levels are detected, you can fix the problem.
Radon test kits
Radon cannot be seen, smelled or tasted. Short-term tests are the quickest way to test your home. Test kits can be found in most general stores and hardware stores. The test remains in your home for two to 90 days, depending on the type of kit. One test followed by a second can help determine whether your home has a radon problem.
Iowa counties have a predicted average indoor radon screening level greater than 4 pCi/L. Red zone has the highest potential for radon gas. (See our related article here in Advanced Spotlight).
Testing guidelines. Testing is easy. Set up takes only a few minutes.
- Keep windows and outside doors closed, as much as possible, during the test.
- Place the radon test kit in the lowest, lived-in level of the home in a room that is used regularly, but not in the kitchen or a bathroom.
- Place the kit at least 20 inches above the floor and away from drafts, high heat, high humidity and exterior walls.
- Leave the radon kit in place for the timeframe specified on the package.
- When finished, reseal the package and send it to the lab right away.
Test results should arrive within a few weeks.
Choose a qualified contractor
If your home is found to have high levels of radon, a trained contractor with technical knowledge can help you pick the right treatment method. As with any home repair, it is a good idea to ask for references and get more than one estimate. Most homes can be fixed for about the same cost as other common home repairs. Advanced Restoration Services is certified by the Iowa Department of Public Health to test your home or business for radon. We are moving toward becoming your local radon mitigation specialist.
If you plan to fix your home’s radon problem yourself, you should first contact your state radon office for guidance. See the EPA website for more information. Also, check out A Citizens Guide to Radon.