Answer: Radon is a gas formed by the breakdown of uranium and radium, both of which are sometimes found in the soils of New Hampshire and Vermont. It is carcinogenic and is the number one cause of lung cancer among non-smokers and it is the second leading cause of cancer in the United States (behind smoking).
Question: Why should I have the home tested for Radon?
Answer: All homes have some amount of radon gas present, but too much can be dangerous. There is even a small amount of radon in outdoor air, for example. However, radon gas escapes into the home and concentrates there. All homes are susceptible to radon, both old homes and new homes. It is not at all uncommon for us to discover that a home has unacceptable levels of radon.
Radon testing is recommended by the EPA, the Surgeon General, the American Lung Association, and both the New Hampshire and Vermont State heath authorities.
Fixing any discovered radon problems is possible, but only if the levels are discovered and are known. Radon mitigation systems are fairly common in our region and those cost factors can be negotiated before you purchase the property.
Question: My neighbor's house didn't have radon. Should I be worried?
Answer: Radon is somewhat unpredictable. Different homes have different construction methods and soil geology. While there are some areas of our region that have higher levels of radon than others, you should not rely on reports from others. The only way to understand how much radon you have in your home is to perform a test.
Question: How do you test for Radon?
Answer: We use a professional, annually calibrated, Continuous Radon Monitor (CR). This is an EPA approved, electronic device that contains sensors to detect and record radon results once per hour. After a minimum of 48 readings, we will shut the machine down and provide you with immediate results.
On occasion, we use Liquid Scintillation (LS) canisters to test for radon. These are passive devices that we use in homes where electricity is not activated, or when our electronic equipment is not available for use. These canisters are exposed for 48 hours and are sent to a laboratory for analysis. Both measurement methods provide accurate results.