Radon Gas Testing & Measurement

Radon is a radioactive gas that results from the decay of radium, a metal that is present in very low levels in rock and soil.  Radon finds its way into homes due to air pressure differences between foundations, slabs and the surrounding soil.  According to the U.S. E.P.A., radon in the home causes an estimated 21,000 lung cancer deaths in the United States each year.

Is a radon test part of a home inspection?

We offer radon testing as a part of our comprehensive home inspection package, but if you are looking for radon testing alone, we are happy to help.

Radon testing requires a different set of skills and equipment than a regular home inspection. 

Testing of radon levels is often performed at the same time as a home inspection, but probably half the time we perform the service on its own.

Contact us to schedule a radon test or home inspection.

What are the symptoms of radon in your home?

It is impossible to confirm the presence of radon in a building without proper radon measurement or testing.

While there are no acute symptoms, long-term exposure to radon is to blame for over 20,000 cases of lung cancer a year in the United States, second only to smoking.  Unfortunately, the only symptom of radon exposure is lung cancer.

Unsafe levels of radon are present in Buffalo, along with every town and village in Western NY, despite the guidance offered by just a few real estate agents.  

We use continuous radon monitors for testing, which provide results much faster than charcoal canister testing, which must be sent to a downstate lab for analysis. 

Is radon testing during a home inspection necessary?

Radon is a colorless and odorless gas, which means its presence cannot be established without proper equipment. Further, long-term exposure to radon has serious health implications and even death.

Testing for radon is not required, and many home buyers are tight on cash during the home purchase process and view the testing fee as an unneeded expense.  We view radon testing and home inspections both as services to the community and recommend that buyers have both services performed before moving into a new home.

 

TESTING FOR RADON IN AIR

This is the typical radon test performed prior to a home purchase.  To provide quicker results to you, we have invested in continuous radon monitor (CRM) technology, an electronic device that provides results from air testing immediately upon completion.  The difference to you as a home buyer is that instead of waiting at least two days after the test ends to receive your results, there is no waiting.  Conventional testing provides results four days after the test begins, CRM technology requires only two days!

TESTING FOR RADON IN WATER

Radon gas incorporates into ground water, which then is used as water for homes with wells.  The gas is then discharged when water comes into contact with the air while showering or otherwise running water.  Understanding your exposure will allow you to mitigate the risk.  Contact us to arrange for this simple and affordable test.

Frequently Asked Questions About Radon Testing

We follow EPA guidelines when testing levels of radon in a home.  While granite can often contain radium, which decays into radon, testing of the counter directly is not necessary or helpful.  We test the ambient air in the home for radon, which includes radon that is released from the countertop.

As a gas, radon moves in mysterious ways through bedrock, groundwater and soil.  The level of radon gas in your home depends not only on its location, but the specific geology immediately below your home, as well as the construction of the home.  We recommend that everyone understand the radon level in their home by having their house tested.

A continuous radon monitor, or CRM, is an electronic device that is used to measure radon levels in homes.  They allow you to see results of radon testing as soon as the test is over, instead of waiting 2-4 days as traditional methods require.  CRM’s are calibrated annually, and undergo cross checking and other validation tests to ensure that they provide highly accurate results.

I can only assume that some home inspectors use charcoal canisters because they are easier to obtain and use.  New York State regulates CRMs in order to protect homeowners from home inspectors and other who otherwise would choose to purchase the highly sophisticated instruments and never calibrate them or perform other important quality checks.

The truth is that they provide results far too slowly in my opinion for use during a real estate transaction.  Many inspection contingencies allow for 5 days for inspections and testing, canister radon measurement most typically takes all of 5 days.

Average prices in Buffalo and Western NY are between $1000-2000, with most mitigation work being on the lower end of that range.  

To ensure that you are using a qualified mitigation company, I recommend to my clients that they choose a radon mitigator certified by the NRPP.  

Simply put, we started the business in order to provide an objective and unbiased opinion to protect homeowners and property investors.  

We cannot be unbiased if we are identifying a problem such as high radon gas levels, fixing the problem, then validating that we fixed it.  That does not make sense to us.

MORE INFORMATION AND DATA

How to Reach Us

Bradley Beck
Alto Home Inspection, LLC
Colden, NY 14033

716-222-2586
brad@altoHI.com