Radon – What Every Homeowner Should Know

If you have bought or sold a house in Northern Virginia, you’ve undoubtedly encountered radon tests and have some basic knowledge of the hazards of radon. Radon comes from the natural (radioactive) breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water and gets into the air you breathe. You can’t see radon. And you can’t smell or taste it. But it may be a problem in your home. In fact, nearly 1 in 15 homes in the US is estimated to have elevated radon levels. Long-term effects of radon can cause lung cancer. In fact, the Surgeon General has warned that radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States.

Your home may already have a radon reduction system installed but if your home is not equipped with such a system, it’s especially important to test for radon every year or two to make sure you and your family are not living with unsafe levels of radon (EPA recommended levels of 4 pCi/L or above). Radon testing is inexpensive and easy. To test for radon, you can hire a radon specialist or simply purchase a home test. Keep in mind that even if you don’t have a high radon level this year, you could have a higher-than-normal radon level next year. And, similarly, even if your next door neighbor had tested for very low levels of radon, it doesn’t mean your home couldn’t have high levels. Radon levels can vary house-to-house and year-to-year.

When testing for radon, there are two types of tests, short-term and long-term. Short-term tests take as little as 2-3 days and can be performed through a do-it-yourself kit that can be purchased at a hardware store or can be administered by a professional (e.g., when purchasing a home). Long-term tests, on the other hand, take 90-120 days and are more accurate since they give you readings that are more typical of your home’s year round radon level.

The good news is that if your home tests for elevated levels of radon, you can generally reduce even high radon levels in your home by up to 99% by having a radon reduction system installed at a relatively small cost, typically under $1,000…a small price to pay for your family’s long-term health and peace of mind.

For more information about radon, visit www.epa.gov/radon or call or email us and we’d be happy to send you a free copy of “A Citizen’s Guide to Radon.”

You can reach the Lutkins Group at 703-855-3071 or donna@lutkinsgroup.com. Or visit our website at http://www.yourloudounagent.com.




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