Did you know January is National Radon Awareness Month?
What is Radon? Radon is a radioactive, naturally occurring element (gas) that is the byproduct from the natural breakdown of uranium in rock, soil, and water. Radon moves up through the earth's surface following paths of least resistance. Once inside our homes, if trapped, it can reach unsafe levels.
The Danger: The Surgeon General and the EPA has deemed radon to be the second leading cause of lung cancer next to smoking, and the leading cause for non-smokers.
Testing: It is relatively easy and inexpensive to test for radon. You can purchase a "do it yourself" kit at your local hardware/building supply stores, where you set the test, then mail it away to a lab for to provide you the radon level readings, all for a relatively inexpensive price. If you want a more immediate feedback, you can have a licensed technician test your home over a 48-72 hour period and give you a reading on the spot.
Mitigation: Mitigation is relatively inexpensive. Most radon mitigation bids my clients have needed, have ranged from $1,500-$2,000, and the work can usually be completed in 1-2 days. In a nutshell, mitigation most often entails creating a vacuum by coring through the lowest point in your home, running a line (pipe) from there, out the side of your home, where a fan (acting vacuum) is usually attached, and up past the highest living space.
I encourage you to have your home tested if you have not already done so. For further questions and additional information, here are links to my preferred radon testing/mitigation contractors in the greater Portland area.
Willamette Radon, LLC (testing only)