Radon Levels In Waukesha's Lake Country
The Lake Country area of Waukesha County encompasses the cities and towns clustered around Pewaukee, Nagawicka, Oconomowoc and Okauchee lakes in the northwest corner of the county. Although a scenic area of the county, homes in the Lake Country region are known for having the same notoriously high radon levels as the rest of Waukesha County.
The map to the right depicts the average radon levels for homes in the Lake Country region. Light brown areas indicate 42% to 58% of homes have radon test results higher than 4 pCi/L. Dark brown areas indicate 59% to 100% of homes have radon test results higher than 4 pCi/L. In case you’re wondering, 4 picocuries per liter (pCi/L) is the level at which the EPA recommends mitigation.
Homes in the Waukesha area, including homes in the Lake Country region, have tested as high as 20 pCi/L. So, while many homeowners pooh-pooh the notion of having 4 pCi/L of radon gas in their homes, when levels hit the double digits it's much more alarming.
Should Lake Country Area Homeowners Be Concerned About Radon Levels?
In our opinion, absolutely. High radon levels have been shown to be the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States, second only to cigarette smoking. Unfortunately, unlike cigarette smoke, it’s impossible to detect radon in a home by smell.
Radon is a colorless, odorless radioactive gas, the byproduct of uranium in the earth breaking down and releasing radioactive gases. In low amounts, it poses no great danger. In fact, it’s everywhere outside—averaging about .7 pCi/L. This amount is so negligible as to not be a health risk. The problem is that the negative pressurization in a typical home with a basement sucks subsoil gases into the home, where it accumulates. The accumulation of radon gas in homes is exacerbated in regions like ours where windows and doors are kept closed as much as possible throughout the winter.
Getting Your Lake Country Home Tested For Radon
It’s unfortunate, but most people don’t think about having a house tested for radon unless they’re buying or selling the home. If you bought your home in the pre-radon awareness days, it’s a good idea to have it tested—even if you have no plans on moving or selling.
Having a radon test done will not inconvenience you or disrupt your daily life in any substantial way. A technician will come to your house and place two electronic testing monitors in the area identified as most likely to have a high concentration of radon gas—typically the basement or a crawl space. These units will remain in place for 48 hours, during which we advise you do not open your windows and use your entry doors only when necessary. After 48 hours, we will come by to pick up the test units. We’ll analyze the data they recorded and provide you with a copy of the results, usually that same day.
What if A Radon Test Shows You Have High Radon Levels In Your Home?
If your home tests at 4 pCi/L or higher, our recommendation is to have a radon mitigation system installed. This can usually be done in half a day. The sub-slab depressurization method we use routes a PVC exhaust pipe from your sump pump to the roofline of your home. At the point where the exhaust pipe exits your home, we install a fan to ensure the gases released into the pipe are exhausted all the way out the pipe and into the atmosphere. This is a low-power fan enclosed in a PVC housing, so the most you’ll hear from it is a quiet whir when you get close to it.
A radon mitigation system can be installed in any home, although older homes can sometimes be challenging due the way they were built. If you don’t have a sump pump in your home, we can either install one for you or drill into your concrete slab to insert an exhaust pipe.
Schedule A Radon Test Today And Find Out If You’re At Risk Or Not
Radon levels vary from house to house, even houses sitting next door to each other. If your neighbor had a radon test and it showed low levels of radon, you cannot assume your home will be the same. We have seen wildly different radon levels in homes sitting side by side. Testing is the only way to know what the radon level in your home is.
Lake Country areas served by Lifetime Radon Solutions include: Chenequa, Nashotah, Delafield, Pewaukee, Oconomowoc and Lac La Belle.