Radon Testing In Racine County
Should you be concerned about radon levels?
If you own a home in Racine County, or are thinking of buying one, you may be surprised to learn that three zip codes in this area are known to have radon levels above 4.0 pCi/L (picoCuries per liter of air). Although no level of radon is considered safe, radon mitigation can bring radon levels of 4 pCi/L down to more acceptable levels. The EPA strongly recommends mitigation in homes with radon levels of 4 pCi/L and greater.
Areas Of Racine County Most At Risk For Radon
According to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, homes in the 53139, 53406 and 53177 area codes are most at risk. According to reported radon readings in these zip codes, homes there have a 59% to 100% likelihood of testing higher than 4.0 pCi/L for radon. Consider this: 4.0 pCi/L of radon equates to about 200 X-rays per year. Although 4.0 pCi/L is currently considered an “acceptable” radon level in the US, the World Health Organization actually lowered their acceptability level to 2.71 pCi/L.
What is Radon And How Does It Get Into Homes?
Radon is an odorless, colorless, radioactive gas formed by the natural breakdown of uranium in soil and rocks. Radon gets into homes through cracks in the foundation and improperly sealed pipelines. Because the air pressure in a home is lower than the pressure in the soil around a home’s foundation, radon gas is drawn inside through even small openings. Besides being in the air inside homes, radon can also be present in well water—releasing into the air when you take a shower or wash dishes.
How Serious Of A Health Risk Is Radon?
If you own a home in an area known to have high radon levels, or even moderately high radon levels, you have legitimate reason to be concerned about health risks to everyone in your home. Radon is a known carcinogen and exposure to radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer—second only to smoking. Because the effects of exposure to radon are delayed, it may take years for lung cancer to manifest. Just because you’ve lived in a home in a high radon area for years and haven’t gotten sick yet doesn’t mean you’re in the clear.
Know Your Risks With A Home Radon Test
Whether you’re in the process of buying a home or already own one, having a radon test performed by a certified or state licensed radon tester will give you a clearer picture of the risk you face—particularly if you are in one of the three Racine zip codes known to have high radon levels. The test for radon is relatively inexpensive, but varies depending on the size of the home being tested.
Radon Mitigation Systems Highly Effective
If high levels of radon are detected, any cracks in basement floors and walls will be sealed and small but powerful fans will be installed to vent the radon gas up and out of your home. We do not recommend this as a weekend project for the homeowner, since improperly ventilating the basement can actually do more harm than doing nothing at all. If the fan isn’t installed properly, for instance, the highly concentrated exhaust can leak back into your house, making the problem even worse. The good news is that radon mitigation, when properly done, can eliminate virtually all radon in a home.
If you are looking to purchase a home, it’s a good idea to include a radon contingency in your offer. If testing shows radon levels above the accepted level of 4 pCi/L, you can request that the seller pay for a radon reduction mitigation system or back out of the contract.