Radon is linked to over 20,000 deaths across the country each year. In fact, radon in Colorado is the second leading cause of lung cancer behind smoking. For an element that is odorless, colorless and tasteless, these are significant statistics.
Almost 50% of homes in Colorado are above the EPA’s “safe levels” of radon in a single dwelling. Last year, the Colorado Department of Health and its partners passed out thousands of free radon test kits to help residents learn more about radon and test for its presence in their homes.
Colorado Ranks 7th Highest in Radon Levels
Colorado Department of Health says Radon levels in Colorado are impacted more than other states because of its higher than average uranium content. The natural process of uranium breakdown is radioactive byproducts found in the soil.
As the uranium breaks down over time it converts into a gas that escapes through the fissures and cracks in the surface of the earth.
These gases can seep into a home through foundation cracks, utility hookups, and sump pits. Once the gas finds its way into your home, it can build into a concentration that can be harmful to your health with long-term exposure.
The Environmental Protection Agency sets radon safety levels at a 4.0 pCi/L (pico-curies-per-liter) for all U.S. states; unfortunately, 95% of Colorado’s counties exceed this level in sample testing and data collected on past measurements performed.
The Colorado Department of Public Health Supports Radon Testing of Homes
At the beginning of 2019, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment offered 6,000 free at home radon test kits. The department budgeted for the cost of the kits, but were met with overwhelming demand.
According to the Denver Post, the 6,000 radon kits were accounted for in less than an hour. Clearly a very limited supply, but it still shows how many individuals are concerned about the gas.
While at-home testing kits such as these will provide you with an average radon level, they do not always give you an accurate picture of how that average was comprised.
Because you cannot see the relationship between the hourly samples that were taken, and because the final number that is given from the test kit is only an average, you cannot tell if the test is accurate and if larger spikes or anomalies in the results have occurred.
Scott Home Inspection is now offering $100 tests for Radon in Colorado. Convenient 48-hour tests performed by our radon technicians. Keep you and your family safe by scheduling your radon test today.
When we test for radon, our continuous radon monitors take a sample every hour and graph out the levels by the hour. Over a 48-hour period, you can see if some of the points are skewed giving you an inaccurate final number.
Short-term radon tests are also meant to be run under “closed house conditions.” This means that during the test, the doors and windows of the home should be closed to simulate a colder season where radon levels will naturally build up.
If windows are opened or exhaust fans are run, then you will be able to visually see these anomalies on the graph, and retest the home as needed.
Radon Levels Colorado – Get Tested With Professional Equipment
Since Colorado has higher than average levels of radon, it’s essential to have your home tested. There are two ways to test your home for radon.
Short Term Testing – This test ranges from 48-72 hours and measures the levels of radon in the lowest occupied level of the home. You can do two short term tests back to back to get an accurate reading. This is commonly referred to as a passive method. Or you can do one test for 48 hours, which is typically referred to as an active method. The active method is the test that our company performs. Learn more about our radon services here.
Long Term Testing – A long term test will stay in your home for more than 90 days. These tests tend to give you a longer average of how radon impacts the whole home and how seasons may change how the gas enters your home. All the windows and doors need to be closed for this test, therefore, Winter tends to be an ideal season for testing. Our company does not perform a long-term test because of the time frame.
Protecting Your Family and Home
Radon levels in Colorado may leave your home with toxic gases that need to be dealt with to ensure everyone’s health. A mitigation system is the best way to do this which moves the gas out of your home.
A system is placed in areas where radon is likely coming into your home and includes venting and fans that run continuously to remove the gases. The national average cost for a mitigation system is about $955.
We understand how distressing radon gas might sound, and we are here to help you with any questions you might have. Please contact us today so we can set your mind at ease and steer you to the right professionals.
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Chris Scott is an ASHI certified home inspector with multiple years of experience in home inspections, blower door testing, duct leakage testing, and Boulder Rental License Inspections. Chris is also the Website Coordinator for Scott Home Inspection.