BLACK HILLS PROFESSIONAL HOME INSPECTIONS
All homes in the Black Hills areas should be tested for radon.
Have your home tested TODAY!
It is a specialized service.
Radon and radon progeny testing as well as inspecting the home for entry points
This falls outside the scope of a typical home inspection.
None of the five senses can detect the presence of radon. It can only be detected through tests, which look for and measure the alpha or gamma radiation of a specific energy level. Testing protocol must be followed and a report should be delivered to the client outlining and summarizing the findings. The average radon level of indoor air in a typical home is 1.3pCi/L. The average outdoor level is 0.4pCi/L. The EPA action level of 4pCi/L. or higher is needed for MITIGATION work done to a home.
Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that is colorless, odorless, and tasteless, rendering it invisible. It is produced as a result of the natural decay of uranium in soil, rock and water. Uranium is common in the environment and some amount can be found in each of the 50 states. All rocks contain uranium, although most contain just a small amount. Certain types of rock, including granite, dark shale, light-colored volcanic rocks, sedimentary rocks containing phosphate, and metamorphic rocks derived from these rocks, have higher than average uranium content.
Radon is the largest source of exposure to naturally occurring radiation. It is a common misconception that certain areas of the United States are not at risk for radon. In fact, high levels of radon have been reported in all 50 states. Indoor radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking. Nearly 1 in 15 homes in the US is estimated to have high radon levels. Elevated levels have been found in every state. The EPA states in both the Buyer’s/Seller’s Guide and the Citizen’s Guide, that radon is estimated to cause about 21,000 lung cancer deaths per year.
Effects of Radon Gas
The only known health effect of exposure to elevated levels of radon is an increased risk of lung cancer. (There is speculation that other types of cancer may be associated with radon, but no scientific link has yet been proven.) When some people think of radon, they think of headaches, coughing, fever, or shortness of breath. These are common misconceptions about radon. Radon has no short term health effects that are noticeable in humans. Unfortunately, since there are no warning signs, many cases of radon exposure go untreated and unnoticed until it’s too late.
Radon enters a home through the soil beneath it. Therefore, most radon inspections begin in the basement or the lowest level of the home. (It may also be necessary to examine the home from the crawlspace to identify cracks or openings beneath the house). We look for cracks in the basement walls that could allow radon to seep into the home. Any cracks observed will be noted in the inspection report as possible sources of entry for radon.We look for cracks in the slab that could allow radon to seep into the home. Any cracks observed will be noted in the inspection report as possible sources of entry for radon. If the basement is finished, you may find that the basement floor is covered (carpet, tile, linoleum, etc.) which limits your ability to accurately inspect the slab. Gaps Around Service lines any cracks, holes, unsealed joints around pipes or open penetrations will be noted on the report as possible entrance spots for radon.
Radon is a radioactive gas, which comes from the radioactive decay of radium, which is a fairly common, naturally-occurring mineral in the earth’s crust. The air pressure inside a building is lower than the pressure in the soil surrounding the building’s foundation. Because of this difference in pressure, the building acts as a vacuum, drawing radon towards it. Radon finds its way into buildings through cracks, crevices, or openings between the slab of the building and the earth.
Radon gas can also enter the home through water (typically in situations where the home is serviced with well water). It can be released into the air you breathe when water is used for showering, washing dishes and other household uses. Research suggests that risks from swallowing water contaminated with radon are significantly lower than from breathing in radon. Not all drinking water contains radon. If your drinking water comes from a surface water source, such as a river, lake, or reservoir, most radon that might be in the water will be released into the air before reaching your water supplier or home.
Radon is normally a concern only if your drinking water comes from underground sources, such as a well that pumps water from an aquifer.
This chart below illustrates the number of deaths that are attributed to radon exposure as compared to other causes of deaths in the USA. This data comes from the EPA, the CDC and the National Safety Council.
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BLACK HILLS PROFESSIONAL HOME INSPECTIONS