The Environmental Protection Agency recognizes January as National Radon Action Month. Radon exposure affects Americans across the country as the number one cause for lung cancer deaths for non-smokers. In fact, the EPA reports that lung cancer developed from radon exposure is responsible for over 21,000 deaths per year. This significant health risk has prompted the EPA to encourage all homeowners to test for radon in their homes.

Rathert Radon Services, the professional radon mitigation branch of Cyclone Contracting, has years of experience installing radon mitigation systems for families in Ames, Ankeny, and central Iowa.

Here are some commonly asked questions about radon, radon mitigation, and the steps you can take to protect yourself and your family. 

What Is Radon?

Radon is a radioactive gas that cannot be seen, tasted, or smelled. Radon forms naturally from the breakdown of uranium, thorium, or radium in the soil. When outdoors, radon will disperse quickly, however, it becomes a health concern when it is trapped indoors. 

What Causes Radon Gas In Houses?

After radon is formed in the soil, it looks for an escape route. The gas will find itself in the open air or will work its way through openings in a basement, the foundation, or through the floor. Once the radon has found its way indoors, it will collect indoors as there is not a direct path out, especially in a basement. This is why a radon mitigation system is important as it will run continuously to help reduce the amount of radon in your home.

What Are The Dangers Of Radon?

Radon is primarily harmful when you breathe it in. The radioactive gas is linked to lung cancer, which is the most significant health risk caused by radon exposure. 

How To Test For Radon?

Testing for radon is easy and inexpensive. We offer free radon testing kits. Simply follow the instructions on the kit and allow 48-72  hours for the testing kit to collect the initial measurement of radon levels in your home. Rathert Radon Services also does continuous radon monitor tests that are conducted by our licensed testers. 

Do Open Windows Affect Radon Testing?

It’s important to keep windows and doors closed during the testing period. That’s not to say you can’t leave your house, but don’t leave any windows or doors open for an extended period of time. Doing so will affect the results of the test.

What Is A Safe Radon Level?

Since radon is a radioactive gas, there is no level that can be deemed completely safe from health risks. However, the EPA makes a strong recommendation for mitigation when radon levels are at 4.0 pCi/L or higher. Their further recommendation is to take action if the levels are between 2.0 and 4.0 pCi/L. 

How Do You Get Rid Of Radon Gas In Your Home?

A radon mitigation system is the best method for preventing radon gas from entering your home. In addition to having a professional radon mitigation system installed, it’s important to seal cracks, gaps, and openings in your home’s basement and foundation to help reduce radon exposure.

What Is A Radon Mitigation System?

A radon mitigation system is focused on ventilation and is made up of pipe and a fan. Typically, a mitigation system has a vent pipe starting at the lowest level of your home and going outside for termination. The fan will be placed outside and run continuously to reduce radon levels inside your home. Most radon fans use between 41-72 watts and is quieter than the standard bathroom fan. 

How Much Does Radon Mitigation Cost?

A radon mitigation system from Rathert Radon Services is generally between $1100-1600. The final cost depends on the size of the home and the system requirements. Get an estimate for your home.

Is Sleeping In The Basement Bad For Your Health?

There tend to be higher radon levels in the basement due to the close proximity to the soil and the natural pathway for radon gas to enter your home. If you have bedrooms in your basement or spend a lot of time downstairs, radon mitigation should be seriously considered. While the highest concentration of radon in your home may be in your basement, the upper levels of your house are not out of the path for exposure to radon. We recommend starting with a radon test and assessing mitigation needs from there.

How Can You Prevent Radon From Entering Your Home?

The only guaranteed way to reduce radon levels indoors is to have a professional radon mitigation system installed. Radon cannot be completely eliminated, but radon mitigation systems have been proven to lower levels. Even outdoor air contains radon levels at an average concentration of 0.4 pCi/L, meaning exposure to radon is nearly impossible to avoid entirely. 

How Do You Know Your Radon Mitigation System Is Working Properly?

To truly know the radon mitigation system is working, a post-mitigation radon test should be done. We call these continuous radon monitoring tests and they allow us to see if the mitigation system has achieved a radon level below 4.0 pCi/L. We strongly urge our clients to follow EPA recommendations and test every 2 years to confirm that radon levels are remaining below 4.0 pCi/L.

Get Your Free Radon Testing Kit

If you’re ready to make the decision to have a radon mitigation system installed, get in touch with Rathert Radon Services. We guarantee a system that will keep radon levels below 4.0 pCi/L for five years. Working with Rathert Radon Services means you’re working with a trustworthy contractor. You’ll have peace of mind that your system will be installed with integrity by professional technicians. To get started, request a free radon testing kit. If you have already tested, contact us today to schedule your free mitigation consultation.