In Maine, Radon is something we all need to understand. Our homes may contain high levels of radon and we don’t even know it. That’s why we test.
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Radon is a gas that comes from the ground, originating from stone. Where we live in Maine and the composition of the landscape can not only produce higher levels of radon, it may allow radon to more easily move to the surface. Eventually, it can end up in our homes through cracks in the foundation or through older, dirt floor basements.
How do I test for radon?
You should only have testing completed by a licensed Maine radon tester. We have each passed a national radon training program and use proven techniques for accurate, reliable results. Always testing the same way, by all testers, allow results to be compared against one baseline.
Do-it-yourself tests may save money, but may not yield accurate results. Many don’t outline how a test should be set for the consumer and require detailed records by those setting and the lab receiving the results, introducing human error. After lab and shipping fees, the cost is nearly the same as those completed by a licensed tester.
How often should I test for radon?
We recommend testing every two years. Many changes to the landscape can change our radon levels. Nearby construction, underground rivers and erosion are all factors. Changes to your home such as improved energy efficiency, new windows or doors, and improved sealing and insulation can seal radon in where it easily escaped (with your heat) before. Testing every two years is more important if your levels are close to an actionable level set by the EPA.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets actionable levels where they recommend mitigation to lower your radon. If readings are at 4.0 pCi/L or higher, your exposure is too great and living in those conditions may be harmful to your longtime health. Like anything, moderation is key. Eating a cheeseburger once per week isn’t good for your health, but eating a cheeseburger each day is much worse. We can’t eliminate radon, but can reduce it to reasonable levels.
Why test if I don’t have a basement?
The only difference between slabs and full foundations are walls. The base is the same. Cracks are the same. The home on top is the same. Remeber, radon comes from the ground, well below our foundations and will rise to the top, entering our living space wherever it can. Homes on slabs, crawspaces, and full foundations all have the same exposure.
What is Radon Mitigation?
Using a Maine licensed mitigation specialist ensures someone specifically trained to reduce your radon levels. Avoid doing this yourself and certainly avoid hiring a contractor without the proper training. Our recommendation is to keep the tester separate from the mitigation specialist to eliminate any conflict of interest.
There are always more questions and that is why we‘re here. Ask any questions you have. If you need testing, we likely service your area. If not, we’ll help you find someone reputable that will.
Matt & Matt