What Is It?
Radon is a colorless, odorless gas that is second only to cigarette smoking in lung cancer deaths nationwide. And due to a blend of topography and geography radon is even more prevalent in the Northwest and — specifically — Portland.
Can Radon be Harmful in my Home?
New estimates of radon risks highlight the importance for homeowners to test for the presence of radon. In fact, a new report released by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says that one in every four houses in the Portland area accumulates radon above levels that the federal government considers safe. Radon seeps from the ground up into our homes, and prolonged exposure causes cancer. It is blamed for more deaths annually than those killed by drunk drivers.
Should my Home be Tested?
While maps are available indicating general radon “hotspots,” studies show that radon levels vary significantly from home to home. One home may have more than recommended levels while the next door neighbor’s home may have almost no radon emissions. The only way to know is to test. For this reason it is recommended that all homeowners have their homes tested.
Is Radon Testing Difficult?
The good news is that testing for radon is relatively inexpensive and easy. Neil Kelly’s Home Performance team is state-certified to do both radon testing and radon mitigation in Portland. The most common radon fix involves the sealing of unsealed basements or crawl spaces and attaching power fans to forcibly vent the radon gas up and away from the home. It is not an average DIY project and experts warn to make sure to pick your radon mitigation contractor carefully, because not all of them install venting.