Radon is an odorless, invisible, radioactive gas that can enter your home from the ground through cracks in the foundation. A known human carcinogen, radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer.
Pennsylvania has one of the most serious radon problems in the United States. Approximately 40 percent of Pennsylvania homes have radon levels above Environmental Protection Agency’s action guideline of 4 picocuries per liter.
You can search for radon test data by zip code, but hands down, the smartest thing to do is to test your home for radon, no matter where you live. Protect yourself and your loved ones: Do a home radon test.
Contact the Radon Division
Radon Hotline: 800-237-2366
Testing Your Home is Easy
Testing is the only way to know if your home has elevated levels of radon. An easy home test kit can be purchased at hardware or home improvement stores for about $20 to $30. You may also hire a state-certified testing company. Because radon levels are often highest in the basement, placing your test there is a good idea. However, radon levels can also be high above ground, even in homes without basements, so the ground floor is also a good location to test.
What To Do If Your Home Radon Results are High
Confirm the Results
If your radon test results are higher than 4 pCi/L, consider doing a second test to confirm the results. If your radon test result is 4-8 pCi/L, you can do a second long-term (365 days) test to get a better idea of the annual average or do another short-term test (2-7 days). In either case, if the result is still 4 pCi/L or higher, you should take corrective action to reduce the radon levels in your home.
Have a Certified Contractor Install a Radon Reduction System
Contact any of the certified radon mitigation contractors in your area. Use our mitigator list sorted alphabetically by county find a mitigator near you. Have them come to your home and give you ideas and estimates for the installation of a radon reduction system.
The installation should take less than a day.
After the system has been running for at least 24 hours, the installer should assure that a post-test is performed to make sure radon levels have been successfully reduced.
Monitor the System Over Time
Periodically look at the U-tube manometer that has been installed on the PVC piping of your system to make sure the fan is running. The fan is running if the levels of fluid on each side of the glass tube are uneven. If the fluid levels on each side of the glass tubing are even with each other, the fan may not be working properly or may be off completely. In this case, you should call your installer to have them look at the fan and system.
The second aspect of monitoring your system is performing a radon test, generally in the basement and preferably during the heating season, once every two years.
Our office has had good results with R&R Radon Reduction in Pine Grove (570) 345-6515. If you have radon questions or want a professional to test your home, call R&R.