Frequently Asked Questions

What makes radon so dangerous?

Radon is the #1 cause of cancer after smoking and kills more than 21,000 Americans every year. Radon is radiation and like all other forms of radiation, is completely invisible. Radon can cause extensive cell damage and creates the mutated cells that turn into cancer. Many families are living in homes with radiation levels that exceed the EPA’s allowable limits for Nuclear Power Facilities and are unknowingly being exposed to higher radiation doses than hundreds of chest x-rays every year.

Not everything causes cancer, but it seems like that sometimes on the news reports. Cooking a hamburger on the grill every day for an entire lifetime apparently causes cancer but statistically only effects about one person a year. Same with cell phones, sugar substitutes and all the other cancer scares we hear about. Unfortunately, all of those less significant risks distract us from the major causes of cancer like smoking and radon. In other words, it doesn't make much sense to worry about the splinter in your finger when there's a tree about to fall on you. Quit smoking, fix your radon problem, then maybe go ahead and relax, call a friend, fire up the grill and enjoy a diet soda.

Why we do not test for radon

Georgia Radon Solutions does not offer radon testing. We believe this would pose a conflict of interest. For a radon removal contractor to also test for the presence of radon – they might have an incentive to find higher levels than do actually exist. However, we do offer inspection services to identify how the radon is entering your home (once you have tested and found it is present), and we are happy to recommend testing firms.

Timing, Test Types, Home Owner Testing

Time exposed multiplied by the amount of radiation, equals dose. So living in a house with 1 pCi/L for 5 years is the same radiation exposure as living in a house with 5 pCi/L for 1 year. Same amount of radiation exposure in both cases. Just like standing next to a nuclear power plant for 2 hours is twice as bad as standing there for 1 hour. So, either lower the amount of radon your family is exposed to or the amount of time exposed and it will immediately begin to effect your past exposure while also protecting your family in the future. Be sure to also test anywhere you or a family member spends a lot of time like at work, school, child care, etc.

There are a variety of test kits to choose from and they are extremely accurate so long as you follow the directions that come with each kit. Laboratories that provide the results are monitored to ensure accuracy and follow very specific guidelines for quality control.

Short term Radon Inspection Testing
Long Term Radon Inspection Testing
Types of Radon Inspection Tests
Radon Inspection Self-Testing Recommendations for Home Owners

If you've tested your home and the results were low, tell everyone you meet and ask them what their radon levels are. If they don't know, ask them why not? If you did have high radon levels in your house and you had it fixed, brag a little and see if they've tested. If you found a radon specialist that you were particularly happy with, pass that company's name on to as many people as you can...they'll be more likely to have the problem fixed if you've already taken the time to find someone that they can trust as well.

My house tested high for radon what’s next?

The EPA recommends that you hire a NRPP certified radon specialist to diagnose and professionally mitigate your home to their RMS and local codes because the work requires specific technical knowledge and special skills. Unqualified people might actually increase your radon level or create other potential health hazards in your home. Because of the accumulative effect or radon exposure contact a professional mitigation company as soon as possible. Georgia Radon Solutions gives a free in home estimate by a certified mitigator that will allow you to have plenty of time to understand the solutions and ask as many questions as needed. We provide a number of reasonable guaranteed solutions with life of the structure transferable warranties making future real estate transactions smoother. By the way if you find a real estate agent that cares enough about you and your family to recommend a radon test, you've found a true professional, a real gem and worth recommending to everyone you know.

  1. Isn’t radon just a hoax?

    When it comes to the dangers of radon, there is overwhelming consensus that it is a grave public health hazard that needs to be addressed. The following organizations have all taken positions that the public should test for radon in their homes then remediate if they have levels over 4.0 pCi/L.

    United States Environmental Protection Agency Centers for Disease Control United States Surgeon General National Institute of Health National Academy of Sciences United States Congress National Environmental Health Association American Lung Association American Medical Association World Health Organization National Radon Safety Board
  2. What is a safe radon level?

    When it comes to the dangers of radon, there is overwhelming consensus that it is a grave public health hazard that needs to be addressed. The following organizations have all taken positions that the public should test for radon in their homes then remediate if they have levels over 4.0 pCi/L.

  3. My new home came with a builder-installed passive radon system, is that good enough?

    Frequently the answer to this question is no. In many cases, even a perfectly constructed passive radon system (and we don’t see many of these) cannot reduce radon levels sufficiently (below 4 pCi/l) due to the strength of the emanation of radon into the house. In these cases, we try to install a radon fan on the vent pipe in the attic to effectively reduce radon levels in the home.

    Passive radon systems usually consist of a 3 or 4 inch PVC vent pipe that is sealed into the gravel layer under the basement slab or into a sealed sump cover which runs from the basement up through the home, into the attic and venting through the roof. The theory of a passive system is based on thermal stack effect, which causes a house to act as a vacuum on the soil due to temperature differences inside and outside the home.
    A passive system’s vent pipe should be run through one of the combustion appliance chases (furnace or hot water heater) that run from the basement to the attic of a house. The heat inside these chases may create a vacuum in the vent pipe, but ONLY if the following conditions exist:

    1. The floor-to-wall joint and all other basement slab openings, such as sump crocks are completely sealed.

    2. The vent pipe has no completely horizontal runs.

    There needs to be at least three feet of accessible, vertical vent pipe in the attic for us to convert a passive radon system to an active system for less than the cost of a completely new system. Builders frequently make the mistake of jamming their vent pipe into the soil beneath the home (thereby making it useless by blocking it) and venting the radon out the side of the home at or just above ground level.

    Test you home! There is a very good chance that your builder-installed, passive radon system has not sufficiently lowered your radon levels.

  4. Can’t I just caulk and paint my basement and solve my radon problem?

    Painting and caulking alone will not effectively lower radon levels, but they can greatly increase the effectiveness of a radon mitigation system. This is because the suction or stack effect exerted by your home on the soil draws radon through so many minute openings that you could never seal them all. Besides, the atomic size of the harmful particles that radon generates, are so small that they can pass through most paint, plastic, building materials and other man-made materials with ease.

  5. How much does a radon mitigation system cost?

    The average cost of a radon system is between $1,700 – $3,000. By providing a free detailed in home estimate we will design the most cost effective yet efficient system for your home so you will not be surprised at the cost just pleased with the results.

  6. How much will it cost to run?

    About as much as leaving a 75 watt light bulb on 24 hours a day, which depending on where you are located, should be less than $100 per year.

  7. How long will it take?

    Installing a radon system usually takes between 1 to 2 days.

  8. My neighbor had a low radon test result, so I am okay, right?

    Wrong! Radon levels vary widely from home to home, depending on the geology around and beneath your home and the home’s construction. Also, the neighbor’s house may not have been tested properly. The only way to know your level is to properly test your home.

  9. Are radon systems expensive?

    Typically our standard warrantied mitigation systems, competed to all RMS EPA codes range from $1,700 to $3,000

  10. If we once had a radon reading below 4 pci/l. (Ideal) but now it’s at 10 pci/l, what has happened? Do we need radon remediation?

    Radon levels are always changing. Seasonality can play a role – winter is worse than summer. Time of day also plays a role, as well as the weather situation, wind levels, etc. If you consistently have high levels over a period of time, you probably need to move forward with removal.

  11. When building a new home what can you do to reduce the risk of a radon problem or eliminate radon remediation?

    First, know that it is impossible to determine how much radon a new home will attract. Every house has what’s called a unique pressurization signature. This is the result of the heating, ventilation, plumbing and drainage systems working together. It then applies this to the soil.

    Here is some general advice when building:

    • The integrity of the slab should be maintained at all times.
    • Cover sump pits; close the openings around sewer and water piping.
    • Reduce radon infiltration by increasing ventilation.
  12. Are there less expensive solutions for radon remediation?

    Yes, if you have the time and your levels are fairly low, performing baby steps to reduce your radon levels is a smart way to approach mitigation if your house tested right at the EPA or WHO threshold after performing a Long Term test. Often times small things will help to reduce that level to get you below the threshold. Examples would be sealing all the cracks in the slab, sealing the floor to wall joint and plumbing penetrations through the slab, supplying combustion appliances with proper combustion air and ensuring that HVAC systems are properly balanced. This will help to decrease the amount of radon entering the house reducing the radon levels slightly. Next step would be to do these items in conjunction with an ASD (Active Soil Depressurization). If you go this route regular testing is advised. If your levels are showing well above 4.0 pCi/L you will want to go directly to a professional mitigation service provider for a full estimate and to install a complete mitigation system to the RMS state and local codes.