Professional Home Inspection Service inspectors are certified radon measurement technicians in New York and Pennsylvania and have performed many thousands of radon tests. All testing is performed in compliance with EPA testing protocols. Professional Home Inspection Service is a NYS Environmental Laboratory, certified for the use of Sun Nuclear continuous radon monitors. Our dedication to quality, and the extremely rigorous quality control requirements of the laboratory approval program, assure our clients the most reliable testing available.
Radon is a naturally occurring soil gas which the EPA has concluded is the second leading cause of lung cancer deaths in America, second only to smoking. Through their research the EPA has set 4.0pCi/L (Pico Curies per Liter) as the “action level” for residential exposure. If you test a home following the approved protocol and you receive a radon average at or above that level the EPA recommends that you fix the house. Statistics provided by the State Health Department show that roughly one out of three houses in Broome and Tioga counties tests above the EPA action level for radon. See below for a radon concentration map provided by the NYS Department of Health.
You can see by those statistics that there are thousands of homes in our area with radon levels above the EPA action level. Fortunately, radon is relatively easy to correct in our homes. To understand how we get rid of radon, you first have to understand why radon enters our homes. Radon enters the lower levels of our homes because it is being drawn in from the soil below. This is primarily because warm air is constantly rising out of the lower levels of the home. This leaves these rooms slightly depressurized compared to the outside. It is this slight negative air pressure which draws radon into the home. In order to counteract this action a standard radon mitigation system is designed to create more suction under the concrete slab floor than the basement is naturally exerting. (click for radon mitigation system examples)
During a radon mitigation project a six inch hole is drilled through the concrete floor and soil is removed to create a small pit under the floor. Next a piece of PVC pipe is inserted into the hole, sealed to the floor, and run to a point above a roof line, and a fan is installed in-line. When this fan is turned on it is like sticking a vacuum cleaner under the floor. Once more suction is created under the floor than the basement is developing, the flow of gases will be reversed and the radon will be drawn out of the soil before it can enter the home. Normally the only questions are how large a fan and how many suction points will be needed to create the required amount of suction. The majority of homes are corrected using one suction point and a small 50 watt fan. There are specific criteria for where the fan is to be located and where the pipe terminates so that the radon does not re-enter the house. Most houses in our area can be corrected for around $1,100, with the radon levels guaranteed. Of course additional sealing is required for houses with crawlspaces, dirt floors, sump pumps, etc..
Radon is very common in our area and many homes already have mitigation systems installed. Please call us if you have any questions. Our quotes for radon mitigation systems are free.
Professional Home Inspection Service is a New York State Certified Environmental Laboratory, #11795.