(ANGIE'S LIST) - You can't see it, smell it, touch it or taste it, but radon is present in the soil of all 50 states. It comes up through the ground and penetrates the cracks and crevices in your home's foundation or basement walls. The Environmental Protection Agency says if your radon level tests at 4 PCL or higher, you need it reduced. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in America and 22,000 people die of radon poisoning each year.
Angie's List founder, Angie Hicks says you should know the radon level of the home before moving in.
"You can test it by hiring a professional or by doing it yourself – by buying a kit online or at your local hardware store" says Hicks. She says those kits are between 15 to 25 dollars.
If levels test too high, Hicks says just sealing the cracks around the home won't be enough. You'll need to hire a professional radon mitigation company and be sure to follow these tips.
Hiring a radon mitigation company:
- Require certification by state or National Radon Proficiency Program
- Ask for proof of insurance
- Ask for a concise contract
- Ask for references
They should start with a thorough inspection, then recommend a system designed specifically for your home and the land around it. Hicks says you can expect to pay between $800 and $1,500 depending on the size of your home. Placing the system inside your home rather than outside in the open will also add to the expense.
Here are some references to learn more about radon and how it can impact you.
National Radon Safety Board
Finding certified radon mitigation professionals
The American Association of Radon Scientists and Technologists (AARST)
National Radon Proficiency Program (NRPP)
Radon information resources:
National Radon Hotline
- Purchase radon test kits by phone
National Radon Helpline
- Get live help for your radon questions
National Radon Fix-It Line
- For general information on fixing or reducing radon level
Environmental Protection Agency