Frequently Asked Questions

Should you be concerned about Granite Countertops?

It is only in very rare cases that radon would be significantly elevated in a home from granite tile or granite countertops.

Should I do another radon test?

If only one radon test was done in your home it is generally recommended to make a second measurement before deciding on mitigation.  Radon tests are easy and inexpensive.

If the home is in the midst of a real estate transaction then it is usually necessary to have a professional independent tester make the second measurement.  You can, however, always test your own home.   Note that a buyer may not accept test results made by a seller.

If the radon levels are greater than 10 pCi/l it is unlikely that the second test will be below the guideline.  It becomes more prudent, however, to do a 2nd test the closer the first test is to the 4.0 pCi/L guideline.  When radon levels are marginal or below the guideline it is recommended to test in an opposite season or do a long term test to better define the average radon levels.

Can I do my own radon test?

It is not difficult to do your own radon test. You can always test your own home even if it is involved in a real estate transaction.  A new buyer, however, may only feel comfortable with a radon test done by a certified independent radon tester.

Please read through our blog section, Why You Should Hire a Professional to Test for Radon Gas for more detail.

Are electronic radon monitors more accurate than passive testers?

Electronic radon monitors that give hour by hour radon results can be more accurate than passive test kits such as charcoal detectors.  All radon test kits and monitors used in Pennsylvania must pass proficiency tests.  Electronic radon monitors offer the advantage of measuring the radon levels every hour, which can indicate unusual radon patterns or possible radon test tampering.  The inexpensive Pro-Series 3 radon monitor does not give hour by hour radon measurements but does provide a continuous long term average.  This monitor is new and has not been officially listed by the EPA or any state or national radon certification programs.

What is a long-term radon test?

Short-term radon tests are generally 2 to 7 days in length.  Short-term tests must be made with closed house conditions.  A long-term radon test is three months to one year in length.  Long-term tests do not require closed house conditions.  If radon measurements during a real estate transaction are questionable, a long-term test is sometimes performed with money left in an escrow account to pay for a radon mitigation system if the long-term test results are above the 4.0 pCi/L guideline.

ow much does a mitigation system cost?

Simple radon mitigation systems start at a cost of $900 for very simple system.  A new home with the radon piping pre-installed by the builder will be a couple of hundred dollars less.  If the home requires extra sealing, extra suction holes, treatment of a crawl space or slab on grade the cost can be twice as much as a simple system.

How much will it cost to run the radon fan?

Approximately $50-$80 dollars a year.

Do the radon fans have to run continuously?

If you turn a radon fan off, the radon levels will return to the pre-mitigation levels within a few hours.  In addition, ground moisture will begin to enter the bearings and motor, causing a pre-mature failure of the fan so it is best to keep the fan running even if you go on an extended vacation.

How do I know the radon system is working?

Each system is installed with a u-tube monitor installed on the system piping.  One side of the u-tube has a vinyl tube plugged into the radon pipe.  The suction created by the radon fan draws the oil up the side of the tube connected to the radon pipe.  The difference in height between the two oil levels indicates the actual suction in the pipe induced by the fan in units of inches of water column.  If the two oil columns are level, the fan is off or not working and needs to be turned on or serviced.

Does a radon system reduce basement humidity or mold?

A sizable percentage of the humidity in a basement is from soil gas infiltration. A sub-slab depressurization system stops not only radon but also moist soil gas entry.  Customers often report that their de-humidifier in the basement runs less and the basement smells less moldy.   A de-humidifier may still be necessary to eliminate other sources of moisture.