|Radon gas in the house:
How to test, what to do
Finding the problem
Testing companies use various devices to monitor radon gas levels
in houses, but you can test
your house for radon by hiring a qualified tester or by buying
a do-it-yourself test through the mail or at a hardware store. The
EPA's indoor air quality Web
page allows you to select your state and find a list of certified
companies that test for radon gas and do mitigation work.
Some areas of the country have more radon-gas risk than others.
States on the Gulf Coast and eastern seaboard from Georgia to the
Middle Atlantic States tend to have low radon levels. A great swath
of the country, from Maine through the Great Lakes states, on to
the Upper Midwest and down the spine of the Rocky Mountains, has
higher radon risk, as can be seen on the EPA's
map of radon gas zones. The Web page also allows you to look
at the average radon risk in your county.
Even if the countywide risk is low, your house could
have a high concentration of radon gas, and if the countywide risk
is high, your house could have a low concentration of radon. The
EPA's experts say that your house's radon level might be different
from your next-door neighbor's house, much less a house across the
Fixing the problem
The EPA suggests that remedial measures be taken when the average
annual radon gas concentration exceeds 4 pCi/L. The cost of mitigation
can vary from a few hundred dollars to thousands, depending on the
severity of contamination and the sources of radon leaks.
||Some of the more common mitigation techniques include:
For more information, see the EPA's radon Web pages.
Bankrate.com senior writer Holden Lewis contributed to this article.