Monitoring Radon Levels in Your Basement

Radon is like carbon monoxide's less-known but still very dangerous cousin. Radon is a radioactive gas that is known to cause cancer (it is the second largest cause of lung cancer, after smoking), and it is produced by the natural breakdown of uranium in soil, water, and rock. It is estimated that one in fifteen homes in the US have high (more than 4 picocuries per liter) radon levels.

Radon is a particular concern in finished basements because the gas can enter through cracks and other unsealed areas. Levels are often higher in the winter because snow prevents the radon in the ground from circulating.

If you're worried about radon levels in your home, you can purchase a kit to test them yourself. You can find more information on testing your own home and hiring a professional to mitigate any issues you find on the EPA website. You can also find specific requirements and testing information for Colorado here. If you find that your radon levels are too high, you may need to have a system installed that pulls the radon gas out of your home so it is no longer trapped inside. There are contractors that specialize in this type of work.

Keep in mind that radon testing will come up when you are buying or selling a home. If you are trying to sell a home, you will need to share with the buyer the results of any radon testing that you have done and if any radon mitigation was needed. And if you are buying a home, you certainly want to know that you and your family will be safe living there.

If you haven't had your home tested yet, please do it soon!