Radon is an invisible, radioactive gas created from the breakdown of natural deposits of uranium in the soil, rock, and water. Radon is easily drawn into homes through cracks and gaps in the foundation and can reach concentrations that increase the risk for developing lung cancer.
Radon levels are high in Colorado
Data collected by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) indicates that approximately 50% of homes in Colorado have radon levels higher than the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommended action level of 4 picocuries per liter of air (pCi/L). Radon levels can be high in all homes regardless of age or foundation type. The only way to know if your home has high levels of radon is to test!
Testing for Radon
Every home should be tested for radon in the lowest livable level of the home, even if it's an unfinished area. Testing can be done with either a short-term test lasting 2-5 days, or a long-term test lasting 91 days to one year. Test kits can be purchased online.
If short-term test results are less than 4pCi/L, the EPA does not recommend any immediate action; however you may consider confirming the results with a long term test. If a short-term test result is 4pCi/L or higher, a second test is recommended. This test can be short or long-term. If the results of the second test are still at or above 4pCi/L, mitigation would be recommended. Get help finding mitigation professionals in your area.
Low Income Radon Mitigation Assistance (LIRMA) Program
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is now assisting low-income residents with funds of up to $1,500 for radon mitigation systems. This funding is limited and requires residents to own the home and carry proof of ownership. Download an application to the program (PDF) along with conditions, instructions and requirements.
Radon Resistant New Construction (RRNC)
Some home builders offer their homes to be built with a passive radon mitigation system, otherwise known as RRNC. This passive radon mitigation system vents the air from under the home to above the eave of the roof using a pipe which is hidden in the walls of the home. This offers the advantage of a radon mitigation system while hiding all of the components. Homes built with RRNC should still be tested, and if radon levels are high, a fan can be installed in the attic. The addition of a fan turns a passive system into an active system, further reducing radon levels.
Radon in Water
Radon can dissolve in groundwater and be released into the air of a home when used for showers, laundry, and other purposes. Radon in water is not widespread and is primarily an issue in homes with water supplies from private wells that use groundwater. The main concern is not with the drinking water, but rather with the increased amount of radon added into the indoor air in addition to the radon coming from the soil. A radon-in-air test will measure this contribution if the house is occupied during testing.
Training for Real Estate Professionals
Tri-County Health Department provides on-site training for real estate offices in the Denver Metro area. The objectives of this training are to educate Realtors about:
- Colorado specific radon information including county level statistics
- Which types of homes to test
- How to help clients find qualified testers and mitigation professionals
- How tests should be performed, and how to tell if a mitigation system is installed correctly
- Radon resistant new construction (RRNC)
Realtors that complete this training will be certified as "Radon Aware." Being Radon Aware certifies a Realtor as providing the most up-to-date information to all clients and encouraging the use of certified radon contractors. Visit the Radon Aware website to see what Realtors have made the pledge to be Radon Aware!.
Please contact us by email for more information.