The office of the Surgeon General of the United States recommends that every home be tested. It is nearly impossible to otherwise determine which homes have elevated radon levels. It is very unpredictable since one home may have low-level test results while the home next to it has high-level test results.
Homeowners may do their own test. However, I do not recommend this. Many variables can influence the outcome of the test result. Ideally, a person should be properly trained to know all of these variables and how to minimize their impact on the test results. Variables that can affect the outcome of the test include such things as the weather, the temperature both indoors and outdoors, whether certain appliances are running or not, location or placement of the test, and proper handling after the test is complete. It is also possible to obtain a pre-contaminated test.
As a Nationally Certified Measurement Professional, there are a series of checks that I go through to ensure the most accurate test results. Because radon poses such a health risk, quality control is imperative.
If it is discovered that you have high levels of radon in your home, no worries, EVERY HOME CAN BE FIXED. The most commonly used and highly successful technique for radon removal is called Active Soil Depressurization. This technique captures the radon under your home before it enters, then effectively redistributes it outside, where it is safely diluted into the atmosphere.
In most cases, the mitigation process takes one to two days. This type of work is very specialized and most contractors are not trained to perform radon mitigation. I have gone through a specialized training program originally designed and administered by the Environmental Protection Agency which is now done by the National Radon Proficiency Program. I was originally certified with the National Environmental Health Association in 2008 and have installed hundreds of radon reduction systems in Idaho, Oregon and Washington.
Every home is unique and there can be more than one option for a mitigation system design in the same home, so there are many variables that can affect the cost of mitigation. Varying factors may include foundation type, square footage, crawl space, height of home and even soil density underneath a home. For these reasons, average costs can range anywhere from $1,500 (low end) to $2,900 (high end), and of course there can be exceptions.