Middle Tennessee Home Inspectors Help Prevent Lung Disease with Radon Detection: Get Your Home Tested

Home inspections are conducted before each home purchase. They play an important part in the preservation of our Victorian treasures in Franklin, newly built and renovated properties around Nashville and all of the many family homes throughout middle Tennessee. They can also protect the air we breathe inside our homes.

There are many common hidden hazards to humans that are identified during a home inspection, including the presence of asbestos, carbon monoxide, lead paint, mold growth, and dangerous levels of the number one cause of lung cancer among non-smokers – radon. Detection of high levels of radioactive elements is a critical aspect to protect a future homeowner’s health.

Learn what you didn’t know you need to know about radon: 

What is Radon (Rn)?

Radon is a chemical element with the Rn symbol and atomic number 86. It is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas, and its radioactive and harmful to humans. It’s important to know that radon occurs naturally in minute quantities as a normal part of the decay process in the earth and is also commonly found in many U.S. homes. Radon is produced naturally when the radioactive elements – uranium, thorium and radium – decay into lead and other radioactive elements as the break down into rocks, soil and groundwater.

People are typically exposed to harmful radium when high levels seep through cracks and gaps in a home’s foundation undetected. Breathing radon for prolonged period can cause serious health problems and has been linked to lung and stomach cancer. Radon poisoning is the number one cause of lung cancer among non-smokers.

testing a house like this one for Radon is critical

What is a Dangerous Radon Level?

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines an acceptable radon level at 1000 Bq/m3 or 2.7 pCi/L. The Environmental Protection Agency recommends radon mitigation for any home measuring above 4.0 pCi/L.

Home inspectors can test for radon in the air, as well as water. Radon concentrations are often higher in water. For every 10,000 pCi/L of radon in well water, there is a 1.0 pCi/L radon level in the air. 

Can Any Home Have a High Level of Radon?

Approximately 15% of U.S. homes have radon levels above 4.0 pCi/L. This includes both new and old homes, well-sealed homes and drafty older homes, as well as homes with and without basements. Degrading foundations of an older home and gaps within the foundation of new construction can both allow high levels of radon into a home. Newer homes constructed in Hendersonville are as susceptible to high radon levels as our older Victorian mansions in Franklin. 

Homes measuring higher than 4.0 pCi/L of radon should be remediated to lower radon levels. This can be done by repairing cracks in the foundation and basement floor and walls. Sub slab ventilation can also be used to prevent the entry of radon into your home. Repairs to a home’s foundation and basement floor and walls may also be required to block excessive gas seepage. 

Get Your Home Radon Tested

Home Inspectors use a radon detector to test a home’s air for its current level of radon from various rooms, typically in the basement and areas closest to the soil. A readout provides the levels of radon as compared to acceptable standards set forth by the EPA. Radon detection tests easily pinpoint the presence of dangerous gas in a home, allowing homeowners to remediate and prevent harm to their families.

J & J Home Inspectors have been trained in industry standards for general construction and certified as expert home inspectors. A critical area of our training and service is in proper testing and identification of dangerous hazards in homes, including radon.

If you don’t know your home’s radon level, we can help. In fact, we recently invested heavily in new, state-of-the-art detection equipment. If you are buying a home and want reassurance that radon levels are okay for you and your family to breath, partner with a home inspector that understands how to protect your family from these hidden hazards.

If you’re in Franklin – visit our Franklin Home Inspectors page to get in touch. Somewhere else in middle Tennessee? See the bottom of our site for the city nearest you.