Every Pennsylvania Homeowner Needs to Worry About Radon

January is Radon Action Month, and as a public service, we are urging residents to test their homes for this silent but deadly killer. Winter is the best time to test for radon since homes are closed up and levels are at their peak.
DEP estimates that 40 percent of homes in Pennsylvania have an unsafe level of radon. “Testing your home for radon gas is the only way to know if it’s a risk. The good news is that it’s very easy to do,” Robert Whitcomb Jr. of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says. Test kits can be purchased for as low as $14. If you choose to do the testing yourself, the EPA offers the following advice:
  • Start with a short-term test. Homeowners should test for radon in the lowest level of their home where people spend time. You can buy test kits at home improvement and hardware stores or online. To order a test kit over the phone, call the National Radon Hotline at (800) SOS-RADON (767-7236). Note: If your home has a radon level of four or higher, it’s time to take action.
  • Test your home again if the radon level is four or higher.
  • If your home has a radon level of four or higher after two tests, call a contractor.
If two radon test kits show that the radon level in your home is four or higher, hire a qualified contractor to do the repairs. You may also want to take action if the radon level is between two and four. A complete system can be installed for between $800 and $1,200 on average, DEP says.
Because Pennsylvania law requires all professional radon testers, mitigators, and laboratories to be certified by DEP, homeowners should confirm they are dealing with a certified contractor when mitigating radon. To verify certification, call (800) 23-RADON (237-2366) or go to www.dep.pa.gov and search “Radon Services Directory.”
(Note: When installing radon-control measures during new home construction, a contractor does not have to be DEP-certified.)
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