When should I test for radon gas?

Most of us know that radon gas is harmful, but when is the best time to test for it?  Should you test before, during, or after you build your custom home? These are great questions about a little known topic for most home owners.

According to radon mapping, there is a wide distribution of radon, not only in Colorado, but throughout the United States. Radon is a radioactive gas which is a byproduct of the decomposition of uranium which is found in many rocks and soils. Radon gas is reduced to a low concentration as it travels up from the earth and mixes with other atmospheric gases. Since it only becomes dangerous when it concentrates inside a structure, testing the soil or air prior to building would be an unreliable source for radon levels in the completed home.

Radon gas enters the home through cracks or spaces in the cement foundation of the home. Homes built without a basement, with the concrete foundation directly on the soil, present less opportunities for radon gas to enter the home. However, radon gas should not deter your plans for a full basement in your custom home. With todays technology and radon knowledge, radon mitigation is very attainable. Proper underlayment and foundation design will reduce the entry points for radon. At Solid Rock Custom Homes, we guide our clients through the radon mitigation decision process as just one more part of our custom home building experience.

What is Radon?

We believe it’s important to addresses radon gas concerns by designing the home to accommodate not only a radon mitigation system, but also the prewired means to fortify the system later, if necessary. Our team will make arrangements to test for radon and will install a system that keeps the concentration of radon at the EPA standard of less than 4.0 pCi/L. A Radon mitigation system is a relatively inexpensive part of a custom home, yet it can be critical to your long term lung health.

An initial radon test lasting several days is done under specific ventilation conditions before the completed home is occupied. If the simple radon mitigation system is not effective in reducing the radon concentration to the EPA standard, an additional fan is installed in the attic to amplify the removal process. Since the radon concentration is affected by different atmospheric conditions of the changing seasons, the most accurate radon test is one that remains in place for an entire year. Radon gas should be routinely monitored to make sure levels are within the acceptable range after you move into your dream home. Radon is a concern, but with thoughtful design, today’s homes can be easily outfitted with features that promote healthy air quality.


Solid Rock Custom Homes has been remodeling and building custom homes in the Colorado Springs, Colorado area and the surrounding El Paso, Douglas and Teller counties since 1995. We would love to sit down with you to discuss or dream with you about your custom home. Please contact us at 719-494-0932 or request a consultation hereCheck out some of our beautiful projects at http://www.houzz.com/pro/solid/solid-rock-custom-homes.

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