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Mold Testing In Coeur d'Alene AND Spokane Areas!
We've been poisoned by Mold, Meth and Carbon Monoxide over the past 20 years.
We know how serious it is!
We only TEST for elevated mold problems. We don't do cleanup. Therefore, we don't
have a dog in the fight; we're not "trying" to find mold and hook you into a big expense.
Lab Certified Mold Testing and Inspection -
Russ and Jeanne are lab certified Spokane, Sandpoint and Coeur d'Alene North Idaho mold inspectors and perform mold testing and inspections for both surface and air sampling. Results will disclose both the extent and types of mold present. In some cases, it may become necessary to hire a mitigation specialist to clean the mold. Mold Inspections and Mold Testing are performed in Coeur d'Alene, Hayden, Post Falls, Kellogg, Sandpoint and surrounding areas in North Idaho and SPOKANE, WA.
Ten Things You Should Know About Mold
1. Potential health effects and symptoms associated with mold exposures include allergic reactions, asthma, and other respiratory complaints.
2. There is no practical way to eliminate all mold and mold spores in the indoor environment; the way to control indoor mold growth is to control moisture.
3. If mold is a problem in your home or school, you must clean up the mold and eliminate sources of moisture.
4. Fix the source of the water problem or leak to prevent mold growth.
5. Reduce indoor humidity (to 30-60%) to decrease mold growth by:
a. venting bathrooms, dryers, and other moisture-generating sources to the outside;
b. using air conditioners and de-humidifiers;
c. increasing ventilation;
d. and using exhaust fans whenever cooking, dishwashing, and cleaning.
6. Clean and dry any damp or wet building materials and furnishings within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth.
7. Clean mold off hard surfaces with water and detergent, and dry completely. Absorbent materials such as ceiling tiles, that are moldy, may need to be replaced.
8. Prevent condensation: Reduce the potential for condensation on cold surfaces (i.e., windows, piping, exterior walls, roof, or floors) by adding insulation.
9. In areas where there is a perpetual moisture problem, do not install carpeting (i.e., by drinking fountains, by classroom sinks, or on concrete floors with leaks or frequent condensation).
10. Molds can be found almost anywhere; they can grow on virtually any substance, providing moisture is present. There are molds that can grow on wood, paper, carpet, and foods.
Mold Testing And Mold Inspection
Is a Mold inspection and mold testing necessary? Yes! Surface and air sampling is necessary - especially after cleanup - to determine if an area has been adequately cleaned or remediated. As we do not perform any remediation services, we are not looking to create work for ourselves; we only want to determine if the mold present is elevated, by the lab's standards, creating a hazard to you or your family. Testing for mold should be conducted by professionals such as ourselves who have specific experience in designing mold sampling protocols, sampling methods, and providing interpreted results. Sample analysis should follow analytical methods recommended by the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH), or other professional organizations.
Inspecting for hidden mold problems
Mold inspections may be difficult, and your Sandpoint, Spokane and Coeur d'Alene mold inspectors will proceed with caution when the investigation involves disturbing potential sites of mold growth. For example, removal of wallpaper can lead to a massive release of spores if there is mold growing on the underside of the paper. If you believe that you may have a hidden mold problem, consider hiring us as your experienced professionals.
Suspicion Of Hidden Mold
You may suspect hidden mold if a building smells moldy, but you cannot see the source, or if you know there has been water damage and residents are reporting health problems. Mold may be hidden in places such as the back side of dry wall, wallpaper, or paneling, the top side of ceiling tiles, the underside of carpets and pads, etc. Other possible locations of hidden mold include areas inside walls around pipes (with leaking or condensing pipes), the surface of walls behind furniture (where condensation forms), inside ductwork, and in roof materials above ceiling tiles (due to roof leaks or insufficient insulation). Hiring us as your Sandpoint, Spokane and Coeur d'Alene mold inspectors will assure that the best techniques will be used to find the hidden mold.
Why Is Mold Growing In My Home?
Molds are part of the natural environment. Outdoors, molds play a part in nature by breaking down dead organic matter such as fallen leaves and dead trees, but indoors, mold growth should be avoided. Molds reproduce by means of tiny spores; the spores are invisible to the naked eye and float through outdoor and indoor air. Mold may begin growing indoors when mold spores land on surfaces that are wet. There are many types of mold in North Idaho, Sandpoint, Spokane and Coeur d'Alene, and none of them will grow without water or moisture.
Can Mold Cause Health Problems?
Molds are usually not a problem indoors, unless mold spores land on a wet or damp spot (even your lungs) and begin growing. Molds have the potential to cause health problems. Molds produce allergens (substances that can cause allergic reactions), irritants, and in some cases, potentially toxic substances (mycotoxins). Inhaling or touching mold or mold spores may cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. Allergic responses include hay fever-type symptoms, such as sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, and skin rash (dermatitis). Allergic reactions to mold are common. They can be immediate or delayed. Molds can also cause asthma attacks in people with asthma who are allergic to mold. In addition, mold exposure can irritate the eyes, skin, nose, throat, and lungs of both mold-allergic and non-allergic people. Symptoms other than the allergic and irritant types are not commonly reported as a result of inhaling mold. Research on mold and health effects is ongoing. This web page provides a brief overview; it does not describe all potential health effects related to mold exposure in Hayden, Sandpoint, Spokane and Coeur d'Alene. For more detailed information consult a health professional. You may also wish to consult your state or local health department.
How Do I Remove Mold?
It is impossible to get rid of all mold and mold spores indoors; some mold spores will be found floating through the air and in house dust. The mold spores will not grow if moisture is not present. Indoor mold growth can and should be prevented or controlled by controlling moisture indoors. If there is mold growth in your home, you must clean up the mold and fix the water problem. If you clean up the mold, but don't fix the water problem, then, most likely, the mold problem will come back.
Who Should Perform Mold Cleanup?
Who should do the cleanup depends on a number of factors. One consideration is the size of the mold problem. If the moldy area is less than about 10 square feet (less than roughly a 3 ft. by 3 ft. patch), in most cases, you can handle the job yourself, following the guidelines below.
Tips And Techniques
The tips and techniques presented in this section will help you clean up your mold problem. Professional cleaners or remediators may use methods not covered in this website. Please note that mold may cause staining and cosmetic damage. It may not be possible to clean an item so that its original appearance is restored.
Personal Protection When Cleaning Mold
How Do I Know When The Remediation Or Cleanup Is Finished?
You must have completely fixed the water or moisture problem before the cleanup or remediation can be considered finished.
Moisture And Mold Prevention And Control Tips
Actions That Will Help Prevent Condensation
Cleanup And Biocides
Biocides are substances that can destroy living organisms. The use of a chemical or biocide that kills organisms such as mold (chlorine bleach, for example) is not recommended as a routine practice during mold cleanup. There may be instances, however, when professional judgment may indicate its use (for example, when immune-compromised individuals are present). In most cases, it is not possible or desirable to sterilize an area; a background level of mold spores will remain - these spores will not grow if the moisture problem has been resolved. If you choose to use disinfectants or biocides, always ventilate the area and exhaust the air to the outdoors. Never mix chlorine bleach solution with other cleaning solutions or detergents that contain ammonia because toxic fumes could be produced.
Please note: Dead mold may still cause allergic reactions in some people, so it is not enough to simply kill the mold in Sandpoint, Spokane and Coeur d'Alene homes, it must also be removed.
We are your Sandpoint mold inspector, Coeur d’Alene mold inspector, Hayden mold inspector, Post Falls mold inspector, Spokane mold inspector, and Kellogg mold inspector performing mold inspections in North Idaho and surrounding areas.
Idaho Home Seller Inspections
Listing Inspections: Streamlining the Real Estate Transaction.
by Nick Gromicko
Former REALTOR and Founder of the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI)
Seller inspections (sometimes referred to as pre-listing inspections) are becoming more popular because they virtually eliminate all the pitfalls and hassles associated with waiting to do the inspections until a buyer is found. In many ways, waiting to schedule inspections until after a home goes under agreement is too late. Seller inspections are arranged and paid for by the seller, usually just before the home goes on the market. The seller is the inspector's client. The inspector works for the seller and generates a report for the seller. The seller then typically makes multiple copies of the report and shares them with potential buyers that tour the home for sale. Seller inspections are a benefit to all parties in a real estate transaction. They are a win-win-win-win. Home inspectors should consider offering seller inspections and marketing this service to local listing agents.
Advantages to the seller:
Advantages to the home buyer:
Advantages to the real estate agent:
Common myths about seller inspections:
Q. Don't seller inspections kill deals by forcing sellers to disclose defects they otherwise wouldn't have known about?
A. Any defect that is material enough to kill a real estate transaction is likely going to be uncovered eventually anyway. It is best to discover the problem ahead of time, before it can kill the deal.
Q. Isn't a home inspector's liability increased by having his/her reports being seen by potential buyers?
A. No. There is no liability in having your seller permit someone who doesn't buy the property see your report. And there is less liability in having a buyer rely on your old report when the buyer is not your client and has been warned not to rely on your report, than it is to work directly for the buyer and have him be entitled to rely on your report.
Q. Should a seller have a newer home inspected?
A. Certainly! Unlike real estate agents whose job it is to market properties for their sellers, inspectors produce objective reports. If the property is truly in great shape the inspection report becomes a pseudo marketing piece with the added benefit of having been generated by an impartial party.
In summary, seller inspections streamline the real estate sales process for all parties involved. InterNACHI recommends that every home be inspected before being put on the market (listed) and recommends annual inspections for homes that aren't for sale.
Meth Testing In Coeur d'Alene AND Spokane Areas!
We are Certified Master Inspectors and have been laboratory-trained to test for Structural Narcotics and meth lab / use in the Coeur d’Alene - Spokane area.
MERE EXPOSURE TO CONTAMINANTS:
Even if you have never used meth, a contaminated home could cause symptoms similar to Parkinson's disease. Health hazards linked to meth include
brain damage, cancer, damage to the liver and kidneys, birth defects, and miscarriages.
90% of all deadly meth labs go unreported. Homes poisoned by Meth USE are even higher. These contaminated homes are often "flipped" - simply surface cleaned and/or repainted to fool an unsuspecting home buyer. . . . even multi-million dollar properties, as we've inspected in our North Idaho area!
The problem is so extensive that larger cities such as Denver and Salt Lake City are working on legislation which would require that every home sold be tested for methamphetamine contamination.
We protect your family's health by testing for these substances:
Cocaine, Crack, Heroin, Amphetamine, Methamphetamine, Ecstasy/MDMA, Benzedrone, Buphedrone, Carfentanyl, Cathinone, DMT, EAPB, Fentanyl, Ketamine, mCPP, MDMAI, MDPBP, MDPV, Mephedrone, Methadone, Methcathinone, Methylone, Mexedrone, MPA, PCP, Pentedrone, Pentylone, PMA, PMMA, 2-aminoindane (2-AI), & other synthetic/designer drugs
METH USE has been in our area for over 50 years,
so there's a GOOD CHANCE your home has already been contaminated, waiting to make YOUR family sick . . . for years to come!
We test your Coeur d'Alene - Spokane area home for traces of meth use OR having been used as a meth lab. Toxic contaminants will remain on walls, carpets and in your furnace ductwork for decades, slowly and insidiously poisoning the occupants.
Call Today to Schedule:
* Home buyers are suing realtors for selling contaminated property.
* Tenants are suing landlords for renting contaminated property.
* Landlords are suing tenants for contaminating the property.
"The potential liability is enormous. . . . The cost of resolving the lawsuit could far outweigh the time and money it takes to clean up a lab."
Russell Duke, Health & Safety Manager - Idaho Department of Health & Welfare.
If your home was the site of a clandestine methamphetamine laboratory, you could be at risk of exposure to drug pollution from dangerous toxic chemicals, even after cleaning up the lab. "Meth" targets the brain and central nervous system.
A King County (WA) Public Health study reports, "...small amounts of contaminants can remain on floors, walls, counters, carpets, furniture, sinks, drains and ventilation systems. Exposure to even small amounts ... can pose serious health risks." (Read the full study.)
Areas of manufacturing – or even extreme drug use - may cause serious health problems to subsequent residents, even if they have never used drugs. Drug pollution does not dissipate with time; it must be identified and cleaned. Methamphetamine can often be cleaned in a manner that is both thorough and cost effective. No laws prevent a property owner from cleaning drug pollution unless the premises are used for commercial purposes.
Meth labs have been discovered in all types of neighborhoods, social classes and age groups. Manufacturers have ranged in age from teenagers to grandparents.
One of our certified laboratories utilizes a scientific technology known as Ion Mobility Spectrometry (IMS); this is the same technology being used in airports to safeguard our lives against explosives.
Meth Lab Exposure: Health Risks
Illegal meth production is a highly explosive process that releases toxic chemical air contaminates, such as phosphine, hydrochloric acid, and vaporized methaphetamine.
After a meth "cook" has finished producing meth, residual chemical toxins contaminate all internal surfaces, the ventilation system, waste drains, and of course, the individuals living in the dwelling.
Police estimate that for each pound of meth produced, there are 5 pounds of hazardous waste.
Methamphetamine manufacturing is a growing a problem, and some law enforcement agencies claim it is unstoppable.
Methamphetamine residue does not dissipate with time. It must be cleaned up, to insure personal health and safety.
Most meth residue can be cleaned up with everyday household cleaning products. Until a former methamphetamine lab site is cleaned up, no one should rent, purchase, or occupy the property.
KCI: the Anti-Meth Site
KCI: the Anti-Meth Site
Tennessee: Cleanup of Meth Contaminated Properties
House Committee on Science
Meth Cleanup Question and Answer Guide
Symptoms of drug exposure
Living in a former meth lab? After prolonged exposure to drug contamination, you could experience any of the wide variety of health concerns on the list below.
Poor Coping Abilities
False Sense of Confidence
False Sense of Power
Increased Heart Rate
Dramatic Mood Swings
Decreased Social Life
Increased Sexual Activity
If you think your child is involved with or keeping company with those who do drugs, we could discreetly obtain a sample from their clothing or from an unknown substance in your child's room and submit the collection pad for analysis.
North Idaho / Spokane Allergy Testing
Do you have trouble breathing?
The problem may be your Indoor Air Quality!
Most of us spend 90% of our time indoors. Therefore, Indoor Air Quality is critical to our health. While we once took “air” for granted, especially in the safety of our own homes, many of us are being poisoned in our sleep. Do not confuse the indoor air quality of your house with the air quality of Coeur d'Alene. One does not necessarily have anything to do with the other. Indoor air quality in Coeur d'Alene does not really exist, the air quality of Coeur d'Alene would be an outdoor air quality issue and in no way are we saying anything is wrong with the air in Coeur d'Alene.
Today’s airtight houses restrict the out-gassing of VOCs (volatile organic compounds), which are commonly found in the carpets, paints, furniture, paneling, floorboards etc. in our homes, and we breathe these toxins into our bodies every day. This is further compounded by mold, insect debris, rodent waste, pet dander, dust mites (see photo), structural narcotics and other allergens that North Idaho / Spokane Allergy Testing can identify.
Clinics and doctors can tell you what you may be allergic to, but, as North Idaho / Spokane Allergy Testing specialists, we can tell you if you are living with the allergens that cause your allergic suffering. Doctors may not make house calls, but we specialize in them.
North Idaho / Spokane Allergy Testing is lab-certified to investigate, inspect, test and sample for a wide variety of allergenic substances. We FedEx the samples to the lab, and you get a Certified Lab Report that is unique to only your home. Armed with that information, you will know exactly the cause of concern in your household, and will finally be able to deal with it.
Everyone’s situation is different. Together, we’ll come up with an affordable and effective plan for testing your home or place of business.
Call Russell at 208.660.8877.
Do not let our title fool you. We may be known as the Coeur d'Alene Indoor Air Quality Inspectors, but we are also known as Post Falls Indoor Air Quality Inspectors, Kellogg Indoor Air Quality Inspectors, Sandpoint Indoor Air Quality Inspectors, Spokane Indoor Air Quality Inspectors, Hayden Indoor Air Quality Inspectors and North Idaho Indoor Air Quality Inspectors. At North Idaho / Spokane Allergy Testing, we look forward to helping you on your path of wellness!Your North Idaho / Spokane Allergy Testing Inspector,
Client TestimonialsI am very pleased with the excellent customer service received from Russ and Jeanne. I was able to make an appointment the same day, they both were extremely professional and made my experience very comfortable. Being a first time home buyer, I was very nervous during the initial process. Both Russ and Jeanne put my mind at complete ease and I would recommend their inspection services to everyone.
Coeur dlAlene, ID
I am pleased with the thorough inspection report compiled by Russ and Jeanne. I appreciate the promptness of the inspection.
St Maries, ID
We were very pleased with the quick response and the very thorough nature of the report. We will feel more comfortable in our new home knowing that someone experienced gave it the once over-after all when looking at homes, the buyer generally sees the more obvious things. Details are important too.
About Coeur d'Alene Home, Mold and Allergen InspectorsWe are called “North Idaho’s Most Trusted Home Inspection Team” because we work only for you. Our purpose is to ensure the safety of you, your home, and your loved ones. Here in North Idaho, there are no requirements for being a “Home Inspector” – and many who have lost their jobs are claiming to be one.
Russ & Jeanne are Idaho's Certified MASTER Inspectors; we have both passed an exam administered by the National Association of Home Inspectors, and fulfill 24 hours of annual Continuing Education requirements. Additionally, we are both Lab-Certified to test your future home for mold, allergens, radon, meth residue, structural narcotics, water quality, lead, asbestos and more.
Russell is Idaho’s first Certified Master Inspector® and president of Idaho’s Certified Home Inspectors (members of www.nachi.org ).
Jeanne has specialized training in environmental issues. She is a Certified INDOOR AIR QUALITY Inspector, Idaho’s First EDR Certified Inspector, and a certified home and commercial inspector.
We are known as a Coeur d'Alene Home & Mold Inspector, Hayden home inspector, Post Falls home inspector, Sandpoint home inspector, Kellogg home inspector and a home inspector in all of north Idaho. We are invested in the communities we serve and are involved in and contribute to the local economies and safety of the citizens of the areas we serve, including mold and allergy inspections and testing in Spokane.
Your Coeur d'Alene Home Inspectors have professional training in home inspection (3 Levels), new construction inspections and commercial inspections. we also belong to InterNational Association of Certified Home Inspectors, The Home Inspector’s Consumer Action Group and The Environmental Solutions Association.
We are uniquely qualified to perform you home inspection, and honored to do so!
Radon Testing In Coeur d'Alene
Home Buyer's and Seller's Guide to Radon
Radon Testing requires TWO trips to your home, as the testing materials must be in place for 48-72 hours. We charge $225 for this service, which includes placement of the test materials, retrieval, overnight shipping to the lab, and emailed lab results within 5 business days.
For faster results, some companies employ digital on-site metering devices which are calibrated on a regular basis.
CDA Inspectors can provide mold and radon testing in Coeur d'Alene, Hayden, Kellogg, Post Falls, Sandpoint and all of North Idaho. Our inspectors are certified by one of the top labs in the country to perform mold and radon testing. Our mold and radon testing services can be performed as a stand alone service, or can be integrated into our home inspection service for an additional fee. Mold or Radon testing in Coeur d'Alene, Sandpoint, Post Falls, Hayden, Kellogg or any other area of North Idaho should be peformed by a qualified impartial testing company such as ours (that does not try to drum up mitigation business for themselves) with the experience to provide you with the proper testing procedure.
EPA estimates that radon causes thousands of cancer deaths in the U.S. each year. Mold causes thousands of hospitalizations.
Radon Is a Cancer-Causing, Radioactive Gas
You cannot see, smell, or taste radon. But it still may be a problem in your home. When you breathe air containing radon, you increase your risk of getting lung cancer. In fact, the Surgeon General of the United States has warned that radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States today. If you smoke and your home has high radon levels, your risk of lung cancer is especially high.
You Should Test for Radon
Testing is the only way to find out your home's radon levels. EPA and the Surgeon General recommend testing all homes below the third floor for radon.
You Can Fix a Radon Problem
If you find that you have high radon levels, there are ways to fix a radon problem. Even very high levels can be reduced to acceptable levels.
If You Are Selling a Home...
EPA recommends that you test your home before putting it on the market and, if necessary, lower your radon levels. Save the test results and all information you have about steps that were taken to fix any problems. This could be a positive selling point.
If You Are Buying a Home...
EPA recommends that you know what the indoor radon level is in any home you consider buying. Ask the seller for their radon test results. If the home has a radon-reduction system, ask the seller for information they have about the system.
If the home has not yet been tested, you should have the housed tested.
If you are having a new home built, there are features that can be incorporated into your home during construction to reduce radon levels.
The radon testing guidelines in this Guide have been developed specifically to deal with the time-sensitive nature of home purchases and sales, and the potential for radon device interference. These guidelines are slightly different from the guidelines in other EPA publications which provide radon testing and reduction information for non-real estate situations.
This Guide recommends three short-term testing options for real estate transactions. EPA also recommends testing a home in the lowest level which is currently suitable for occupancy, since a buyer may choose to live in a lower area of the home than that used by the seller.
1. Why Do You Need to Test for Radon?
a. Radon Has Been Found In Homes All Over the U.S.
Radon is a radioactive gas that has been found in homes all over the United States. It comes from the natural breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water and gets into the air you breathe. Radon typically moves up through the ground to the air above and into your home through cracks and other holes in the foundation. Radon can also enter your home through well water. Your home can trap radon inside.
Any home can have a radon problem. This means new and old homes, well-sealed and drafty homes, and homes with or without basements. In fact, you and your family are most likely to get your greatest radiation exposure at home. That is where you spend most of your time.
Nearly 1 out of every 15 homes in the United States is estimated to have an elevated radon level (4 pCi/L or more). Elevated levels of radon gas have been found in homes in your state.
b. EPA and the Surgeon General Recommend That You Test Your Home
Testing is the only way to know if you and your family are at risk from radon. EPA and the Surgeon General recommend testing all homes below the third floor for radon.
You cannot predict radon levels based on state, local, and neighborhood radon measurements. Do not rely on radon test results taken in other homes in the neighborhood to estimate the radon level in your home. Homes which are next to each other can have different radon levels. Testing is the only way to find out what your home's radon level is.
In some areas, companies may offer different types of radon service agreements. Some agreements let you pay a one-time fee that covers both testing and radon mitigation, if needed.
U.S. Surgeon General Health Advisory
"Indoor radon gas is the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the United States and breathing it over prolonged periods can present a significant health risk to families all over the country. It's important to know that this threat is completely preventable. Radon can be detected with a simple test and fixed through well-established venting techniques." January 2005.
2. I'm Selling a Home. What Should I Do?
a. If Your Home Has Already Been Tested for Radon...
If you are thinking of selling your home and you have already tested your home for radon, review the Radon Testing Checklist to make sure that the test was done correctly. If so, provide your test results to the buyer.
No matter what kind of test you took, a potential buyer may ask for a new test especially if:
b. If Your Home Has Not Yet Been Tested for Radon...
Have a test taken as soon as possible. If you can, test your home before putting it on the market. You should test in the lowest level of the home which is suitable for occupancy. This means testing in the lowest level that you currently live in or a lower level not currently used, but which a buyer could use for living space without renovations.
The radon test result is important information about your home's radon level. Some states require radon measurement testers to follow a specific testing protocol. If you do the test yourself, you should carefully follow the testing protocol for your area or EPA's Radon Testing Checklist. If you hire a contractor to test your residence, protect yourself by hiring a qualified individual or company.
You can determine a service provider's qualifications to perform radon measurements or to mitigate your home in several ways. Many states require radon professionals to be licensed, certified, or registered. Most states can provide you with a list of knowledgeable radon service providers doing business in the state. In states that don't regulate radon services, ask the contractor if they hold a professional proficiency or certification credential.Such programs usually provide members with a photo-ID card, which indicates their qualification(s) and its expiration date. If in doubt, you should check with their credentialing organization. Alternatively, ask the contractor if they've successfully completed formal training appropriate for testing or mitigation, e.g., a course in radon measurement or radon mitigation.
3. I'm Buying a Home. What Should I Do?
a. If the Home Has Already Been Tested for Radon...
If you are thinking of buying a home, you may decide to accept an earlier test result from the seller, or ask the seller for a new test to be conducted by a qualified radon tester. Before you accept the seller's test, you should determinethe results of previous testing;
If you decide that a new test is needed, discuss it with the seller as soon as possible.
b. If the Home Has Not Yet Been Tested for Radon...
Make sure that a radon test is done as soon as possible. Consider including provisions in the contract specifying:
Make sure that the test is done in the lowest level of the home suitable for occupancy. This means the lowest level that you are going to use as living space which is finished or does not require renovations prior to use. A state or local radon official or qualified radon tester can help you make some of these decisions.If you decide to finish or renovate an unfinished area of the home in the future, a radon test should be taken before starting the project and after the project is finished. Generally, it is less expensive to install a radon-reduction system before (or during) renovations rather than afterwards.
4. I'm Buying or Building a New Home. How Can I Protect My Family?
a. Why Should I Buy a Radon-Resistant Home?
Radon-resistant techniques work. When installed properly and completely, these simple and inexpensive passive techniques can help to reduce radon levels. In addition, installing them at the time of construction makes it easier to reduce radon levels further if the passive techniques don't reduce radon levels below 4 pCi/L. Radon-resistant techniques may also help to lower moisture levels and those of other soil-gases. Radon-resistant techniques:
b. What Are Radon-Resistant Features?
Radon-resistant techniques (features) may vary for different foundations and site requirements. If you're having a house built, you can learn about EPA's Model Standards (and architectural drawings) and explain the techniques to your builder. If your new house was built (or will be built) to be radon-resistant, it will include these basic elements:
1. Gas-Permeable Layer: This layer is placed beneath the slab or flooring system to allow the soil gas to move freely underneath the house. In many cases, the material used is a 4-inch layer of clean gravel. This gas-permeable layer is used only in homes with basement and slab-on-grade foundations; it is not used in homes with crawlspace foundations.
2. Plastic Sheeting: Plastic sheeting is placed on top of the gas-permeable layer and under the slab to help prevent the soil gas from entering the home. In crawl spaces, the sheeting (with seams sealed) is placed directly over the crawlspace floor.
3. Sealing and Caulking: All below-grade openings in the foundation and walls are sealed to reduce soil gas entry into the home.
4. Vent Pipe: A 3- or 4-inch PVC pipe (or other gas-tight pipe) runs from the gas-permeable layer through the house to the roof, to safely vent radon and other soil gases to the outside
5. Junction Boxes: An electrical junction box is included in the attic to make the wiring and installation of a vent fan easier. For example, you decide to activate the passive system because your test result showed an elevated radon level (4 pCi/L or more). A separate junction box is placed in the living space to power the vent fan alarm. An alarm is installed along with the vent fan to indicate when the vent fan is not operating properly.
5. How Can I Get Reliable Radon Test Results?
Radon testing is easy and the only way to find out if you have a radon problem in your home.
a. Types of Radon Devices
Since you cannot see or smell radon, special equipment is needed to detect it. When you're ready to test your home, you can order a radon test kit by mail from a qualified radon measurement services provider or laboratory. You can also hire a qualified radon tester, very often a home inspector, who will use a radon device(s) suitable to your situation. The most common types of radon testing devices are listed below.
Passive radon testing devices do not need power to function. These include charcoal canisters, alpha-track detectors, charcoal liquid scintillation devices, and electret ion chamber detectors which are available in hardware, drug, and other stores; they can also be ordered by mail or phone. These devices are exposed to the air in the home for a specified period of time and then sent to a laboratory for analysis. Both short-term and long-term passive devices are generally inexpensive. Some of these devices may have features that offer more resistance to test interference or disturbance than other passive devices. Qualified radon testers may use any of these devices to measure the home's radon level.
Active radon testing devices require power to function. These include continuous radon monitors and continuous working level monitors. They continuously measure and record the amount of radon or its decay products in the air. Many of these devices provide a report of this information which can reveal any unusual or abnormal swings in the radon level during the test period. A qualified tester can explain this report to you. In addition, some of these devices are specifically designed to deter and detect test interference. Some technically advanced active devices offer anti-interference features. Although these tests may cost more, they may ensure a more reliable result.
b. General Information for All Devices
A state or local radon official can explain the differences between devices and recommend the ones which are most appropriate for your needs and expected testing conditions.
Make sure to use a radon measurement device from a qualified laboratory. Certain precautions should be followed to avoid interference during the test period. See the Radon Testing Checklist for more information on how to get a reliable test result.
Radon Test Device Placement
EPA recommends that testing device(s) be placed in the lowest level of the home suitable for occupancy. This means testing in the lowest level (such as a basement), which a buyer could use for living space without renovations. The test should be conducted in a room to be used regularly (like a family room, living room, playroom, den or bedroom); do not test in a kitchen, bathroom, laundry room or hallway. Usually, the buyer decides where to locate the radon test, based on their expected use of the home. A buyer and seller should explicitly discuss and agree on the test location to avoid any misunderstanding. Their decision should be clearly communicated to the person performing the test.
c. Preventing or Detecting Test Interference
There is a potential for test interference in real estate transactions. There are several ways to prevent or detect test interference:
d. Length of Time to Test
There Are Two General Ways To Test Your Home for Radon:
Because radon levels vary from day to day and season to season, a short-term test is less likely than a long-term test to tell you your year-round average radon level. However, if you need results quickly, a short-term test may be used to decide whether to fix the home.
Short Term Testing
The quickest way to test is with short-term tests. Short-term tests remain in your home from two days to 90 days, depending on the device. There are two groups of devices which are more commonly used for short-term testing. The passive device group includes alpha track detectors, charcoal canisters, charcoal liquid scintillation detectors, and electret ion chambers. The active device group consists of different types of continuous monitors.
All radon tests should be taken for a minimum of 48 hours. A longer period of testing is required for some devices.
Long Term Testing
Long-term tests remain in your home for more than 90 days. Alpha track, and electret ion chamber detectors are commonly used for this type of testing. A long-term test will give you a reading that is more likely to tell you your home's year-round average radon level than a short-term test. If time permits (more than 90 days) long-term tests can be used to confirm initial short-term results. When long-term test results are 4 pCi/L or higher, EPA recommends fixing the home.
e. Doing a Short-Term Test...
If you are testing in a real estate transaction and you need results quickly, any of the following three options for short-term Tests are acceptable in determining whether the home should be fixed. Any real estate test for radon should include steps to prevent or detect device interference with the test device.
When Choosing a Short-Term Testing Option...
There are trade-offs among the short-term testing options. Two tests taken at the same time (simultaneous) would improve the precision of this radon test. One test followed by another test (sequential) would most likely give a better representation of the seasonal average. Both active and passive devices may have features which help to prevent test interference. Your state radon office can help you decide which option is best.
Short-Term Testing OptionsWhat to do Next
Take two short-term tests at the same time in the same location for at least 48 hours; or; take an initial short-term test for at least 48 hours. Immediately upon completing the first test, do a second test using an identical device in the same location as the first test.Fix the home if the average radon level is 4 pCi/L or more.
Test the home with a continuous monitor for at least 48 hours.Fix the home if the average radon level is 4 pCi/L or more.
f. Using Testing Devices Properly for Reliable Results
If You Hire a Qualified Radon Tester
In many cases, home buyers and sellers may decide to have the radon test done by a qualified radon tester who knows the proper conditions, test devices, and guidelines for obtaining a reliable radon test result. They can also:
g. Interpreting Radon Test Results
The average indoor radon level is estimated to be about 1.3 pCi/L; roughly 0.4 pCi/L of radon is normally found in the outside air. The U.S. Congress has set a long-term goal that indoor radon levels be no more than outdoor levels. While this goal is not yet technologically achievable for all homes, radon levels in many homes can be reduced to 2 pCi/L or below.
Radon Test Results Reported in Two Ways
Your radon test results may be reported in either picoCuries per liter of air (pCi/L) or working levels (WL). If your test result is in pCi/L, EPA recommends you fix your home if your radon level is 4 pCi/L or higher. If the test result is in WL, EPA recommends you fix the home if the working level is 0.02 WL or higher. Some states require WL results to be converted to pCi/L to minimize confusion.
Sometimes short-term tests are less definitive about whether the home is at or above 4 pCi/L; particularly when the results are close to 4 pCi/L. For example, if the average of two short-term tests is 4.1 pCi/L, there is about a 50% chance that the year-round average is somewhat below 4 pCi/L.
However, EPA believes that any radon exposure carries some risk; no level of radon is safe. Even radon levels below 4 pCi/L pose some risk. You can reduce your risk of lung cancer by lowering your radon level.
As with other environmental pollutants, there is some uncertainty about the magnitude of radon health risks. However, we know more about radon risks than risks from most other cancer-causing substances. This is because estimates of radon risks are based on data from human studies (underground miners). Additional studies on more typical populations are under way.
Your radon measurement will give you an idea of your risk of getting lung cancer from radon. Your chances of getting lung cancer from radon depend mostly on:
Based on information contained in the National Academy of Sciences 1998 report, The Health Effects of Exposure to Indoor Radon, your radon risk may be somewhat higher than shown; especially if you have never smoked. It's never too late to reduce your risk to lung cancer. Don't wait to test and fix a radon problem. If you are a smoker, stop smoking.
What to expect during radon testing in Coeur d'Alene
What to expect after radon testing in Coeur d'Alene
6. What Should I Do If the Radon Level is High?
a. High Radon Levels Can be Reduced
EPA recommends that you take action to reduce your home's indoor radon levels if your radon test result is 4 pCi/L or higher. It is better to correct a radon problem before placing your home on the market because then you have more time to address a radon problem.
If elevated levels are found during the real estate transaction, the buyer and seller should discuss the timing and costs of the radon reduction. The cost of making repairs to reduce radon levels depends on how your home was built and other factors. Most homes can be fixed for about the same cost as other common home repairs, like painting or having a new hot water heater installed. The average cost for a contractor to lower radon levels in a home can range from $800 to about $2,500.
b. How To Lower The Radon Level In Your Home
A variety of methods can be used to reduce radon in homes. Sealing cracks and other openings in the foundation is a basic part of most approaches to radon reduction. EPA does not recommend the use of sealing alone to limit radon entry. Sealing alone has not been shown to lower radon levels significantly or consistently.
In most cases, a system with a vent pipe(s) and fan(s) is used to reduce radon. These "sub-slab depressurization" systems do not require major changes to your home. Similar systems can also be installed in homes with crawl space. These systems prevent radon gas from entering the home from below the concrete floor and from outside the foundation. Radon mitigation contractors may use other methods that may also work in your home. The right system depends on the design of your home and other factors.
You should also test your home again after it is fixed to be sure that radon levels have been reduced. If your living patterns change and you begin occupying a lower level of your home (such as a basement) you should retest your home on that level. In addition, it is a good idea to retest your home sometime in the future to be sure radon levels remain low.
Radon and home renovations
If you are planning any major renovations, such as converting an unfinished basement area into living space, it is especially important to test the area for radon before you begin.
If your test results indicate an elevated radon level, radon-resistant techniques can be inexpensively included as part of the renovation. Major renovations can change the level of radon in any home. Test again after the work is completed.
c. Selecting a Radon-Reduction (Mitigation) Contractor
Select a qualified radon-reduction contractor to reduce the radon levels in your home. Any mitigation measures taken or system installed in your home must conform to your state's regulations.
EPA recommends that the mitigation contractor review the radon measurement results before beginning and radon-reduction work. Test again after the radon mitigation work has been completed to confirm that previous elevated levels have been reduced.
d. What Can a Qualified Radon-Reduction Contractor Do for You?
A qualified radon-reduction (mitigation) contractor should be able to:
Be aware that a potential conflict of interest exists if the same person or firm performs the testing and installs the mitigation system. Some states may require the homeowner to sign a waiver in such cases. Contact your state radon office for more information.
e. Radon in Water
The radon in your home's indoor air can come from two sources, the soil or your water supply. Compared to radon entering your home through water, radon entering your home through soil is a much larger risk. If you've tested for radon in air and have elevated radon levels and your water comes from a private well, have your water tested. The devices and procedures for testing your home's water supply are different from those used for measuring radon in air.
The radon in your water supply poses an inhalation risk and an ingestion risk. Research has shown that your risk of lung cancer from breathing radon in air is much larger than your risk of stomach cancer from swallowing water with radon in it. Most of your risk from radon in water comes from radon released into the air when water is used for showering and other household purposes.
Radon in your home's water in not usually a problem when its source is surface water. A radon in water problem is more likely when its source is ground water, e.g., a private well or a public water supply system that uses ground water. Some public water systems treat their water to reduce radon levels before it is delivered to your home. If you are concerned that radon may be entering your home through the water and your water comes from a public water supply, contact your water supplier.
If you've tested your private well and have a radon in water problem, it can be fixed. Your home's water supply can be treated in one of two ways. Point-of-entry treatment can effectively remove radon from the water before it enters your home. Point-of-entry treatment usually employs either granular activated carbon (GAC) filters or aeration devices. While GAC filters usually cost less than aeration devices, filters can collect radioactivity and may require a special method of disposal. Point-of-use treatment devices remove radon from your water at the tap, but only treat a small portion of the water you use, e.g., the water you drink. Point-of-use devices are not effective in reducing the risk from breathing radon released into the air from all water used in the home.
For information on radon in water, testing and treatment, and existing or planned radon in drinking water standards, or for general help, call EPA's Drinking Water Hotline at (800) 426-4791. If your water comes from a private well, you can also contact your state radon office.
f. Radon Hotlines (Toll-Free)
EPA supports the following hotlines to best serve consumers with radon-related questions and concerns.
"Indoor radon gas is the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the United States and breathing it over prolonged periods can present a significant health risk to families all over the country. It's important to know that this threat is completely preventable. Radon can be detected with a simple test and fixed through well-established venting techniques." January 2005