Experts recommend testing for radon in your home every five years

LYNCHBURG, Va. (WSET) -- Radon is the second-leading cause of lung cancer, according to the CDC.

Virginia falls into the moderate-to-high risk for radon exposure.

Now, the EPA says it's still a small percentage of non-smokers that will develop lung cancer because of radon, even if exposure is five times the recommended level for a lifetime; only 36 out of 1000 people will be diagnosed with it.

Home inspectors and realtors will recommend that you test your home to better protect yourself and minimize any chances anyways.

Drew Howard, a local home inspector, says checking for radon is all about location because radon varies from house to house.

As for structures, some are more helpful than others.

"In my 25 years of testing, I've had two homes [with] crawlspaces come back higher than four, and that's because they're well ventilated underneath," Howard said.

He says homes with a basement are more likely to have higher levels and he recommends your home to be tested every five years.

"If it's a home with a basement on it, or a basement where there's no doors or windows being opened, or if it doesn't have a heat pump circulating air, then I for sure point out that you may want to get a radon inspection done," said Karl Miller, a local realtor.

Test kits are used to determine the levels of radon in a home and cost about $125 to do professionally.

It can be done in as quick as 48 hours.

If the test comes back with high numbers, mitigation is recommended.

Experts say the process is really easy; they would drill into the floor and use a PVC pipe with a fan to pull the air from the house and vent it to the outside.

That process will run you about $1,200 - $1,400, but it's a permanent fix.

Some inexpensive options include opening your window and letting fresh air in to keep things circulating, and caulking the cracks in your basement.


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