Radon. What is it? What to do.


We haven’t addressed this in awhile, and though Lake Oswego has a “Moderate” risk of radon, it is still a concern, and when buying a home, should be addressed.

What is radon? Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas and comes from the natural breakdown (radioactive decay) of uranium. Certain rocks, like granite, lie in random accumulations down under the ground, and if the home you’re living in or contemplating buying has some underneath it, you may have radon gases seeping up into your home. That said, you might see a radon mitigation system on a neighboring property, and test finding no signs of radon emanating from underneath yours.

Radon is a known cause of lung cancer….so, its important to mitigate it. Luckily, mitigating is pretty simple and not too costly. It involves putting some type of piping into the area underneath the home and venting the gases high up, out and away from the home into the atmosphere. The cost is usually somewhere around $1400.00, give or take.

Testing for radon is a part of most every home inspection I oversee. There are several ways to test. If you own a home and wish to have it tested, there are kits you can purchase and then mail away for results. I prefer to know pretty quickly as transaction timelines necessitate all kinds of decision-making within some tight timelines. My preferred method is enlisting the services of an environmental services company to place a small machine in the home at the lowest living area. After 48 hours, a ticker tape of sorts will give a readout of radon levels throughout that time, and you can discuss whether the levels are within the “safe” range…or not.

Here is a recent piece on radon mitigation in the Portland area: CLICK HERE

Hope this information has proven helpful.

Very Best,