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Radon Testing & Mitigation in Portland, Oregon

Radon testing and mitigation in Portland, OR

Radon is a natural, radioactive gas that is present in soil, water and air. The gas is odorless, colorless and tasteless which makes it particularly difficult to identify – even in high concentrations. It can be harmful due to its radioactive nature. If it is inhaled into the lungs, it can damage cells. Because of this, radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States.

Radon Testing

In a residential and commercial environment, radon testing with proper equipment is essential to ensure you are not being affected. Luckily, radon testing is easy and inexpensive, which is good because the EPA and the US Surgeon General recommend homes be tested for radon.

“I have worked with Alpha Environmental for years they are the Best! As a Realtor – they have been a great resource to me and clients with any and all environmental issues like oil tanks, mold, radon and much more. Great customer service, prompt, very knowledgeable and always there to answer questions or walk my clients through difficult situations. Definitely a 5 Star Company!” – Craig LaMantain Aug. 2013

Radon Risk In Oregon outlines radon risk levels by zip code and Portland, in particular, has some of the highest levels of risk in the state.

Their interactive map of radon risk can be found here and a PDF of risk by zip code can be found here.

Simply because your Oregon zip code has a high level of risk does not mean your home or commercial building has radon, so it is highly recommended that you get radon testing done to see if you need mitigation services.

Radon Testing Methods

There are multiple time frames that can be used, either a short-term, long-term, or continuous test.

Short-term tests generally last between 2 – 90 days. This is typically provided for a real estate transaction. The benefit of a short-term test is that you are able to get results quickly, but the downside is that it’s not the most accurate because radon levels vary throughout the year. A long-term test will provide you with more accurate results with a time frame of greater than 90 days.

An even more accurate radon testing method is using continuous radon monitoring (CRM) equipment.

While do-it-yourself testing kits are available, the EPA recommends hiring a professional like Alpha Environmental to ensure that the testing methods utilized follow a specific protocol. Many states have guidelines that you should be sure are followed in order to protect yourself.

Radon Mitigation

Once the test has been performed, if some of the element has been detected, radon mitigation needs to be performed. Similar to how testing can be affordable, mitigation and abatement services can be too. Using a mixture of depressurization barriers and simple ventilation systems, Alpha Environmental offers flexible options for a variety of situations and risk levels.

If your residence or commercial property in Portland or surrounding areas has any level of radon risk and you are concerned about its impacts, give Alpha Environmental a call at 503-292-5346 to get more information or schedule an appointment.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that is formed during the radioactive decay process of radium, and has been linked to causing lung cancer.

A radon test is a device that will measure the levels of radon in a building. Tests range from a minimum
of 48hrs to 90 days for a short-term and 91-365 days for a long-term test. EPA recommends long-term
testing to get a better idea of overall exposure because radon tends to fluctuate seasonally as the
weather influences change, as well as being influenced by the occupant activity.

Testing a home is the only way to truly know what your radon levels are inside your home/building.

Test range from $15-$200 per test, the cost is reflective of which type of test is performed.

Levels that are above the EPAs action level are recommended to have a mitigation system in place in order to reduce the levels of radon and lower the overall health risk.

Radon mitigation is a system that is placed on the home, or building, that utilizes venting techniques to lower the amounts of radon that enters a home.

Radon Mitigation systems have a cost ranging from $1,000 -$3,500 with average prices being around $1,500-$2,000. The amount depends on the home condition and layout, radon levels, and surrounding soil types.

The operational cost of a typical system is approximately $150 a year.

Most homes can be retrofitted to have a system. Large homes with more elaborate foundational structures may require different techniques to solve the high radon issue. 

Alpha handles the permitting and requirements needed to comply with local regulatory agencies.

Most mitigation system installs will be completed within 5-7 days. The 5-7 days include system installation and retesting the home to ensure that the system has successfully lowered the levels to an acceptable level and that no further actions/work is needed.

Once a mitigation system has been installed, most reputable installers will perform a post mitigation test to determine that the system has effectively lowered the levels and that no further work is needed to achieve lower radon levels.

Alpha provides a 5-year warranty on all systems, provided that a long-term test (91-365 days) is conducted within a year after installation with results presented to Alpha. The homeowner is also recommended to conduct a short term test every two years to ensure the system performance and maintenance are maintained as needed.