Just like any serious environmental contamination, the presence of radon is something that any ordinary household in the United States must never be underestimated. Similar to most of the elements found in the periodic table, radon is something of a physical mystery. It is a shapeless, odorless and tasteless form of radioactive gas that results from the decay of radium in soil, water or natural gas. It is believed to be the second most identifiable cause of lung cancer around the world.
Considering that radon is practically impossible to detect with the five senses, many American households often confirm the presence of radon through a combination of unfortunate health symptoms. Homeowners unknowingly putting up with radon experiences these following conditions: respiratory problems, coughing, difficulty breathing, decrease in muscle mass, paraneoplastic (cancer-like) symptoms, hoarse voice, and chest pains.
It stands to reason that most ordinary Americans would subject their home to standard radon testing as a preemptive preparation. After all, it is often wiser not to take chances in terms of proper protection. Given this, how much does a radon test cost?
Many households owning a new real property in the United States would pay an average fee between $245 and $913 for the radon testing cost alone. Between the two ends of the average price range, the most prevalent median cost is roughly $577.
It is possible to reduce the spending down to $100 while the highest potential expenditure for this examination could escalate up to $1,215. When it comes down to the broad scales of radon inspection cost, it is important to take note that any homeowner can have two options.
Letting professional radiation scientists do the testing could mean extra spending due largely in part to an optimal service fee. One can test the environment of any radon presence by using a DIY (do-it-yourself) kit. However, lacking sophisticated complete knowledge in terms of reading the figures detected by the machine or crunching the numbers to reach a conclusive interpretation may not be a very viable return on investment.
Types of Radon Test Kits
When it comes to a DIY alternative, buying the right tool would mean getting the most out of the invested radon inspection cost. In terms of buying the radon testing kit, there are two important factors one would need to take note on the product label – short-term and long-term.
Radiation experts have assessed time and again that long-term varieties of radon testing kits yielded a more accurate reading. Long-term kits are the types that are usable for over 90 days. Short-term kits only last for 2 to 7 days. The main disadvantage of long-term kits is that, based on the descriptive namesake alone, an accurate reading takes a very long time. Short-term kits are popular because they immediately tell whether or not the premises are contaminated – but they often fail to tell how bad the radiation levels are.
Short-term radon testing kits cost anywhere between $10 and $40. Good long-term radon testing kits may entail an average price of $25. How one weighs the return on investment will depend on either the immediacy or precision of the results.
Radon Mitigation Methods
Apart from asking the question, ‘how much does a radon test cost?’ the next important query is ‘what are we going to do about it?’ Any traces of radon contamination should not be taken idly. Hence, methods requiring alterations in the environment is necessary in order to address the ongoing radiation problem.
There are over eight mitigation methods, each with their own special features and varying average costs. But for this article, only four methods generate a relatively very desirable effect. These are the following procedures and their respective expenses on top of the actual radon testing cost:
- Fan-based Mitigation System
Also known as sub-slab depressurization, this method is proven most effective when the air has not difficulty coursing through a channel beneath the gravel bed. This method is highly commended by the US Environmental Protection Agency.
The average installation cost is around $800 to $2,500, and the overall annual utility cost to keep it running is between $75 and $175. This method yields 80% to 99% radon reduction, and it is crucial that a proper air pathway is established in order to yield an optimum result.
- Drain-tile Suction
The drain-tile suction is one of the key procedures that always require fanning system. The key to achieving a very desirable income is to assemble the drain tiles into a loop around the basement. The median installation cost is anywhere between $800 and $1,700. Like the fan-based system, the annual operational cost is around $75 and $175. It yields about 90% to 99% success of removing hazardous radon traces.
- Sump Hole Suction
This method also requires continuous use of fanning system. A sump hole suction works very well under two conditions. First: the passage of air under the slab to the sump needs to have a very easy passage. Another condition worth noting is that the drain tiles need to form a complete loop.
The installation cost for this system is anywhere around $800 to $2,500. This method also yields an optimal success rate of 90% to 99%, but the operational costs start at a relatively higher cost. Homeowners pay anywhere from $100 to $250 per year.
- Basement Pressurization
The basement pressurization method may be included in the list of highly effective mitigation methods, but it is arguably also the most volatile. This procedure only works with a basement that is structurally isolated (hence, air-tight) from the outdoors and upper level. One may think of it as air-borne quarantine.
The average cost to install this system is anywhere between $500 and $1,500. Many experts would assume that results in basement pressurization are often very unpredictable. After all, the percentage range of success rate is as low as 50%. However, under the best conditions this system has 99% chance of removing radon. The annual operational cost is anywhere between $150 and $500.