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Radon Levels & Testing in Iowa Counties

High Radon Levels in Many Iowa Counties

Are you in danger of having high radon levels in your home? Iowa is the state with the highest average radon level in the country. Why are radon levels in Iowa so high? Radon is a radioactive gas that is formed during the breakdown of radium in the ground. Radon levels are particularly high in Iowa due to glaciers that deposited finely-ground soil in the area. The large surface area of this soil allows it to emit a lot of radon gas.

The following map shows radon levels by county throughout the United States. Notice that Iowa contains several more counties with elevated radon levels (indicated by red) than most other states.high radon levels in iowa counties

You may be wondering why this is such a big deal. Exposure to radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer and kills around 400 Iowans every single year. In fact, radon is the second leading cause o lung cancer next to smoking – prolonged radon exposure causes up to 20,000 cases of lung cancer per year.

This means that radon can pose a serious threat to Iowa residents. The average concentration of radon indoors in Iowa is 8.5 pCi/L, which is over six times the national average. Because it is impossible to detect radon in your home, you should have your home professionally tested as soon as possible.

Reduce Radon Levels in Your Iowa Home

Ameriserv Radon Mitigation of Iowa can test your home for radon and provide mitigation services to reduce high radon levels. We offer both short-term and long-term radon testing to determine if you are in need of radon mitigation services to lower radon levels. We also offer DIY Radon testing kits. If you choose to perform a DIY test and the results show a high radon level, you should follow up with a professional test to get a more accurate idea of radon levels.

radon levels by county in iowaIf we find that the radon levels in your home are higher than the recommended 4.0 pCi/L in your home, we can install a radon mitigation system. These systems use fans and pipes to reroute radon from the basement (or ground level of the home) upwards, where it is then vented out of the home.

Radon often enters the home through the basement, or through cracks in the foundation. In addition to mitigation, it may be beneficial to ensure that foundation cracks in your home are repaired. This will further prevent radon from entering the home.

If you live in Iowa, you are in danger of high radon levels and should have your home tested as soon as possible. However, certain counties are even more at risk for high radon levels. Click here to find an interactive map that shows average radon levels in your county – and do not hesitate to contact Ameriserv for an appointment today. See the map on the right to find out if we serve your Iowa county.

Should You Cancel a Home Sale if Radon is Present?

Should High Radon Levels Cancel a Home Sale?

Cancelling Home Sales for High Radon Levels in IowaIf you are buying a home in Iowa, make sure that you are aware of the dangers that high radon levels pose. This colorless, tasteless, and odorless gas is the leading cause of lung cancer among people who do not smoke. Radon is a gas that naturally decays from uranium in the soil under your home. This silent killer can seep through cracks in your foundation and basement to enter your home. If the home that you are buying has high levels of radon, you should think carefully about what your next move is.

Whenever you are buying a home in a state that has particularly high radon levels, like Iowa, it is important to have the home tested. If the homeowner has not already had the home recently tested for radon levels, you may want to see if you can pay to have a short-term radon test administered. This kind of radon test usually involves placing a radon collecting device in the home for a period of time and then having it tested at a lab to determine radon levels. These tests are good because they only take around 2-7 days. If the short-term radon test shows extremely high levels of radon, you may want to consider having a long-term test completed for more accurate results.

Should You Buy a Home with High Radon Levels in Iowa?

New Home Radon Inspection in Iowa

If you find that the home you are about to purchase has elevated radon levels, there are a couple of different steps that you can take:

  1. It is important that you check the contract to see if high radon levels are a legitimate reason to cancel the sale. Be sure that your purchase offer has the proper inspection contingency that will let you cancel the sale of you are unsatisfied with inspection or test results.
  2. Have the home tested for radon levels if it has not already been done. This is especially important if you are buying a home in Iowa,  where radon levels are notoriously high.
  3. If your contract does allow you to cancel the sale, and the extremely high radon levels concern you, you may want to cancel the sale. Be aware though, that most elevated radon levels can be greatly reduced by installing a radon mitigation system.
  4. If you choose to go on with the sale despite high radon levels, it is important to invest in radon mitigation as soon as possible. This can be done by investing in a radon mitigation system from Ameriserv Radon Mitigation of Iowa.

Contact Ameriserv today for solutions to the high radon levels in your new Iowa home.

Can Weather Affect Radon Levels?

Effects of Weather on Radon Levels in Iowa

Most homeowners are not aware of the fact that weather patterns can influence the radon levels in their homes. Radon is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas that is a major contributing factor in lung cancer among people in Iowa. It is considered the number one cause of lung cancer among non-smokers, and radon levels in Iowa are particularly high. However, many people do not realize that severe weather situations can put them at an even higher risk of radon exposure. It is important to have your home tested for radon and to have any radon taken care of as soon as possible.

While radon levels vary greatly from home to home, even if the homes are close together, there are a couple of different weather situations that can cause higher radon levels in your home:

  • Effects of Weather on Radon LevelsDrought/Heat: When the ground is much drier than normal, it causes the water table to lower significantly. This exposes deeper layers of the ground, where more radon gas decays from uranium in the soil. This gas can seep into homes through cracks in the ground and in the foundation. Also, closed windows and air conditioning turned on generally provide less ventilation to remove radon.
  • Winter Weather: During the cold winters in Iowa, radon levels in your home can rise. This is due to the fact there is a greater stack effect in the wintertime (warm air rising and escaping the home to be replaced with new air often, from the soil below), and due to the fact that the radon cannot rise through the frozen ground in the yard and so is pushed up through the warmer soil directly beneath your home. Also, homes have poorer ventilation in the winter due to closed windows.
  • Wet Conditions: When the ground is wet, more radon is able to move quickly to the surface of the ground, where it can seep through foundation cracks into your home. In addition, windows are normally closed more during rainy or wet conditions, which cuts down on ventilation that helps radon leave the home.

Iowa Solutions to Effects of Weather on Radon Levels

Whether these conditions are occurring outside or not, it is important to have your home tested for radon. Testing your home and implementing a radon mitigation system will greatly reduce chances of health problems that are often caused by prolonged exposure to radon. Once you have the proper radon mitigation system in your home, you will not have to worry so much about weather conditions causing high levels of radon in your home and the negative effects of weather on radon levels.

While it is important to test for radon, the EPA recommends avoiding administering radon tests during storms, high winds, and other kinds of weather conditions that might affect radon levels. Severe winds and rainy conditions can temporarily affect radon levels in your home, leading to an inaccurate test result.

Contact Ameriserv Radon Mitigation for short-term and long-term radon testing as well as radon mitigation in your Iowa home.

Radon in Your Home? Don’t Panic! We know what to do.

How To Test Your Home For Radon

If you are concerned about high radon levels in your home, here’s what you can do.Radon testing Carroll Iowa

First of all, don’t panic! Although radon is dangerous, it is very easy to get rid of. You can do at-home testing as well as hire a professional to take care of it for you. Radon is found in most Iowa homes. It is everywhere, you can’t avoid it, but you can get rid of it over time.

Here is how to test your home for radon. You can start with a do-it-yourself test. You can purchase a radon test kit from almost any hardware store or your local health department. It is wise to perform multiple tests as one test may not be accurate. Radon levels tend to fluctuate, so you may want to do more than one test over a period of time to find the average radon level in your home.

If your first test comes back with levels between 4 and 8 pCi/L, you should immediately follow up with another test. If you need quick results, a short term test can take 2-7 days. Long term tests can take from 3 months to a year, which will give you the most accurate results if you are willing to wait that long. The higher your levels, the sooner you should test again. You can also have a professional inspector come in and test the radon levels in your home.

After you have tested for radon various times and have a good average number of the radon levels in your home, it’s time to get it properly treated. You will want to hire a professional, well-trained, and licensed mitigation contractor to remove radon from your home. If you are on a budget and a true “do-it-yourselfer”, there are resources online published by professionals that you can use. If this interests you, check out Infeltec INC.