Radon Testing for Home with Slab Foundation?

We often hear in real estate transaction testing "You don't need to test for Radon, the house is on a slab, and it only applies to homes with basements." Recently Michigan Radon Solutions tested a home with a slab foundation in Charlotte, MI. After 48 hours the test results came in at an eye-popping 19+ pCi/l, nearly 5 times the EPA recommendation for fixing. Yes, most of our installations for single-family homes have basements or partial basements and crawl spaces. So many people would assume if you don’t have the area under the home to collect radon gas that it shouldn’t be an issue. 

Having a slab home is like living in your basement in some senses. Radon is higher in some areas than others as is the case with Charlotte and many areas of Mid and Southern Michigan. The predominant driving force is building-induced suction or negative pressure. Items in the home such as furnaces, bathroom exhaust vents, kitchen exhaust vents, and dryers, are functioning to push air out of the home and create a vacuum that will pull air and gases from the soil under the home into the building envelope. Most people don't realize that concrete is porous, and that soil gas can penetrate the concrete, especially if there are cracks in the slab which probably are covered with flooring. Additionally, plumbing block outs for tubs and sinks are typically hidden yet open to soil gas in a slab home. 

The good news is this can be mitigated, and the homeowners can have confidence they’re living in a home with reduced radon levels for their family and guest with one of our sub-slab depressurization systems. These systems can be designed to remove radon gas from under the slab and expel it through the attic or the exterior of the home.   

The first step in testing for radon is radon testing. This can be arranged with a radon testing and mitigation company or via a mail-in at-home test. These at-home tests can be found at most hardware stores and online retailers. There are two types of kits: short-term and long-term. Short-term tests typically take between 2 and 7 days to complete and are best used for initial testing or to confirm the need for further testing. Long-term tests take more than 90 days to complete and are recommended for more accurate results.

In conclusion, radon testing is crucial for homes on a slab foundation. Radon is a dangerous gas that can lead to lung cancer, and it is important to ensure that your home is free from it. By testing for radon and taking steps to mitigate it if necessary, you can protect yourself and your family from the harmful effects of this silent killer. Don't wait until it's too late, test for radon today.