Portland, Oregon Radon Map 2023 Update
There are a variety of home hazards Portland homeowners need to be aware of, especially when selling. In addition to earthquakes and landslides, mold, and flooding, radon should be at the top of your list for items to check when you’re preparing to put your home on the market (or when buying a new home). Honestly, it’s a good idea to check radon levels in your home whether selling or not, as they change regularly. This is especially true if any of the living area in the home is below ground.
The reason for fluctuating radon readings in any given area is that radon levels can be affected by a number of things, like wind, ground pressure, shifting soil, cold weather, local construction, and earthquakes. Being aware of radon levels in and near your home is important, as radon is responsible for about 21,000 lung cancer deaths each year from radon exposure, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), with about 2,900 of those deaths occurring in people who have never smoked.
But don’t let this scare you. There are ways to stay on top of radon levels and even lower them. Keep reading to learn more about this radioactive gas, how to test for it, and how to keep you and your family safe.
What is Radon?
Radon is a radioactive gas that results from the breakdown of uranium, which is found is pretty much all soil types. Once radon is created, it moves out of the soil and into the air.
It can then make its way into your home by seeping into cracks in your foundation and other openings. The problem with this is that your home can then become a vacuum that holds the radon because the air pressure inside is generally lower than the air pressure of the soil on which your home sits.
Small amounts won’t harm you, but if you get a high-level reading in your home, there are real cancer risks to be aware of.
How Can I Test for Radon in my Portland Home?
If you plan to sell your home, you should have it tested. If you live in a home, you should have it tested. And if you plan to buy a home, you should have it tested, especially if it’s a new construction because, as we say above, disruption to soil releases radon.
The Oregon Public Health Division recommends that all homes be tested. You may be wondering: Is this costly? Do I need to hire a professional? Can I do it myself?
Portland, Oregon Radon Map
To start with, you can check the Portland, Oregon Radon Risk Map.
After clicking the link above, click on the top right button, “Do I live in an area with Radon?”, in order to access the latest Radon Map update. Even if you fall in a green zone on the map, testing for Radon is still recommended.
Free Radon Testing in Oregon
Oregon has a Radon Awareness Program that could, potentially, test your home for free. Check here to see if you qualify for free testing. If you do qualify, all you have to do is email [email protected] A radon testing kit will be mailed to you, and you can run the test yourself. You can also check the program’s radon indoor test results summary to see how your zip code did in the most recent mass test.
If you don’t qualify, you can buy radon tests at most hardware stores, online, and from the American Lung Association and Nonprofit Home Inspections, which offers free tests to anyone qualifying as low- and moderate-income.
When you test, if you see levels of 4 pCi/L or above, it’s time to take radon mitigation seriously.
How Can I Lower Radon Levels in my Portland Home?
According to the EPA, a radon level of 4 pCi/L means a notable risk of lung cancer for non-smokers, about at the level as dying in a car accident. If you smoke, lung cancer risk from this level of radon exposure goes up to 5x the risk of a fatal car accident. Higher levels of radon mean even higher rates of lung cancer probability.
Here are some ways to reduce the level of radon in your home.
- Hire a State-certified, radon-qualified contractor—The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) has a list of Oregon companies that have at least one radon specialist on staff. You can also search the National Radon Proficiency Program’s directory or do a search on the National Radon Safety Board’s website.
- Install a radon mitigation system—The EPA claims that some radon mitigation systems can reduce the radon in a home up to 99% and that most homes can be fixed for about the same cost as other common household repairs.
- Increase air flow in your home—Open windows and use fans. Note that this is a temporary solution and should not be the only and final strategy.
- Seal wall and floor cracks—Use caulk, plaster, or other materials meant for this purpose.
Ready to Sell Your Portland Home?
If this all has you overwhelmed, don’t worry. We’ve helped hundreds of home buyers and sellers navigate all sorts of local Portland Home Hazards and can advise you along the way. Contact our top 1% seller’s agents, and we can help you through the process of preparing your home for the market. Call us at 503-714-1111 or chat with the bot on our site. We look forward to making your real estate transaction as stress-free as possible!September 12, 2022