About Radon

Mitigation Systems











We know you have questions about radon, and we are here to assist you in any way we can. Select your question below. If there are any additional questions not answered here, please feel free to email us on our contacts page, and we will answer any questions you may have.

Q. What is radon? (Back to top)

Radon is a cancer causing, radioactive gas that comes from the decay of radium in the soil, which is a decay product of uranium. Radon is a colorless, odorless, invisible gas that occurs naturally. Chronic exposure to elevated radon levels has been linked to an increased incidence of lung cancer in humans. If you smoke and your home has high radon levels, your risk of lung cancer is especially high.

Q. What is a radon reduction system? (Back to top)

A radon reduction system is any system or steps designed to reduce radon concentrations in the indoor air of a building. While most components are common, no two systems are identical. Systems must be customized to the needs of your home.

Q. Are radon levels something I really need to be concerned with? (Back to top)

Yes. For most people, radon is their largest source of exposure to nuclear radiation. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has identified radon as the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. Many homes, particularly homes in the upper Midwest, contain radon concentrations that are well above the acceptable limits of 4 pCi/L set forth by the EPA.

Q. What is it about radon that makes it harmful? (Back to top)

When radon and its decay products are inhaled into your lungs, they emit alpha particles. These alpha particles can strike the sensitive lining of the bronchi. When this happens, the cells in your lungs are damaged, subsequently increasing your risk to radon-related cancer. Most alpha particle radiation comes from radon decay products. However, because it is easier to measure radon rather than its decay products, people usually characterize the exposure by the amount of radon in their living spaces.

Q. Is radon-related lung cancer fatal? (Back to top)

Most often, yes. Lung cancer is a disease that has a very poor survival rate. Prevention is the most effective defense. Don't smoke and don't breathe elevated concentrations of radon.

Q.What levels of radon are acceptable? (Back to top)

You must provide the answer to this question based on the following data and your personal risk tolerance. The EPA’s take action level is 4 pCi/L.


Q. How does radon enter a home? (Back to top)

Radon can seep into a home through dirt floors, cracks and pores in concrete walls and floors, hollow-block walls, joints, drains, pipes, and sump pumps. Building supplies made from materials containing uranium are rarely a significant source of residential radon.

Q. What is pCi/L? (Back to top)

Picocuries per liter (pCi/L) is a unit for measuring the rate of radioactive decay of radon. The EPA’s action level is 4 pCi/L.

Q. How do you know if your home has radon? (Back to top)

Testing is the only way to know if you and your family are at risk from radon. Testing is inexpensive and easy - it should only take a few minutes of your time with a home test kit.

Q. How often should I test? (Back to top)

Both IEMA & the EPA recommend testing every two years even if you have a radon reduction system in your home.

Q. What are the most commonly used radon-testing methods? (Back to top)

There are two main methods used to test for radon gas and radon decay products. The most popular involves the use of a "passive" device such as an activated charcoal test kit which collects radon gas atoms for counting later in a laboratory or an alpha track device that has a small strip of special plastic that is "marked" when hit by radon's alpha particles, which will also be counted later in a laboratory. The other main method involves the use of an "active" device called a CRM (continuous radon monitor). These monitors are used by professional radon inspectors for short-term radon testing, (48 hours), during a real estate transaction.

Q. Can Mock's Radon Reduction test my home for radon? (Back to top)

Mock’s Radon Reduction, Inc., Inc. provides licensed mitigation services. We are not allowed by law to test a home because we are a mitigation company. We do sell home test kits that you the homeowner can perform on your own. If you wish to have a professional test your home, please contact us for a referral.

Q. Can radon levels change periodically? (Back to top)

Yes. Levels can change periodically depending on changes in the environment. Very wet or very dry conditions can impact the ecological structure of the ground around and beneath your home. When this occurs, there is the potential for uranium levels to rise resulting in increased levels of radon. If the ground around your home is saturated with moisture such as in a heavy rainstorm, the moisture acts like a cap not allowing the radon to escape which forces it into your home. The same can be said when the ground is frozen or covered with snow. Wind can also change the pressure put on the ground around your home, causing radon to diffuse into your home, which will raise the radon level. For these reasons your home should not be measured for radon during severe weather or high winds.

The EPA and IEMA recommend that you test your home every two years to keep radon levels in check.

Q. What does a radon reduction system cost? (Back to top)

The cost of a radon reduction system depends on the size and configuration of the property. The average cost range is from $800 - $1,200.

Q. What is the yearly operating cost of a mitigation system? (Back to top)

The cost of operating a fan is equivalent to operating a 45 to 75 watt light bulb. The typical cost is $25-$40 a year depending on electric prices in your area.

Q. What type of warranty is offered on the system you install? (Back to top)

Mock’s Radon Reduction, Inc., Inc. includes a five-year manufacturer warranty on radon fans and a three-year warranty on all labor and performance.

Q. Does my system warranty transfer to the new owner if I sell my home? (Back to top)

Yes, it does!

Q. I may sell my home; will a radon system scare away buyers? (Back to top)

No, this is a common misconception. In fact, having a radon reduction system adds value to your home. Should questions arise from a prospective buyer, you and/or your realtor should issue the "Home Buyer's & Seller's Guide to Radon" (on links page) and effectively communicate the benefits of having the radon reduction system to prospective buyers. Ultimately the system should offer buyers peace of mind knowing radon concerns have been fully addressed.

Q. What are the advantages to having a radon mitigation system? (Back to top)

The primary advantage is that you will have lower in-home radon levels.

Q. Is the radon fan noisy? (Back to top)

No, radon fans are specially designed to minimize operating noise.

Q. Where is the best place to install the radon fan? (Back to top)

Mock’s Radon Reduction, Inc. prefers to install fans in the attic or highest unlived-in space available. The other option, which many competitors use, is to install the fan outside. The problem with this is that elements outside take away from the fan’s life expectancy in harsh climates and in some cases are not aesthetically pleasing. Fans can never be installed in the basement or below ground level.

Q. Does a radon system require major reconstruction? (Back to top)

Major renovation is not usually required. In very rare situations, due to existing build-outs and finishing, some minor renovations may be required but most often not.

Q. How is a system installed in a finished basement? (Back to top)

We install reduction systems in the equipment room of finished basements (typically where the HVAC, hot water heater, and often the sump pump are located).

Q. Why are radon levels in my home "high" while those in my neighbor's home are "low"? (Back to top)

Many things influence the amount of radon in a home. The variation in radon levels from home to home comes from the variation in the factors that control radon entry and retention. There are so many factors like the structure of the soil; the way the house is connected to the ground; and the way the house is heated and cooled that it is extremely difficult to predict accurately the radon in neighboring homes.

Q. Is high indoor radon unique to Illinois? (Back to top)

No. The average US home contains about 1.3 pCi/L while the average Illinois home has more than 3 pCi/L.

Q. Can radon affect my pets? (Back to top)

Yes. While few studies exist concerning the impact of radon on animals, it is generally accepted, as with other cancer causing agents, that there is the potential risk that long term exposure to high concentrations of radon may lead to cancer. Other animal-related risks are not fully known.

Q. Does the age of my house affect the radon level? (Back to top)

No. Some houses show an increase of radon with age. Other houses show a decrease, and still others show no change with age. Unfortunately, we haven't found any single factor like the age of the house, energy efficiency, or basement structure that can accurately predict the radon level in any house. You really have to measure the radon in your house to know for sure.

Q. Where can I find more information about the health risks of radon? (Back to top)

Our links page has a list of resources.


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