Blog Stories Why do we test for radon?

Why do we test for radon?

By Yascha Noonberg, August 6, 2020

A question that I get asked a lot when describing the home inspection process is “what is radon and why do we test for it?”

The short answer is radon is radioactive energy that rises up from the soil. In open spaces like a lawn or field it is perfectly fine, but when trapped in confined spaces like a home it can be very dangerous to human health and has been clearly linked to causing lung cancer.

The good news is it is very easy and inexpensive to test for it and if the levels come back high, there are proven methods to mitigate the high levels and make your home safe. Most of the inspectors we work with will drop off a tester in the lowest living portion of a home and take readings over a 48-hour period. The tests usually run around $130.

With a quick turnaround like that we can get results during a typical home inspection period and if the levels are high we can usually obtain a bid for mitigating the problem within a day or two.

The cost to mitigate radon in an older home is typically between $1,600-$2,000 depending on where the system will be installed in the home.

I recently came across this great TED talk given by Canadian Scientific scholar Aaron Goodarzi. He does a great job of explaining what radon is and how it was discovered to exist in homes and how effective the mitigation techniques are.

If you are interested in learning more about radon it’s a pretty short video and well worth watching.



Yascha Noonberg

Principal Broker & ADU Specialist

Recently featured as one of the Top 150 Brokers in Portland. Certified Residential Investment Specialist "Yascha is absolutely an asset, not only to his clients, but his industry as a whole as an example of how realtors should strive to conduct business." —Past client VISIT MY WEBSITE  I was fortunate enough to move to Portland in the 90s after growing up in Maryland and then attending college in Texas. My professional life started with owning and operating a music school and recording studio in SE Portland. Eventually I was drawn to real estate both as an investor and subsequently as a consultant to homebuyers and sellers as well as fellow real estate investors. My family and I have lived on both sides of the river, and we spend a lot of our down time at the coast in Manzanita. My real estate business and family keep me very busy but whenever possible I get out on the courts to compete in tennis leagues and tournaments, and I recently started playing Pickleball. I also mix in the occasional gig or young audiences performance with local jazz group Trashcan Joe.
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