Category Archives: Radon Myths

The Worst Excuses We’ve Ever Heard About Radon

Seems to be that the folks we talk to in the field fall into two categories. Believers and Non-Believers. Unfortunately many of us only learn about the effects of elevated radon gas when involved in a real estate transaction or personal tragedy. Then there is the rest of the world – and that’s a whole lot of people. Certainly everyone is entitled to their thoughts on the subject but today we thought it would be a good idea to share “The Worst Excuses We’ve Ever Heard About Radon.”

Excuse #1: “We’re okay because we really don’t even use our basement much.”

 In todays homes, there is duct work for the heating and air system. This duct work transfers the air around your home. In other words, basement air becomes upstairs air and vice versa! The best is when the person(s) of the home are very physically fit and we find all of this exercise equipment in the basement. Worse yet, that’s where the kids toy room is set up. You gotta wonder…..

Excuse #2: “My neighbors house tested fine, so we must be o.k.”

As logical as that may sound, radon may or may not affect homes around each other. The only way to know is to test your own home.

Excuse #3: “I’ve been in this house so long – what difference would it make now?”

If you hadn’t  gone to see a Dentist in a few years does it make sense to never go again?? Of course not. You will reduce your risk of Radon related illness as soon as you have a system installed. Therefore your exposure rate is much less the remainder of the time in your home reducing your risk.

Excuse #4: “If it’s so dangerous, why haven’t I heard about it more?”

Simply put….the State has no money to promote it. They do what they can but the information must be sought out, it’s tough to come across it unless you are looking for it. There has been a big push from local counties on radon awareness and state education. Unfortunately there have been a series of famous celebrities that died of lung cancer as non-smokers. This gets the most media attention of all. Celebrity illness usually gets the word out for at least a while. Donna Summer is one of the casualties:  

Remember Dana Reeves? Superman Christopher Reeve’s wife? (

 Now, Valerie Harper is fighting the terrible disease – and YES she is and always has been a non-smoker. (

What do these three have in common?? All non-smokers and all affected by lung cancer.

Excuse #5: “Radon, Schmadon, cancer is everywhere anyways.”

This is the worst one by far. Information is available but it’s difficult to get people to read about it on their own. And yes, unfortunately cancer is always in the news making headlines. But does that mean you should throw in your towel? Do you wash your fruits and veggies before eating them? Do you not wear you seatbelt because it’s highly unlikely that you will get into a car accident? Of course not. We as humans still take logical steps to ensure our health and safety – why not test for radon in your home?

Excuse #6: “No one ever worried about it before and now that I’m selling my house, the buyers just want more money out of me.”

Real estate transaction as a buyer or seller is a very emotional time for most. The truth is Radon Gas falls under health and safety issues – much like mold. It’s pretty realistic for the buyer’s to ask for a remediation. It’s not the same thing as asking for new carpet or light fixtures. This is the time to separate fact from fiction. It doesn’t have to stop the transaction and like we always say – it is a fixable problem.

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radon basement myth

Radon Basement Myth Busted!

In my field of work, I get the privilege of speaking to all kinds of people. It never ceases to amaze me that not a week goes by that I don’t hear…”I’m not too worried about Radon, we really don’t use our basement much.” I have to remind myself “two ears and one mouth” as I listen to their justification. Even more scary, their belief! Now, in my line of work, my customers range from homeowners, sellers and buyers in real estate, renters, stay at home Mom’s, the young, the old and everyone in between. It doesn’t much seem to matter what line of work or background they come from, the overall consensus is it’s just a problem for them.

I consider myself a Radon Awareness Advocate, an Educator, a Radon Mitigation Professional and now my most recent venture…a Radon Blogger. I’m on a quest to bust this popular “myth” about Radon and whether or not it’s a problem in your home.

The truth is, in this scenario the basement just happens to be the entry point. Although some people only spend a small portion of their time in their basement, the air in the basement doesn’t stay contained.

Radon is likely present in every level of the house depending on a few things. The number one cause of Radon entering your home comes from the forces that will draw the gases in. There is natural negative pressure that will draw the gas in through your basement floor. These are the same forces that continue to bring the air up through the upper levels of the house (i.e. convection).

The other big contributing factor is duct work. Most modern day homes are built with duct work in place. If there is a furnace or duct work located in the basement, anytime you are using your furnace fan via heat or air conditioning, these systems are then circulating this conditioned air throughout the house. So in other words, basement air doesn’t just stay in the basement!

The only way to know if a Radon problem exists in your home is to test. You can either test yourself with a home test kit or hire a professional Radon Testing company. Either way you can’t go wrong, and to quote the famous Sir Francis Bacon, “knowledge is power.”

Guardian Radon Mitigation & Electrical Services, LLC is a licensed and certified Radon Mitigation contractor through the State of Illinois’ IEMA Division.