Radon FAQ: What is it and why should I care?

This short FAQ gives answers about radon and what you can do about it if you have it in your home or in the home you are intending to buy.

Frequently asked questions about radon

Is radon real?

Yes. Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that forms as the result of the breakdown of uranium in soil, rock, and water, and can be found anywhere in the world.  This radioactive gas comes up out of the ground and can seep into buildings. According to the CDC, radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States after smoking. The EPA estimates that radon causes about 21,000 lung cancer deaths a year.

Here is a clip of ASHI-certified inspector Richard McGarry, of McGarry and Madsen Home Inspection, talking about radon and what homeowners and potential homebuyers can do about it:

Inspector Richard McGarry talks about radon

Is there radon in Alachua County?

McGarry shared that Alachua County has a higher incidence of radon than other areas of the state.  This radon map of Alachua County, Florida confirms his assertions.

If you live in Gainesville and radon levels are high in the home you wish to buy, the Florida Department of Health says that radon mitigation can address the problem.

the best solution depends on the size and nature of the radon risk. If radon levels are low, ventilation and sealing of cracks on the floor may solve the problem. Other situations may require active mitigation systems.


How do I test for radon?

You can arrange for a radon test to be done as part of a home inspection.  Ask your Realtor for more details.

For more information about radon and what can be done about it check out these resources from the EPA:

Home Buyer’s and Seller’s Guide to Radon

Find a radon test kit or measurement and mitigation professional

I hope you found this radon FAQ helpful. Have a great day!

About Coleen DeGroff