High levels of radon gas occur naturally in Maine due to the decay of uranium in the soil. The gas then seeps through any access point in a home and can collect in certain areas, especially basements and other low-lying, closed areas and build up over time to dangerous levels. Sometimes radon enters through well water. If you have a well and the radon in your air is high, you should have your water tested as well.
Maine has some of the highest radon levels in the country. According to the Maine Division of Environmental Health, 25% of the homes tested in the State have elevated levels.
If you are exposed to the radon gas over a period of years, it can have a significant and detrimental effect on your health. According to the Surgeon General, inhalation of this colorless, odorless gas is the second-leading cause of lung cancer (after smoking) and causes about 22,000 lung cancer deaths each year. If you smoke and your home has high radon levels, then the risk of lung cancer is especially high.
Contact a State registered radon mitigation contractor who can give you advice on the mitigation system that will work best for you.
If you are selling your home, you can assure potential buyers that a radon test has been performed. If you are buying a home, you want your home to be a healthy place to live. If the results are higher than the EPA action level of 4.0 pCi/L, the buyer can request the seller install a mitigation system.
As of March 1, 2014, the State of Maine is requiring that landlords test their residential rental properties for radon in air. These results must be reported to the current tenants as well as all future tenants. Radon mitigation is recommended, but not required, for radon levels of 4 pCi/l or higher. However, if results are high and mitigation is not done, the landlord or the tenant have the option to end the lease after providing a 30 days notice.
Where can I find more information on radon gas?
Maine Indoor Air Quality Council - Radon Information
Maine Division of Environmental Health - Radon Home Page
EPA - A Citizen's Guide to Radon
Environmental Protection Agency - Radon
State of Maine - An Act Relating to Radon Testing and Disclosure to Tenants
We are officers in a landlord organization; it is our goal to inform and educate members and give them options. It was at this time that Jay Otis of S & J Property Services, LLC joined GBAOMA (Greater Bangor Apartment Owners & Managers Association). Jay is a great resource in answering questions and has been gracious in offering testing at a discount to GBAOMA members. Jay is a regular speaker at GBAOMA meetings and has shared information on the benefits of home inspections before purchasing, deck safety and recently laminate flooring. Jay writes "Inspector Corner," a monthly informational column for the GBAOMA newsletter.
They tested our rental properties and provided the test results and the information we needed to give to our tenants. We were pleased with Jay's professional manner. They were accommodating and prompt. We had a professional test done by a licensed tester and received results that would stand up in court if a tenant had a dispute. We have referred S & J Property Services to other landlords and have received many positive comments regarding their services. We are more than satisfied with the services provided by their company, and would not hesitate to hire them to do additional work when needed.