Radon is a dangerous gas that does not have any specific color or odor. It is a radioactive element that results from the natural decaying process of radioactive elements, according to the American Cancer Society.
Because it poses a hazard it is important that you have a home inspection that specifically evaluates whether this dangerous gas is present in your home.
Follow this guide to deepen your comprehension of radon and how to protect your family:
Understand radon gas
This gas is found both indoors and outdoors. Typically it is at fairly low level in the air outdoors and rivers. Usually the levels if radon is at higher levels indoors.
Radon becomes especially dangerous when it breaks down into a solid element referred to as radon progeny. This can attach itself to small particles in the environment, such as dust, and you can breathe it into your lungs.
This can lead to a variety of health issues. According to the World Health Organization being aware of the dangers and knowing how to prevent exposure is key.
"Exposure to radon in the home and workplace is one of the main risks of ionizing radiation causing tens of thousands of deaths from lung cancer each year globally," noted the WHO. "In order to reduce this burden it is important that national authorities have methods and tools based on solid scientific evidence and sound public health policy. The public needs to be aware of radon risks and the means to reduce and prevent these."
Know why radon gas is in your home
According to the environmental protection agency, one of every 15 homes an elevated level of radon. It is able to enter the home through cracks in the walls and floors, cavities inside the walls, though the construction joints and by way of your home's available water supply.
Depending on the region you live, radon may be more prevalent. It is important to have an inspection done regularly to test the levels of radon in your home.
Testing your home for radon
There are two types of testing you can have completed. This includes both short- and long-term radon gas testing. With short-term testing, the evaluation takes place for anywhere between two and 90 days. However, due to the variation in radon levels that occur on an every day basis a detector can be placed in your home for longer than a 90 day period for long-term testing. This provides more accurate results.
Understanding the test results
According to EPA, the average indoor radon level is approximately 1.3 picocuries per liter. A goal to bring the indoor radon levels to no more than the typical outdoor level, 0.4 pCi/L, was set by the U.S. Congress.
If your home's radon level exceeds 4 pCi/L, you will likely want to continue monitoring the levels to ensure optimal safety.
Know how to reduce radon levels in your house
While any level of radon in your home can present a risk, decreasing the total level may help protect you and your family. A soil suction radon reduction system is a commonly used method to bring down the radon present in your home. It does not require you to make significant changes to the footprint of your home and it pulls radon from under your home and pushes it outdoors away from your house. To optimize the performance of this system, seal any cracks in the foundation.
Reach out to a specialized contractor to help implement the use of a system or technique to help decrease the amount of radon polluting your indoor air.
Radon testing before buying or selling a home
When someone is deciding to purchase a home, he or she may ask about any recent radon testing that has recently occurred. Whether you are on the buying or selling end of a transaction, a radon test is a question that may come up during the negotiation process.
If you are selling your home, it is important to have a test completed prior to listing your house and that you have the results on hand and ready to share with interested buyers in case they inquire about this safety concern.
When buying a home, it is beneficial to know whether the interior of the home has average or heightened levels of radon in the air. It may impact your decision to move forward with the purchase of a home. It should also be noted that newly-built homes often have radon-resistant construction features. However, testing for radon should still be done just as a home inspection should still be completed on a newly-constructed home.
Protect you and your family from radon by understanding this element and how you can avoid a higher risk of health issues through exposure.