What is Radon Gas?
Radon is a naturally occurring gas that forms in the soil from the breakdown of radioactive elements like radium, thorium, and uranium. It can seep up through the earth and into your living spaces. Radon is colorless and odorless, making it impossible to detect without a test. Radon in the home is dangerous because it can accumulate in your living spaces and affect your health.
The Dangers of Radon in the Home
According to the CDC, radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer, following cigarette smoking. When there are high concentrations of radon in your home, your family is constantly exposed and breathing it in. In the lungs, radon gives off radioactive particles which can affect cell growth and lead to cancer. In many instances, a homeowner may not have any indication that radon is present until a family member receives a diagnosis of cancer.
Why a Radon Test is Essential
Radon moves up through the ground and enters the home through cracks or holes in the foundation, walls, or pipes underneath a house.
At times, radon can be found in the water if a house draws water from a well or other groundwater source. In this case, radon can be released into the house through the water lines attached to the source.
Because you cannot see or smell it, radon can only be detected using specialized equipment. Call a professional who offers radon testing in your area to administer a test in your house. The EPA estimates that 1 in 15 homes have high concentrations of radon. Testing is essential to help mitigate the dangers of exposure.
It’s a good idea to have radon testing performed on any home that has never been tested and any house or building you intend to buy. Test your home every 2 to 3 years to make sure it’s safe and healthy.
Mitigating Radon in the Home
If you have high levels of radon in your home, hire a professional to design and install a mitigation system. A standard part of radon mitigation is patching cracks in the foundation as well as any other openings under the home. The professional will also install equipment to vent the existing radon out and lower the levels in the air.