Radon testing is the only way to know whether your home has high radon levels. This radioactive gas can cause lung cancer over time. Here Is what you need to know about radon testing & reducing radon levels in your home.
#1 WHAT IS RADON?
Radon is an odorless & colorless radioactive gas that is created by decomposing uranium. According to the American Cancer Society, it is present in nearly all types of soils & deficient levels of radon are found in the air we breathe every day.
#2 WHY IS RADON A PROBLEM?
The problem occurs when radon gas enters your home & gets trapped. Long-term exposure to high-levels of radon can indeed cause lung cancer. The Environmental Protection Agency considers that lung cancer induced by radon exposure kills about 21,000 Americans each year.
#3 HOW DOES RADON GET IN YOUR HOUSE?
The gas passes from the soil into your house. Although it can pass through concrete pores, the most critical entry points are the gaps present in walls & floors. Any home, of any era, in any state, can have raised radon levels, the EPA warns.
It actually depends on the way your house interacts with the surrounding soil. Your neighbor’s radon level may likely differ substantially from yours. Radon poisoning is merely one of the ways your home may be making you & your family sick again & again.
According to our experts at Home Pro Inspections, examining your home for high radon levels is the single way to identify whether your home is safe.
#4 HOW DO YOU TEST YOUR HOME FOR RADON?
Complete this test in your house’s lowest livable area regularly used 8 to 10 hours per week.
- Short-term tests: These are very useful to examine if further trial is warranted. Most of these tests are activated-charcoal-based or utilize electret ion methodology; both measure radon levels for 2 to 7 days. Short-term inspections are also available at Home Pro Inspections.
- Long-term radon tests: These radon inspections measure levels for 90 days to 1 year. Most of the tests, or let’s say the AccuStar test, are totally based on alpha particle tracking. This is a more accurate indicator of average annual levels, which can vary significantly from day to day & month to month based on factors such as a drop in air pressure, variable soil moisture, gusty winds & snow cover, which catches radon gases. Long-term radon inspections are available through various state radon agencies & online retailers such as Home Pro Inspections.
- Continuous radon tests: Electric monitors like Safety Siren Pro Series digital meter can be plugged into a standard outlet. These can be practiced for both short & long term testing to provide you a running average every day.
#5 WHAT SHOULD YOU DO IF YOUR HOUSE HAS HIGH LEVELS OF RADON?
If the very first short-term analysis registers 4 picoCuries per liter or higher, the EPA suggests performing a second radon test. A long-term inspection will probably give you the most accurate erudition. Still, a short-term analysis is fair if you need the results quickly. If a second test records above 4 pCi/L, consider taking measures to reduce radon levels in your house, the EPA cautions.
#6 HOW DO YOU LOWER RADON LEVELS IN YOUR HOUSE?
You can commence by trying these simple repairs to decrease radon levels. These applications alone reduce levels significantly, but these repairs might make a difference if your level is only slightly elevated. They’ll also make different types of radon reduction methods more efficient & cost-efficient
- Caulk foundation cracks, construction joints & other openings with polyurethane caulk.
- If you own a sump pump, place an airtight cover on it (preferably one that enables access to your sump).
- Cover soil in crawl areas with polyurethane plastic sheeting (with the least thickness of 6 mils) tightly fastened to the walls.
- You can try sealing the concrete; the EPA has discovered concrete sealers to be one of the best temporary solutions.
Once you’ve tackled this, retest. If radon levels are still high, consider calling any of our experts to install a radon mitigation system.