The Dangers of Radon
Radon gas is the byproduct when radioactive elements like uranium and thorium decay in the soil. It is naturally occurring and harmlessly released into the atmosphere. Radon doesn’t pose a health risk when it’s diluted outdoors, however, it is dangerous when it accumulates in buildings. If left unchecked, radon in the home will build to unhealthy levels and put you and your family at risk.
Why Should You Be Concerned About Radon In the Home?
Radon is a cancer-causing radioactive gas that you cannot see, taste, or smell. Exposure to elevated levels of radon over a long period of time increases your risk of developing lung cancer.
The levels of radon gas vary throughout the country and some areas have higher levels than others. Nearly one out of every 15 homes in the United States is estimated to have high levels of radon.
Why You Should Test For Radon Gas
Radon gas enters your home through cracks and other openings in the foundation and may also be found in well water. Testing is the only way to determine the levels of radon in the home. The EPA recommends all homes be tested for radon gas. Because you cannot detect radon through conventional methods, the only way to know if your family is at risk is to hire a professional to test your home for radon.
When purchasing a house, schedule a radon test to determine radon levels in the home. Test for radon if your home is in one of the geographical areas where radon tends to be more of a problem. Also, be sure to order a test if you’re making any renovations to the home, especially if you plan on finishing out your basement.
What to Do If the Radon Level Is High
Radon mitigation involves reducing the levels of radon gas in your home to keep your family safe. This is done by sealing the openings where radon is entering your home. The EPA recommends a professional radon mitigation system to reduce radon levels.
During a real estate transaction, if the home is found to have elevated levels of radon gas, the buyer may request that the seller make repairs or even choose to back out of the transaction altogether. In some scenarios, you may be required to install a system to transfer gas away from the basement and install ventilation fans to remove radon from the house.