Radon is a serious health risk that is one of the biggest causes of lung cancer.
The more disturbing thing about it is that many homeowners have little awareness about it unlike mold, lead, and carbon monoxide.
What is radon?
Radon is a radioactive gas that occurs naturally in the earth. Because it is created when uranium breaks down, it is most often found in areas with high concentration of rock and soil.
Because this gas is colorless, odorless, and tasteless, you won’t know if it exist in the house in unhealthy levels unless a test is conducted to detect it.
How it gets into the house
A lot of people new to radon will assume that since it originates from the soil which is outside the house, the simple and effective way to prevent it entering is to keep all windows and doors closed as much as possible.
This is only partly true.
Nobody will be able to argue against lesser entry points translating into lesser risks of unhealthy exposure.
But because of the dangers this gas can pose even at low levels, simple prevention tricks are often not sufficient for peace of mind.
It can still enter the house through cracks, the shower, water faucets, etc.
This is also why radon levels tend to be at it’s highest in the basement. Because the basement walls is in direct contact with the soil outside.
Testing for radon
Government agencies have always advocated that tests be conducted at home to determine radon levels.
The good part is that test kits are affordable and easily available online, in home improvement stores, and the major malls.
There are basically 2 types of test kits available:
- Test ranging from a day to up to 3 months
- Test for more than 3 months
The first one is meant to alert you to immediate threats that require fast decisive action.
The second enables a household to track radon levels over a longer period of time. This gives the homeowner a better picture of what exactly is going on and how levels can fluctuate over the course of monitoring period.
If hiring a professional appeals to you, then make sure you get one who is a certified radon professional.
What can be done?
Before you panic over radon at home, it might be assuring to know that there are various methods that can reduce it’s presence.
Professionals have equipment and techniques that are known to reduce up to 99% of household radon.
This means you don’t have to look for a new house after all.
It is not recommended to take on the task of removing radon by yourself. It is best to hire a professional to do the job for you.
The simplest thing you can do is to reduce the entry points of everything from the doors to the walls as much as possible.