Radon is a radioactive gas that is naturally occurring. This gas can be present when uranium, thorium, and radium break down in the soil, rocks, and underground. It enters the homes and buildings through cracks and gaps. This gas can cause lung cancer by breathing it in. It is extremely dangerous since it does not present any odorless, tasteless, and colorless.
Dangers of Radon
You may not notice, but we breathe in small amounts of radon every day since it is in all of the ground that we walk on. You do not need to worry about radon while you are outdoors and there is plenty of ventilation. You need to worry when you are in a home/building with high levels of radon with no ventilation. Radon can be present in all types of homes, whether it is built on a slab, crawl, or has a basement. Radon is most likely to build up in homes that are well-sealed, highly insulated, and where the compounds are well saturated.
Early Symptoms of Radon Poison are:
- Persistent Cough
- Coughing Blood
- Shortness of Breath
- Chest Pain
- and more!
Testing for Radon
Since there is no way for an individual to tell if there is radon present in your home, it is important to have a device test for you. There are two ways to test for radon. You could have a short term or long term test done. The short terms tests meausure two to three days. While long term radon tests last 90 days or more. Most radon tests are short term and added to on our home inspections prior to purchasing your new home. It is important that windows and doors stay closed as much as possible. This keeps any build up from dissapating and ruining the results of your test.
What to Do if You Have High Levels in Your Home
If your tests come back with levels of 4 pCi/L (picoCures per liter) or higher, you will want to take steps to make sure to reduce the levels that are found in your home. Even if you are under 4 pCi/L you may want to think about how to reduce chance of Radon exposure. A few ways a contractor can reduce the leakage of radon in your home are to have any cracks or gabs in your foundations sealed, install a soil suction raon reduction systems, add a gas-permeable layer under your slab or flooring, or add plastic sheeting above the gas-permeable layer.
Whether you are in the middle of purcahsing your home or have lived there for years, there is never a bad time to have a radon test completed. Schedule an appointment with Home Sweet Home Inspections to have a radon test completed at your home. Make sure to keep your family safe this season and get your test started!