Crucial Things Homeowners Should Know About Radon Testing
Do you have a silent killer that could be lurking in your home?
Radon is invisible to our senses – it cannot be seen, smelled, or tasted. You might be breathing radon gas all the time without you knowing.
There are as many as 20,000 lung cancer deaths attributed to radon each year, according to the Surgeon General’s Office and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA). The risk of lung cancer becomes significantly higher if you’re smoking in your home that has high radon levels.
Proper radon testing equipment can detect even an imperceptible threat like radon.
Once detected, there are ways to bring down radon levels in your home. Let’s go in-depth. Here are four crucial things you should know about radon tests:
1. What Is Radon and Why It’s a Problem
Created by decaying uranium, radon is a radioactive gas that’s both colorless and odorless. While almost all soil releases this gas, the levels are usually extremely low that its effect is often negligible. When outdoors, the concentration is significantly less since it dissipates easily.
Radon levels can get very high when inside homes, though. The gas gets trapped and accumulates over time.
Since it’s undetectable, there’s no way of knowing if the air inside your home is already saturated with this radioactive gas – unless you use specific radon testing types of equipment. To date, about one in every 15 American homes is estimated to have radon levels at or above the EPA action level.
2. How Radon Enters Your House
Uranium is a chemical that’s present in almost every rock and soil. Its presence can also become aggravated by specific types of fertilizers. Since radon is a byproduct of decaying uranium in the soil, it can come from your backyard, front lawn, or even underneath the ground.
While it can seep directly from the soil in your home through the pores in the floor and concrete wall, there’s no worst entry point than the larger gaps in your house. These could be cracks on the wall or even an open basement window.
Radon doesn’t transfer from house to house, though. Once it’s mitigated from a house, it’ll evaporate in the outside air and will get dissipated. However, with all houses connected to the ground, each one is at risk of having high levels of radon.
3. What Testing Methods Can You Do
Now that you know how radon enters your home, the next vital step you should take is to have your home tested for the deadly gas. You can have it done in a room in your house seldom used by the family, such as the basement, cellar, or an empty guest room.
There are three kinds of radon gas testing methods you can use, short-term, long-term, and continuous.
The short-term method should be your initial approach and will warrant the need for further testing. These kits are available at hardware retailers and usually utilize electret ion chamber technology or activated charcoal to detect radon in a room. It’ll take two to seven days to measure the levels of radon, but you’ll have to send it to the lab for the test results.
On the other hand, long-term testing will need three months to a year to measure the radon levels. If you need to measure it daily, you can go with continuous testing.
4. What To Do if There’s a High Level of Radon in Your Home
If the first test measures radon levels in your home at four pCi/L or higher, you will need to have a second test performed for better accuracy. The same result of high radon levels will require immediate action if you want to have a safer home.
Perform Radon Mitigation and Keep Levels Low
Local radon testing allows you to detect this invisible killer and get rid of it. It’s a critical action that every homeowner should perform to keep the family safe. While you can do certain things on your own to lower radon, calling experts in your area can perform successful testing and mitigation for you.
Every state has radon mitigation companies you can contact. While companies for radon testing Denver, CO may have their own unique approach in their process, each company follows a standard to help keep your home free from radon.
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