You may have heard of radon testing and radon mitigation, but you might not really understand what radon is and why you should be concerned about it. Because of the dangers of radon, it is important to understand how it can impact you and what you can do to protect your family.
What is Radon?
Radon is a dangerous gas. It is odorless and colorless, which makes it even more dangerous. After all, there is a chance that radon is a problem in your home without you even knowing it. Radon is actually in the atmosphere, although only in trace amounts. Because it disperses quickly outside, it’s not typically dangerous. However, it can be trapped inside your home, which is when it poses a danger for you and the others in your household.
Is Radon Really That Dangerous?
Since radon occurs naturally in the atmosphere, you might not see how it can really be dangerous. When it’s found indoors, though, it can be incredibly dangerous for the people who live, work and play in the structure. This is because it can significantly increase your risk of lung cancer. You might be surprised to learn that radon is the second leading cause (after smoking) of lung cancer in the United States. A whopping 21,000 people die each year from radon-related lung cancer.
What Causes Radon to Be Present in Your Home?
Radon can seep into your home through cracks and holes in your foundation. If you have a water well, be aware that well water is a common cause of radon in the home. If your well water is contaminated, radon can be released into the air when you use water for cooking or showering. Occasionally, radon can also be released into the home from building materials.
Although insulating your home is generally a good idea for energy efficiency and comfort, well-insulated homes are more prone to having dangerous radon levels. This is because radon can become trapped in a well-insulated home and does not have much of a chance of escaping.
How Can You Tell if Radon is a Problem in Your Home?
Approximately one in 15 homes in the United States have dangerous radon levels. There is a possibility that your family is being exposed to radon every day without you even realizing it. The only way that you can tell if radon is a problem in your home is with radon testing. You have two options for this.
Your first option is to perform a radon test yourself. Home radon test kits can be purchased at home improvement stores and hardware stores. It is very important to follow the instructions for the text exactly if you want to get accurate results. Typically, you will be required to keep doors and windows closed for a 12-hour period. The radon detector will need to be left in the lowest point of your home, and you’ll need to leave it undisturbed for a certain period of time. Then, you can send it off to a lab so that it can be tested.
If you want to ensure that the test is performed properly, you can also opt for professional radon testing from a company like Radon Systems of Connecticut. Then, you can ensure that the test is done properly, and you can get professional guidance about which steps you should take next.
Additionally, if you are purchasing a home, it’s wise to have professional radon testing done before you buy. The seller might cover the cost of testing, but if not, you’re sure to find that the cost is worth it. After all, the last thing that you want to do when buying and moving into a new home is to accidentally put your family in danger.
What Should You Do if Your Family Has Been Exposed to Radon?
If you find that your home has dangerous levels of radon, it is important to act quickly. If you smoke and have been exposed to radon, then your risks of contracting lung cancer are much higher. Quit smoking right away to help reduce your risk, and do not allow others to smoke inside your home.
Additionally, watch out for signs of lung cancer. If you or any of your family members have a chronic cough, a cough that produces blood, shortness of breath or other symptoms, you should schedule a doctor’s appointment right away. The sooner that lung cancer is treated, the better chance there is of successful treatment. Keep in mind that lung cancer is a long-term effect of radon exposure, and it can develop many years later.
What are Your Options for Radon Mitigation?
When you have radon testing done in your home, you can find out about the exact radon levels that are present. It is very important to take action if radon levels of 4 pCi/Lare found in your home. However, even lower levels of radon can put your family at risk.
You have a few different options for radon mitigation. Active soil depressurization can be done in a few different ways. An interior system, which is the most popular option, involves running a pipe from the basement of your home to a radon fan that will be installed in the attic. The pipe is typically installed in closets so that it is not an eyesore and so that it is not in the way. The fan serves as an exhaust fan to push the radon out of your home.
An exterior system works similarly, but the pipe will actually be installed on the outside of your home. This will be more obvious, but the pipe can be painted so that it will blend in with your home.
Other options include a pipe that is installed in a section of the slab in your home or a system that lowers the air pressure in the crawl space of your home. A professional can talk to you about these different options and can help you choose the one that will be most effective and that will best suit your budget.
It is important to understand what radon is and how it can impact you and your family. If you want to learn more about the dangers of radon, if you’d like to have professional radon testing done in your home or if you are ready to install a radon mitigation system, contact Radon Systems of Connecticut today.