Radon Mitigation: Frequently Asked Questions
Radon is something that people often don’t know very much about, but it can have a big impact on your health and the health of your family. It’s also a problem that is solvable – there are radon mitigation strategies that can help protect your home. Understand the facts about radon so you can make good decisions about testing and mitigation for your family.
- How Long Does It Take for Radon to Make You Sick?
- Does a Dehumidifier Remove Radon?
- Can Radon Get to My Second or Third Floor?
- Can Radon Harm Pets?
- What Does Radon Smell Like?
Take a look at some of the most frequently asked questions that people have about radon and radon mitigation.
How Long Does It Take for Radon to Make You Sick?
The insidious thing about radon is that it doesn’t cause immediate symptoms. It’s built-up exposure to radon over a long period that can make you sick. The more radon you’re exposed to, the higher your risk is.
The main illness that’s associated with radon is lung cancer – it’s actually the second leading cause of lung cancer behind smoking, according to the CDC. However, you don’t develop lung cancer overnight. Instead, you could develop it five years later, or 20 years later, or not at all – there’s no way to predict exactly when or if it will happen, which is why it’s important not to take chances.
Does a Dehumidifier Remove Radon?
Some people are under the mistaken impression that a dehumidifier can remove radon from their homes. Unfortunately, this is not the case. If your home has a dangerous radon level, you need a radon mitigation system to protect yourself and your family from radon exposure.
A dehumidifier affects the humidity levels in your house. It may have a small effect in reducing radon, but it’s not enough to make a real difference – if you have dangerous levels of radon in your home, they’ll still be dangerous with a dehumidifier in place. A dehumidifier takes in air from your home, removes moisture, and then returns the air to your home. The radon is returned to your home with the air.
Can Radon Get to My Second or Third Floor?
Because radon comes from the ground, it’s understandable that people sometimes believe only their lowest floor will be affected by radon exposure, but this isn’t the case. Radon can be detected on the second and third floors, too. There are even cases of finding higher radon levels on the third floor, which may have to do with third-floor showers being used. Radon can be released from the water.
Radon has also been found above the third floor in higher-rise buildings due to elevators or other air shafts that allow radon to travel upward. You should have your upper floors tested as well as the lower floors instead of assuming the upper floors are safe.
Can Radon Harm Pets?
Radon is dangerous to pets as well as humans - in some cases, even more dangerous. That’s because your pets don’t leave to go to work or school for eight hours a day. They spend more time in the home and therefore accumulate more exposure over the same period. Your pets also have smaller lungs that feel more of the effects, and they like to spend time on ground floors where the highest radon levels typically appear.
In dogs, some of the symptoms of radon poisoning are fever, coughing, breathing difficulties, and lack of appetite. Cats also experience difficulty breathing, lack of appetite, and coughing as well as weight loss, coughing up blood, and lack of energy. If you have pets, that’s another reason why you should have your home tested and decide on mitigation if your home is exposed.
What Does Radon Smell Like?
Radon gas has no smell. It’s also colorless. You can’t taste it, either. There’s no way that you can detect radon with your senses. The only way to know if your home is exposed to radon is to test for it.
A professional radon mitigation service can test your home for radon and give you options for mitigation strategies that will work for your situation. That way, you’ll not only get the answers you need, but you’ll also have a plan of action. It’s no fun to feel helpless about a substance that you can’t detect but that may be causing health problems, so it’s good to have a way to take action.
Radon gas is undetectable without testing, but it can cause serious problems. It won’t make you sick immediately, but you could become seriously ill in time if you don’t limit your exposure. Radon can also harm your pets. You can’t fix the problem with a dehumidifier, and you’re not necessarily safe on the higher floors of your home. Radon testing and radon mitigation strategies are the best ways to ensure the health and safety of yourself, your family, and your pets.