Must people never know what radon testing is until they are told they need to have their home radon tested. For those who don’t know what radon testing is and why it is so important, Lifeline Home Inspections will share what radon testing is, why we do it, and why homeowners should have their home periodically radon tested to ensure safety and enduring health.
Why is Radon Exposure in Homes a Problem?
Radon is an odorless and colorless radioactive gas that is present in the upper layers of soil. The radon gas is slowly released into the air and enters inside living spaces where it is breathed in. Radon gas stays inside the home or building where it is breathed in daily. Radon gas that is breathed in daily is the cause of many cases of lung cancer. About 21,000 Americans die each year due to lung cancer caused by radon. Long term exposure of high levels of radon is essentially lethal and can be present in many homes across America.
How Does Radon Enter a Home?
Radon gas is trapped in the soil and is slowly released. The gas can travel through the pores in the concrete foundation of our homes. Once inside, it gets trapped. Radon gas is also known to enter through the gaps in walls and in the floors. Each home can vary on how much radon gas can be present since the gas may exist more in one spot than in others. Since radon is unpredictable it is important to have the home tested for radon.
Radon Testing Home Inspection
Radon testing is done on ground level or the lowest point in the home and testing can vary. Short term tests are often done first to see if further testing is needed. Radon testers are activated by electrical ions or charcoal which bonds to radon in a device so it can be measured. Short term testing takes from one to two weeks. However, it is strongly recommended to do longer term testing since the gas is released periodically. Radon is most often released after rain, snow, or when heavy amounts of moisture soaks into the soil. A huge amount of radon gas is often released after the snow melts since the snow can trap and hold the gas as it is released from the soil. Continuous radon testers or electric monitors can also be installed in a home and provide a digital read out of any radon levels that may be present in the home.
There are a number of ways to remove radon gas from your home. One method is by installing a ventilation system inside your home. For those that have a sump pump a ventilation system can also be installed there to draw the gas away from the home before it is released. To help prevent high levels of radon, seal the cracks in the home’s foundation as well as the joints. The home foundation can also be sealed with a concrete sealer. However, the sealer will need to be reapplied to maintain its effectiveness. When the season allows, try opening up windows to help ventilate the home.