Radon poses a serious health risk especially when you are exposed to it over a long time. It is a dangerous gas that seeps silently into a home through gaps or cracks in the foundation. The fact that radon is colorless, odorless, and tasteless means that occupants can be exposed to its effects without knowing. One of the long-term illnesses associated with prolonged radon exposure is the risk of developing lung cancer. The good news is that the radon problem is a manageable risk and you can take the necessary steps to reduce its presence in your home. In this article, we will be discussing what you should do if you suspect there may be radon in your house.
Understand the risk of exposure
It is important to understand the risk radon poses to your health. Radon is formed naturally from the decay of uranium found in soil, rock, and water.
Do you understand the risk of radon exposure?
It enters your home through gaps around pipes, cracks in the foundation, and other openings. It can accumulate over time, especially in basements and lower levels of your home. When you are exposed to radon for a long period, you risk developing lung cancer. Not everyone who is exposed to high radon levels will develop lung cancer. The risk usually depends on factors such as the duration of exposure and the concentration of radon particulates in the air you breathe.
- Test your home for radon
Since radon is a tasteless, colorless, and odorless gas, the best way to determine its presence is through testing. Short-term radon tests can last anywhere between two and seven days. The procedure involves placing a radon testing kit in the lowest area of your home such as the basement. Once the testing period is over, you can send the kit to the laboratory for analysis. Keep in mind that this method only provides a snapshot of the radon levels in your home. Long-term radon tests can last up to 90 days or more and provide a more accurate picture of the average levels of radon in your home.
- Hire a certified radon mitigation professional
The process of reducing concentrations of radon in your indoor air is known as radon mitigation. If your radon test results indicate higher levels of radon presence in your home, it is important to address this issue promptly by hiring a certified radon mitigation company. Certified professionals have the necessary training and experience to assess the specific radon problem in your home and install effective mitigation systems. Keep in mind that radon mitigation techniques may vary but often involve the installation of a ventilation system that channels the radon gas from the ground to the outdoors. This, in turn, prevents radon gas from entering your home.
- Take preventative measures
Even if your radon test results indicated safe levels, it is still a good idea to take preventative measures that reduce the risk further. Some of the actions you can take to minimize radon include sealing foundation cracks, improving ventilation, and implementing a radon-resistant construction plan. Seal the cracks or openings in the foundation to prevent radon from seeping in. It is essential to ensure that your home has proper ventilation in all areas including the basement. If you are building a new home or renovating an existing one, you can incorporate radon-resistant construction techniques right from the start to prevent radon from entering your home.
- Re-test for radon levels periodically
Radon levels inside your home can change over time due to factors such as changes in soil conditions, ventilation, and seasonal fluctuations. This means that testing it only once may not accurately reflect the long-term risk of radon exposure. When you test for radon levels periodically, you can easily monitor whether it has changed and take appropriate actions if necessary. It can also help to mitigate any health risks associated with radon exposure. Re-testing for radon gives homeowners peace of mind that their homes are safe from elevated radon levels. Therefore, it helps to alleviate concerns about long-term health risks to safeguard your family’s safety.
Radon can silently seep into your home without anyone noticing because it is colorless, odorless, and tasteless. Prolonged radon exposure can lead to serious health problems like lung cancer. If you think that radon may be present in your home, it is important to conduct a professional test and hire a certified radon mitigation professional to minimize the risk of exposure. Besides taking preventative measures, it is also a good idea to re-test for radon levels periodically to safeguard your family’s health and peace of mind.