While using a certified company to both tests for and mitigate the radon in your home is recommended, there are some simple DIY tips to reduce radon levels that don’t require a third party.
This article gives residents in Colorado the tools to reduce radon in their homes. Read on to learn about these helpful tips.
What Causes Radon?
Radon is a dangerous gas that is present nearly everywhere, and almost any home can have elevated levels. Radon gas is composed of radioactive particles that, when breathed in, damage the cells lining your lungs, increasing your risk of developing lung cancer.
Radon is colorless, tasteless, and odorless; you’ll never know it’s there unless you test for it. Present in rocks and soil, the outdoor average radon level is 0.4 pCi/L. If radon gas is released from the rocks and dirt beneath your home, your indoor level can be significantly higher than 0.4 pCi/L. While there is no ‘safe’ level of radon, the U.S. EPA has an action level of 4.0 pCi/L, meaning if your home tests at this level or higher, you should mitigate it quickly.
Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer, which has a five-year survival rate of 55% if caught early, which only happens 16% of the time.
Now that we know what radon is, let’s look at how to reduce radon in your home.
Reducing Radon in Your Home
Radon gas enters your home through a suction-like process. The air pressure inside your home is typically lower than the pressure in the soil below and surrounding your foundation. This pressure difference turns your house into a vacuum, sucking radon out of the ground and moving it upward into the living space through foundation cracks and gaps. The gas is then trapped inside your home, where it can build to dangerous levels.
Knowledge is Power: Radon Testing
Radon levels indoors vary from day to day and season to season, based on factors like how many windows and doors are open, and your HVAC system usage. Therefore, there are two types of radon testing—short-term and long-term.
For a quick snapshot of your radon levels, usually preferred in real estate transactions, a short-term test lasts from 3 to 90 days. Long-term tests give a broader picture of level fluctuations, lasting 91 days or longer. Long-term tests give you a better sense of what is happening in your home from day to day as well as season to season.
Testing is done through a device placed in your lowest level of living, not the lowest level of the entire home. The goal is to find the radon level your family is actively breathing in. Results come back measured in picocuries per liter of air, pCi/L. While the EPA action level is 4.0 pCi/L, anything below 2.0 pCi/L is preferred.
Reducing Radon Without A Mitigation System
Always start with radon testing your home. If your levels come back high, it’s highly recommended that you reach out to a professional. It can be exceedingly difficult to reduce your radon level sufficiently without installing a mitigation system. However, if radon levels are moderate, try using these tips to reduce radon levels.
Ventilate the lowest level of the house, whether that be a crawlspace, basement, or if you have a slab foundation, the living area. If you have a basement you are ventilating, when it comes to how to lower radon levels it may be more cost-effective and comfortable to close it off and limit its use.
Seal Cracks in the Basement
Remember, radon rises into the home through cracks and gaps in your foundation, basement, and flooring. Find all the breaks you can, and seal them with caulk or epoxy sealant. It will be hard to find and seal every crack but fixing enough of them will make an impact on your radon level, which is great, no matter how small that impact may be.
Looking for a Professional Radon Mitigation Service?
Don’t wait to make your home a healthier, safer environment! Call (719) 332-3747 or contact us today to receive a free radon consultation today! Or if you would like to test your home and want to schedule an appointment, click Schedule Testing. We serve Colorado Springs and all of the Southern Colorado Region.
Our level of expertise allows us to offer an unusual guarantee: in virtually all cases we promise that for the (competitive) price we quote for every installation you will receive a system that is guaranteed to work. Even if that means that we have to return to modify the system, or even add a second system. Every few hundred installations, specific soil conditions surprise even us and we have to change an installation. If this were to happen to your property, you will not face additional charges – this is where the guarantee comes in.