It is common to be worried about radon if you sleep in the basement because the basement is one of the areas in a home that is vulnerable to radon exposure. If your home has never been tested for radon and you have no idea whether it could be present in the basement, you need to be concerned about the level of exposure and how it could affect your health. However, you should not be scared of radon after conducting professional radon testing and remediation, because it ensures radon is properly sealed off from entering your home through the basement. This article discusses reasons why you should be concerned about radon in your basement and why you should conduct radon testing and remediation.
What Is Radon And Why Is It A Concern?
Radon is heavier than air, which is why it is commonly found in the lower areas of the house such as the basement. The fact that it is odorless and invisible makes it more dangerous because of the risk it poses to your health. The only way to detect radon in a basement is through specialized tests that can be performed by a homeowner or radon remediation professional. Radon can enter your home through cracks in the foundation and other small openings around sump pits and plumbing that runs in the basement.
Just like other radioactive materials, radon undergoes decay releasing radioactive particles into the air that damage the lung tissue when inhaled. The longer you are exposed to radon, the higher your chances are of being exposed to lung cancer. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends taking immediate action if your radon levels ping at 4 pCi/L. However, radon mitigation professionals can always combine their experience and advanced technology to reduce radon levels to the least readings possible.
Why You Should Test Your Basement For Radon
Getting your home tested for radon can help protect you and your family from its health risks such as cancer and other lung conditions. If you sleep in the basement without any idea of radon exposure, the severe effects of radon may remain undetected until you develop severe health conditions that may be irreversible. Once radon is exposed into the air, it breaks down into a radioactive element that can be absorbed into the lungs through airborne particles. These particles get trapped inside your lungs causing damage over time.
To test your basement and entire home for radon, you can either test yourself or involve the help of professionals. All you need to do when performing a radon test is to follow the instructions on the testing kit and complete the form that accompanied your testing device. Afterward, you need to mail the device in a pre-addressed envelope immediately to a laboratory. The test results will report the radon reading on tested areas in your home using picocuries per liter (pCi/L). If your test results are lower than the EPA guidelines of 4.0 pCi/L, you can always discuss with mitigation companies in your area if the radon level could be brought down further. Alternatively, you can get a quote from a professional radon remediation company and let them do everything for you. Not only is this time-effective, but also safer and more accurate than doing it by yourself.
Installing a Radon Mitigation System in the Basement
Having a finished basement could make installation options a bit limited. However, a licensing mitigation professional should be able to discuss with you an economical and aesthetically pleasing option for your basement. The technician will first perform a thorough inspection of your home including access to the basement, garage, and attic. The most aesthetic option will be running a pipe connection from the basement to the attic. Alternatively, the piping could be run from a mechanical room in the basement through the garage, and then into the attic. The radon piping installation will not be seen outside of your home but from the inside wall of the garage. This method only works when your home has an attic, a mechanical room, and an attached garage. If none of these options are available, then the only choice you will have is to install the system along your home’s exterior.
It is not a bad idea to sleep in the basement as long as your home is free from radon. The only time you need to be concerned about radon is when you have not done any tests that prove your basement is safe. You need to contact licensed Radon mitigation professional to test and install a radon removal system to keep you and your family safe from its health risks.