Radar On Radon

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Couple looking at house

According to the CDC, one in 15 American homes are affected by high levels of radon, and most people don’t know anything about it, including the harmful side effects it can have. No sweat—we’ve rounded up the facts for you so that you can take the steps to protect your family and breathe a little easier this year.

What is radon?

Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that is the result of the breakdown of uranium in the soil. It aerates through the earth and rises like smoke. Unlike smoke, radon cannot be seen or smelt, making it hard to detect. In fact, the only way to know if your house is affected by radon gas is through radon detection testing. And because radon levels change every second, a detection test takes the average of radon levels over a 48-hour period.

DID YOU KNOW?

Levels of radon in the earth can vary greatly from one area to the next, so just because your neighbor’s house has high levels of radon does not mean your house does as well.

Happy family playing in bed

Who is most affected by high radon levels?

Children, the elderly population and those who have pre-existing respiratory issues are the most at risk of being negatively impacted by high levels of radon. Exposure to high levels of radon gas is the leading cause of lung cancer in nonsmokers and breathing in radon levels of 4.0 pCi/L (picoCuries per liter of air) or higher is the equivalent of smoking eight cigarettes a day.

DID YOU KNOW?

Radon levels tend to be lower in the dryer, warmer months and higher in the wetter, colder months.

Gutter on brick wall
Photo courtesy of Inspectics

How do you get rid of it?

A radon system installed by radon remediation professionals catches the gas right below the slab of your home using a vacuum ventilation system. Once installed, the system breaks
up the gas and sucks it out through suction pipes that are inserted through the home’s slab and into the earth below.

Because radon is naturally occurring, your home’s radon levels will never be at zero,
but the lower the better. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recommends getting a professional to remediate your radon levels if you have a 4.0 pCi/L or higher. If your home’s levels are at 2.0 pCi/L- 3.9 pCi/L, you should start considering reaching out to a professional. The ideal level of radon is 1.9 pCi/L and below.

DID YOU KNOW?

Since there are no visible signs of high radon levels, it is best to check your radon levels every year or so. This does not necessarily mean you have to have a professional come out each year. You can visit your local library to check out a radon detection kit to determine the radon levels in your home or you can purchase one online starting at $15.

3 Tips to Temporarily Lower Radon Levels*

Windows and Screen Doors

Woman is opening window to look at beautiful snowy landscape outside

Open windows or screen doors to allow air to circulate. Even just cracking your window allows air to ventilate to help reduce radon levels in your home’s air.

Foundation Cracks

Crack in brick wall of a house

Seal any visible cracks in your home’s foundation. Any part of the foundation of your home that has openings is a space that radon could potentially permeate through.

Crawlspaces

Pipe Running in Dirt Crawl Space Under House

If your home has a crawl space, make sure the crawl space is encapsulated to create a barrier between your home and the earth.

*Important to note that these are not permanent solutions and should only be used to temporarily assist in radon reduction until a professional can come to your home to perform radon mitigation services.

This article was written after speaking to a radon remediation professional at Inspectics. inspectics.com

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