Radon is a by-product from the breakdown of uranium. The resulting gas seeps up through the earth and is released into the air. It enters your home through cracks and other openings in the walls and foundation. The gas becomes trapped in the basement or first floor of your house and accumulates there, mixing with the air indoors.
Unfortunately, long-term exposure can result in the development of lung cancer. Radon is second, only to smoking, as the leading cause of lung cancer in the United States.
Testing for Radon in the Home
DIY radon tests are available in hardware stores. However, it’s best to have a professional supply and perform the test for you. There are too many variables involved in getting an accurate reading. You may make a mistake simply because you don’t have the experience required to close up the home properly or administer the test.
Mitigating Radon in the Home
If high levels of radon are found, hire a mitigation expert to design a mitigation system based on the type of home you live in. There are different types of systems, but most ventilate radon out of the home and prevent more of the gas from entering.
Maintaining Low Levels of Radon
After the mitigation system is installed, have another radon test performed in 30-60 days. The test will verify that your system is working. For the health and safety of your family, schedule regular radon testing at least yearly. This will let you know that the installed system is working correctly to keep radon levels from rising.