What is Radon
Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas found in homes and buildings. It is caused by the breakdown of uranium in soil, rock, and water. It seeps into a building through cracks in the foundation, flooring, or walls. Long-term exposure to radon increases the risk of lung cancer, making it a serious concern.
How can I tell if it’s a problem?
One of the most effective ways is to test during a home inspection. This identifies homes that have high levels of radon, so that steps can be taken to reduce exposure before moving in.
Radon is odorless, colorless, and tasteless, so it is impossible to detect without special equipment. Therefore you may not even realize that you are being exposed to dangerous levels.
What is considered a high level?
The EPA recommends below 4pCi/L is an acceptable level. If a radon levels that are above this , it may be necessary to take steps to reduce exposure.
Can it be fixed?
Almost always yes, high levels of radon in a home can be reduced or eliminated through mitigation. This can involve sealing cracks or openings in the foundation, installing a vent pipe system to remove radon gas from beneath the home, and/or installing a radon-reduction system, such as a radon sump or a passive radon system.
The most common method of radon mitigation is installing a vent pipe and fan, which pulls radon from below the house and vents it outside before it can enter the living areas. Called “sub-slab depressurization,” and it is effective at reducing radon levels in most homes.
Overall, testing for radon during a home inspection is a critical step in protecting homeowners and home buyers from the potential dangers of this radioactive gas. As a reference, you can check out the Environmental Protection Agency Website https://www.epa.gov/radon/home-buyers-and-sellers which provide more information and guidance on radon testing and mitigation.
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