As the weather outside gets warmer and warmer, it’s likely you’ve noticed the pain in your neck has loosened, your shoulders are relaxed, or your step is that much lighter. While it’s good to let your worries fade a bit and relax outside with your family, it’s important to keep in mind your family’s safety, too. Did you know that about 1 in 15 U.S. homes is estimated to have radon levels at or above the EPA action level? Think about the town you live in. It’s likely you or one of your neighbors is in need of testing for radon, or at the very least, someone in your city.
So what is radon? Radon is a colorless and odorless radioactive gas produced by decaying uranium that is present in almost all soils. It seeps through the concrete, walls, or floors and gets trapped inside your house. Because it comes from the ground, basements are typical problem areas. It’s also possible for radon to enter your home from well water used for showering for example. Long-term exposure to high levels of radon can cause lung cancer.
However, testing for radon doesn’t have to be as frightening as it may seem. If you’ve never had radon gas testing done, you’ll want to do so as soon as possible. The EPA suggests you test for radon in your home every two years.
There are short-term tests you can do yourself that can take from two days to up to a week for results or long-term tests measuring up to a year or more. If your test results are higher than 4 picoCuries per liter (pCi/L) you should contact a radon professional service to help reduce your levels.
The EPA suggests that you have a qualified radon mitigation contractor handle fixing radon problems. You can check with your state radon office to find a certified radon professional.
The construction of your home will affect the type of radon reduction service you receive. The three most common are basement, slab-on-grade, and crawlspace. According to the EPA, if you have a basement or slab-on-grade foundation, radon will be reduced by one of four soil suction practices: sub-slab suction, drain-tile suction, sump-hole suction, or block-wall suction. Crawlspace homes receive a submembrane suction treatment, which includes covering the earth with a high-density plastic sheet and using a vent pipe and fan to bring it outside.
It’s important to remember testing for radon in your home every few years so you’re able to keep your family safe from the damages of long-term exposure. It can be dangerous, but if you’re smart about testing for radon, you won’t have to worry.