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Humans inhale between 17,390 and 23,150 breaths each day on average. Since most folks spend a great deal of their time indoors, we’re inhaling a lot of indoor air. We rarely think about the air we breathe in the house because we have vents, air purifiers, houseplants, and air filters. Even with all of the items that filter our air, several domestic health dangers could be floating about your home, finding their way into your lungs, and establishing a permanent home.
This radioactive gas can be found anywhere, even in the open air. However, because outdoor air is wide and open, radon levels remain low. A house, on the other hand, is a different matter. It retains radon and causes it to build up because it is contained. This is not something you should let occur for a long time. Over time, prolonged exposure to high amounts of it can be harmful. Don’t get too worked up just yet.
There are efficient techniques to mitigate radon in your house. To begin, you’ll need to determine the levels within your house. The only way to find out if your home has unsafe amounts of it is to test it. Continue reading to find out a little more about how to reduce its levels in your house. But first, let’s discuss the deadly gas and the dangers it poses. Follow this link for more info https://cdphe.colorado.gov/testing-your-home-radon.
What is radon, and how does it affect you?
This radioactive gas is produced whenever radioactive metals like thorium, uranium, or radium decay in rocks, soil, or groundwater. Low levels of radon are unavoidable because it is a naturally present gas found in the air we inhale and, in some cases, the water we swallow.
Sadly, it’s a cancer-causing gas. It’s also difficult to detect because it’s odorless, colorless, and tasteless. If you want to have a good night’s sleep knowing that your house is safe, hire a professional to test whether you are exposed to the gas.
What are the dangers of its exposure?
As per the Environmental Protection Agency, radon is one of the main culprits for causing lung cancer. Around 22,000 people die each year from it, 3,900 of whom are non-smokers. When you inhale it, it penetrates the membrane of your lungs and causes radiation damage to cells over time. Lung cancer may result as a result of this.
Several lifestyle practices, including burning coal, wood, or other fuels in the home, as well as smoking, might enhance the hazards associated with its exposure.
What causes it to enter my home?
Because the pressure within your home is often lower than the pressure outside, it functions as a vacuum, drawing radon in through various openings, including foundation cracks and holes, sump pump, mortar joints, cavities inside the walls, well water, and others.
While this gas can infiltrate the residence through well water and construction materials, the most typical way is through the house’s soil. While some locations of the United States are more vulnerable to excessive levels than others, all households are at risk. The only method to find out what levels are present in your house is to conduct a test.
What is the best way to test for it?
There are several different methods for radon testing. There are usually four types of testing which you will discover below. You can test for radon yourself using a DIY test kit or a specialized detector, or you can pay an expert to do it for you. Each type of test does have its own set of benefits and drawbacks, which we’ll discuss further down.
Whatever method you pick, make sure the test is done in the lower level of the house that is – or may be – utilized as a living space. Ensure that all of your doors and windows are closed for at least 12 hours before the test. The best thing to do would be to keep them closed except when you need to leave or enter the house once more.
Place the test kit at approximately 4 feet from the outside walls and 2 feet above the ground. High humidity, strong storms, or high winds should not be tested because they can impair the precision of the reading. Read more on this page.
Start with a short-term radon test, which monitors levels in your home for 3-8 days. This is a simple and inexpensive approach to run a test at home. Most of these tests are also available in DIY kits purchased at hardware stores or even online. Bear in mind that while this kind of testing is fast and easy, it is also the least reliable.
Read the label that came with your kit to perform this type of test. Most of these kits come with a sampler and an envelope to fill out with your address, name, and email address. You may also need to record when you started and finished the test. Leave the tester in the room for 3-8 days to collect a sample, then send it to a testing lab in the envelope given in the kit. Within a few days, lab results are usually received or emailed.
This one is similar to short-term testing, except that it tests the region for 90 days rather than the maximum of seven. It is, without a doubt, the more time-consuming alternative, but it is also the more precise. Because weather and seasonal temperatures essentially average out, testing the gas’ levels over time minimizes the probability of incorrect results caused by these factors.
Ongoing radon testing entails continuously monitoring and testing gas levels. This could be done for a short period, a long period, or indefinitely. Check the levels during the day using continuous radon monitors. Generally, the levels are shown on the device’s screen. Because the accuracy of these monitors varies, do your homework before using this strategy.
Hiring a professional to set up, and analyze their own radon test findings is the best approach to receive an accurate reading or to validate the gas’ levels from your own test. A DIY test’s outcomes can be skewed by various variables, one of which being user mistakes. A skilled tester has been trained, certified, and is knowledgeable on how to use the proper equipment and interpret results.
Radon Mitigation Systems
Both airborne and waterborne radon levels can be reduced with mitigation technologies. Several of these systems could also lower its levels by up to 99 percent in your house.
From the air
Most mitigation systems employ a fan to force the radioactive gas through a PVC pipe that eventually leads out of the house, drawing the gas out from the foundation, sump pump, or crawl space.
Because the system involves unique expertise and equipment, and the wrong installation might result in an increase in gas levels, the EPA recommends having a licensed mitigation contractor install it in your house.
A qualified radon company that can do the job efficiently is obtained from your state’s radon agency. Depending on how big the issue is, the kind of mitigation system you require, and the architecture and location of your home, most contractors will charge anywhere between a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. But your health matters the most.
From the water
Waterborne radon pollution is significantly less prevalent, yet it still kills 30 to 1,800 people each year. The biggest issue is water originating from an underground source, such as a well because city water is normally cleaned. Use an aeration treatment system to remove it from water.
It involves mixing water with air and then removing the air and radon. Regardless of whatever system you choose, make sure it’s installed at the point of entry to reduce radon levels in all types of water that enter the building, whether it’s from the tub, sink, washing machine, toilet, or other devices.
Homebuyer’s guide to this radioactive gas
When you’re buying your first home, there’s a lot to consider. When you’re looking for a property, having it assessed, and dealing with the mortgage procedure, radon could be the last thing on your mind. But now that you’re aware of the dangers of radon exposure, you may use what you’ve learned to protect your health and even help you negotiate a better deal.
You can request a retest if the testing was done more than two years ago or if you were dissatisfied with the way it was conducted. If the house has been remodeled or if the HVAC system has been running since the last testing, you may wish to request a new one.
Suppose the home hasn’t been checked for radon, or you want a new test. In that case, you’ll need to consult with the seller to find out where to test, what kind of test to run, and who would pay for both the test and mitigation options if the levels are high. If radon is discovered, this can spare you from unexpected remediation costs.