Radon is an odorless, colorless radioactive gas that is found in soil and rock. The gas can penetrate the soil and enter your home through cracks, joints, pipes, wires and pumps located near the foundation of your home. Once it is in your home you will unknowingly breathe it in.
Why is it bad?
Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. Once consumed it can lodge into the lining of your lungs and give off radiation. Over a long period of time this damage can lead to lung cancer.
How do I know if I have Radon in my home?
A Radon Professional can place a monitor in your basement for 48-72 hours. The monitor will take numerous readings throughout the day and at the end of the allotted time will give you an average of the readings.
You can find a directory of Radon professionals on the websites listed below.
Another option to determine if you have radon in your home is to buy a Radon test kit at a local hardware store. The kit is typically placed in the basement for 48-72 hours after which you will send the sample to the lab noted on the kit. The lab will test your kit and send back the results of the test.
I have Radon in my home, what should I do?
The EPA recommends taking action if the radon levels are 4.0 pCi/L or higher. To reduce radon levels you can start by repairing cracks in the foundation and making sure pipes, wires and joints are properly sealed. If this does not reduce the radon levels in your home a professional should install a radon mitigation system.
What is a Radon Mitigation System?
If you have a sump pump in your basement a contractor can attach a pipe and fan at this point to vent out the fumes. The pipe will exit your basement and continue up to the roof emitting fumes at the top.