What is Radon?
As uranium breaks down underground, radon is created as a by-product. The radioactive gas seeps up through the ground and can enter your home through cracks, gaps, and other openings. Higher levels are usually found in the basement and ground level of a building. Over time, the radioactive particles accumulate in your lungs and lead to health problems.
Testing for Radon in the Home
Radon is colorless and odorless, so impossible to detect with your senses. Testing is the only way to determine if your home has elevated levels of the gas. Do-it-yourself kits are available at the hardware store or online, but a professional test will give better results. Hire a radon professional to conduct the test. Professional radon testers are trained to administer the test and get an accurate reading. Testing for radon is inexpensive and offers valuable information about the risk of radon in your home.
Mitigating Radon in the Home
The EPA suggests taking steps to mitigate radon if the levels in your home are at or above 4 pCi/L. If high levels are present, immediately begin to ventilate the area. Encouraging air flow helps reduce the concentration of the gas. You will also need to hire a qualified mitigation contractor to design a radon mitigation system for your home. Ask for estimates from a few different companies before choosing a contractor.
What to Do After Radon Mitigation
A post-mitigation test should be performed within 30 days of the installation of your system. This will verify that the system is working to lower radon levels. After mitigation, have your home tested annually to make sure the levels remain low.
If you decide to remodel the home, talk to your mitigation professional about how the system might be affected. It is recommended that you retest the home for radon gas after any remodeling work is completed.