WHAT IS RADON?
Radon is a colorless, odorless radioactive gas that forms naturally from the decay of uranium in rock, soil and water. Once radon gas is formed, it migrates through the soil to the air above. Unless you test for it, there is no way of telling how much is present indoors. The average indoor radon level is 1.3 pCi/L. The EPA recommends that homes with a radon concentration above 4pCi/L be mitigated.
HOW DOES RADON GET INTO MY HOME?
Air pressure inside your home is usually lower that the air pressure in the soil surrounding your home. The difference in pressure causes your home to act as a vacuum, drawing radon in which becomes trapped inside to unhealthy levels. The primary ways radon enters a home are;
- Cracks in foundation/basement floors
- Openings around sump pumps and drains
- Unsealed construction joints (mortar, floor wall)
- Crawlspaces that open directly into the home
- Gaps in suspended floors
- Cavities in walls
- Exposed soil
- Gaps around utility penetrations (pipes, wires)
WHY SHOULD MY HOME BE TESTED?
Exposure to radon is the #2 cause of lung cancer in America. Nearly 1 in 15 homes have high radon levels. This means new and old homes, well-sealed and drafty homes, and homes with, or without basements. Not everyone exposed to radon develops lung cancer, but as the level of radon and length of exposure increase, so do the health risks. If testing determines that high levels of radon exist in your home, there are mitigation systems that can be installed to minimize exposure to radon.