If your home has tested high for radon, you are probably concerned about how to protect your family. Radon is a naturally-occurring gas that is also a known carcinogen. Exposure to high amounts of radon can lead to lung cancer.
The first step toward dealing with high radon levels in your home is identifying the problem, but you must also immediately take steps to remove the radon and to create a safe, healthy home environment.
How High Radon Levels in a Home Develop
Your primary experience with radon may have been in school. As a noble gas listed on the periodic table of elements, radon usually receives little attention in a high school chemistry class. However, just like oxygen and nitrogen make up the air in your home, radon may also be present. High radon levels occur when the gas enters and becomes trapped in your home.
1. Identify the Sources
Radon gas develops as part of the decomposition process for uranium. It drifts upward from the soil and can filter into your home through cracks in the foundation and walls, well water, gaps around service pipes, and other openings.
When radon enters the home, it often becomes trapped. Many homes today are much more airtight than older homes constructed many years ago. You want to prevent the gas from entering your home, so first consider how it may be getting in.
2. Locate a Mitigation Contractor
If you are dealing with high radon levels at home, you should locate a mitigation contractor to professionally deal with the issue. Some people may be inclined to take a do-it-yourself approach, but not using effective procedures could result in continuous high radon levels. Find a reputable company to do this work for you for the best results.
3. Explore Mitigation Options
Each home may be affected by different factors, so the right approach to mitigating high radon levels must be determined carefully. There are passive and active mitigation systems available. Some of these include a sump hole, block wall suction, improvements to the sub-slab, and more. Your mitigation expert can explain more about the radon mitigation options that are recommended for your home.
4. Order a Professional Radon Test
Poor indoor air quality can be caused by many factors, such as pet dander, mold, bacteria, dust, and more. Many of these can result in immediate health symptoms. For example, exposure to pet dander may create an allergic response.
Radon gas, on the other hand, is odorless and invisible. Exposure may go undetected for months or years unless you order a professional radon test. Even if you use professional mitigation services to address your current issue, you must be proactive and test regularly to detect any elevated levels of radon in the future.
Learning about high radon levels in your home can be upsetting, but it is actually good to learn about the problem now rather than let it go undetected. Each of these steps is critical in the mitigation process. You and your loved ones may continue to be exposed to this cancer-causing gas until you begin the mitigation process. January is National Radon Action Month, so now is the time to begin addressing this serious problem.