Radon is an incredibly dangerous gas that can make its way into your home through cracks, small gaps, or through your home’s water system. As radon is present in almost any type of soil, most homes are at risk of radon traveling upward through the soil and into the home.
As radon is odorless, colorless, and tasteless, you wouldn’t be able to know whether or not your house has this radioactive, cancer-causing gas without testing for its presence. While it typically takes years of exposure for radon to cause health issues, it isn’t uncommon for radon to go undetected long lengths of time.
Since this gas is relatively common and can have serious health implications, you should know how to test for it and what to do if you find it in your house.
Test for Radon
You can perform, short-term, long-term, and continuous to determine your home’s radon levels.
Short-term tests are a good first option. These tests usually measure radon over a period of two to seven days. Typically, you have to mail the test in to get your results. These tests are generally used to determine if long-term testing is needed.
Most long-term tests use alpha particle tracking to measure radon level for anywhere from 90 days to an entire year. Since radon levels can vary often and significantly, it’s important to use long-term tests to be sure whether or not your home’s radon levels are acceptable. According to the EPA, a radon level over 4pCi/L is not acceptable and needs to be mitigated.
Lastly, continuous tests can be used for either short-term or long-term tests and show you your home’s ongoing radon levels.
First, you can try to lower the radon levels in your house by sealing areas where it may be entering your home. This likely won’t drastically reduce the amount of radon in your home but can help slightly.
Try using caulk to seal cracks in your home’s foundation and walls. You can also try using polyurethane plastic sheeting to cover soil beneath your house.
Hire a Licensed Radon Mitigator
If your home’s radon levels are high, it is recommended that you hire a licensed radon mitigation company to reduce the radon levels in your home.
Doing this requires specific knowledge and skills. In fact, many states require that this task is handled only be registered and licensed professionals.
While DIY solutions might seem appealing in order to save money, for your safety and peace of mind, you should seriously consider hiring a licensed contractor to ensure that your home’s radon levels are reduced to a safe level.
The most popular radon mitigation systems generally involve using fans or PVC piping to draw the gas from under your house and reroute it to outside of your home. These systems usually cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to over one thousand dollars to install but are very effective in reducing radon levels.
Once your home has been treated, be sure to retest your home to ensure that radon levels are at an acceptable level.