Discovering high levels of radon in the home can be stressful. You go to great lengths to protect your home and family and now you’ve found out that your property has a radon problem. January is National Radon Action Month and a great time to find out what to do about radon in your home.
The Basics of Radon: What You Need to Know
One of the reasons that radon is so dangerous is that it’s impossible to detect without special equipment. Radon is an invisible radioactive gas that is formed when natural substances such as thorium, uranium, and radium break down over time.
Although this is a natural process, high levels of radon in the home most commonly occur when poor ventilation systems, cracked foundations, or other issues allow too much radon to seep indoors and become trapped.
Occupants of the home breathe in the radon, and over time, it causes damage to the body. Long-term radon exposure is believed to be responsible for up to 21,000 lung cancer deaths in the United States each year.
Managing High Levels of Radon in the Home: The First Steps to Take
You don’t have to sell your home and move to protect yourself from radon. It takes many years of regular exposure to cause serious health issues. However, if you discover that there are high levels of radon in the home, action should be taken as soon as possible. Here are the steps to take to keep your home safe from radon.
1. Get a Professional Test
If you haven’t already done so, it’s crucial to get a professional radon test to help you measure the radon levels in your home. If you’re already aware of the presence of radon and you haven’t received help from professionals, then you most likely used a home test.
While these tests can be helpful by alerting you to the presence of radon, a professional test uses better equipment to provide more accurate results.
2. Make Some Minor Fixes
If you’re feeling anxious about high levels of radon in the home while you’re waiting on an appointment with the professionals, you can make some quick fixes to your home that could block some of the radon from coming in.
If you have cracks in your foundation, use caulk to seal them up. You can also apply plastic sheeting over the ground in your crawlspace, which can block radon from rising into your home. Open your windows each day to let fresh air circulate throughout your home and improve the air quality.
3. Consider Long-term Changes
If your radon test shows 4 pCi/L or higher, a radon mitigation expert will help you gain a better understanding of the home’s situation. Determining the source of the problem will help the experts come up with a solution.
Options for home renovations that could help with radon exposure include running a ventilation pipe from the bottom crawlspace up to the roof or installing a fan to help move the radon outside.
There are other options as well, so be sure to talk to your mitigation expert about how you can best use your resources to eliminate radon from your home.
If you’re worried about high levels of radon in the home in Bismarck-Mandan, ND, contact Home Guard Inspections for a radon test.