When you think of your home, you think of it as a sanctuary; a safe haven where you can get away from the world and feel safe.
That’s certainly true, but when it comes to radon, it’s an unseen danger that Americans need to be wary of. You see, radon is a radioactive gas that can’t be smelled and can’t be seen. In some circles, it’s known as the silent killer and for good reason.
The U.S. Surgeon General has warned that radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S. today and affects smokers and non-smokers alike. Additionally, the Surgeon General’s Office estimates that as many as 20,000 lung cancer deaths are caused each year by radon. As if that wasn’t enough, the risk of lung cancer increases by 16% per 100 Bq/m increase in long time average radon concentration.
All of these stats may sound scary and that’s why you can’t delay in dealing with radon. About 1 in 15 U.S. homes is estimated to have radon levels at or above the EPA action level. The EPA also estimates that nearly 1 in 3 homes checked in seven states and on three Indian lands had screening levels over 4 pCi/L, the EPA’s recommended action level for radon exposure.
So the big question is, what can you do to deal with radon at home? With radon testing and radon inspections, you can keep your home safer. Professional radon testing services can test radon levels in your home, but you can also use home kits to test as well. Radon test kits can be picked up at places like Home Depot and Lowes
When you’re doing radon testing and inspection at home, you’ll want to test for it in the lowest level of your home (think somewhere like a basement). Keep in mind that there’s no such thing as safe levels of radon, but during testing if your test kit shows a number of four or higher, you need to take action immediately. If you get a higher number like that, place a call to radon testing services and have them help you out.
What else can you do if you’ve got high level of radon in your home? Well here’s what you need to do:
- Choose a radon mitigation contractor: Lowering the radon level in your home can’t just be done with a snap of the fingers; requires specific knowledge and skills. Many states require radon professionals to be properly certified and meet the requirements of that state. So if you’re looking for professionals, you can ask for a list of certified professionals in your state.
- Have the contractor come up with a plan: Not every home is the same homes are the same. That means not every home’s radon problem is the same either. Your radon problem is going to depend on the type of house you have along with other factors. Regardless of the type of home, a contractor should determine the best course of action for your home. They may recommend soil suction if you’ve got a basement or use a heat recovery ventilator (HRV) to reduce radon levels. It works by pulling in outdoor air which has less radon and used heated or cooled air to warm or cool it as it comes into the house.
- Maintain your mitigation system: To keep radon at acceptable levels in your home, several things should be done. Check the manomater on your mitigation system, if it’s not reading zero that’s good. If it is reading zero it means air isn’t being pulled through the pipe and the electricity to the mitigation system should be checked. A third step is to continue testing every couple of years to make sure the mitigation system is still functioning properly.
An untreated radon probably can have potentially deadly effects inside a home, so if you’ve got a problem it should be dealt with immediately. Buy a home test kit to determine the levels in your home or use professionals, who can determine the levels and then come up with a workable plan to make your home a lot safer.