One of the most important things about your home is the safety of it.
Generally when thinking about safety, we think uncovered plugs and cracks in walls, but we don’t consider the air we are breathing in each and every day. How do we know if what we breathe in every day within our homes is uncontaminated and truly safe for us?
One of the most common things present in the air in our homes is radon. What is radon you ask? Radon gas, more specifically, is a carcinogen which contaminates the air in our homes and can lead to lung cancer. The lower your exposure to it, the safer you are.
You may be wondering just how radon enters your home…
Due to the difference in pressure between the inside of your home and the pressure present in the soil surrounding your homes foundation, the house acts as a vacuum. Radon is drawn in through the cracks throughout the foundation and other small openings. It seeps from the soil into the foundation of our homes.
One other common way radon enters our homes is through well water. This can be released into the air when showering or using other various sources of water throughout the home. Once the radon is inside, it becomes trapped and continues to build up raising levels of radon constantly. You may not even be aware due to radon being a tasteless, colorless, and odorless gas. This can make it the invisible killer.
Radon is currently the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States today and causes 20,000 deaths yearly. Scary right? So how do you actually know if your homes’ radon levels are qualified as safe?
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the approved level for radon in a home is 0.4 pCi/L. To make sure your home is safe, get someone to come and test for radon levels. The test is cheap and reliable, so anyone can truly do it. You may be asking another question at this point… What do I do if radon is very high in my home?
If your home has high radon levels, immediately contact your local EPA state office. Getting help from a professional is the best step you could take because taking on the process wrong could actually add to radon levels and worsen the situation.
Many of the common solutions to decreasing radon levels are; sealing cracks in the foundation of your home, install a vent fan and turn the pipe into a vacuum-cleaner to route the gas out of your home, or run a three to four inch gas-tight pipe from the first layer or crawlspace to the roof. All of these can help to decrease the levels of radon present in your home and create a safer air environment for you and your family. Tests must be done often to make sure radon stays at a safe level. After construction and other activities that can disrupt to foundation around your home, make sure to test radon levels once again.
If you do all of these things, your home can stay safe and sound from the effects of radon!