Radon What Is It and How To Check For It

Radon testing and inspection

Radon is an odorless and colorless gas that is produced from the Earth?s soil due to the natural decay of uranium. However, while radon levels may be limited outdoors and therefore may not be a health concern they can accumulate and become detrimental indoors. Knowing how radon may get into your home and how to test for it are essential to not only your health, but also the health of your loved ones.

How does radon get into your home?

Radon is a radioactive gas that comes from the soil. In the United States alone, 1 in 15 homes is estimated to have levels of radon which are above EPA action level. But how does it get into our homes in the first place?

Air pressure inside a home is typically lower than the pressure of the soil outside. This difference causes the air pressure to naturally seek a balance when pathways are created. Therefore, more pressure is being pulled into your home whenever pathways to the outdoors can be found such as through cracks in the foundation, crawl spaces, loose pipes, or other sources. This ultimately increases the amount of radon in your home and traps it there creating a hostile percentage of radon that is detrimental to your health and may very well lead to lung cancer.

How do you check if there?s too much radon in your home?

One way to determine if the amount of radon in your home is by purchasing a short-term or long-term radon gas testing kit. Short-term radon testing kits monitor the amount of radon in your home between two to seven days and can be conducted by the average homeowner.

Place your short-term kit 20 inches above the floor in an enclosed, but common area such as the living room. Don?t use any fans or air conditioning units which may bring in air from outside and could influence the test. When the time frame for the testing is up, collect your radon testing material and send it to the designated radon testing and inspection company designated on the package of your short-term test.

For a more accurate reading on the radon in your home, consider utilizing a long-term radon test, which may take anywhere between 90 days to a year. These types of tests are best conducted by a local radon testing company. A radon testing company will be able to correctly monitor and detect the amount of radon in your home. If the radon levels in your home are too high, a radon testing company will be able to provide you with the best options available in reducing the amount to healthy levels.

Radon is not to be taken lightly and is the second most common cause of lung cancer in Americans. To keep your loved ones safe, be sure to regularly check your home for radon that may be at or above EPA action levels.

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