Why And How To Reduce High Levels Of Radon In Your Home

Posted on: 25 June 2019

Radon is a natural gas found in the environment, but it can be harmful when it enters your home. This can happen when your home is built over an area where radon accumulates. You can't tell if your home has radon until you test for it. You can hire a radon testing company or use a home test kit to find out if your home has high levels of radon and how much radon is present. When radon is detected, you'll want to do something to reduce or eliminate it. Here's why it's important to mitigate radon and how it might be done.

Why Radon Is A Danger

Radon is a radioactive gas that results when uranium in the earth breaks down. It's present in many geographic areas in small enough amounts that it's harmless outdoors. However, when it builds up inside your house, it increases your exposure to radiation. This can lead to lung cancer. Radon is a primary cause of lung cancer in people who don't smoke. The longer you live in a home that has a high radon level, the greater your risk of developing lung cancer. Therefore, it's a good idea to test your home to find out if radon is present so you can reduce your exposure.

How Radon Mitigation Might Be Done

If you find high levels of radon, you'll want to call a professional radon mitigation company to install a system in your house that blocks radon or that pulls it out of your house. The method used depends on if your home is on a slab or if it has a basement or crawlspace. One of the first steps is to seal gaps, cracks, and leaks in your foundation so radon in the soil can't seep into your home through the slab or walls. If your home is built on a slab, or if it has a basement, the radon mitigation installation method might consist of a vent from the slab up to the roof of your house. When a fan is installed along with the vent, radon that collects under the foundation is pulled up through the vent and out of the house through the roof. This keeps radon from accumulating in your basement and home.

If your home is built on a crawlspace, the crawlspace might be sealed with a membrane. The membrane is placed over the soil so radon can't seep up and into your home through the flooring. The membrane is sealed to the walls so no gas can leak into the crawlspace. Encapsulating the crawlspace to decrease problems with moisture and mold can also help mitigate radon.

Once the mitigation system is in place, you'll want to test your home for radon to make sure the system is effective. If you know your home is at high risk of radon exposure, you may want to test your home periodically just to make sure the levels stay low and that the radon mitigation system continues to work as it should and hasn't developed leaks or other problems.