If radon gas is in your home, it's something you want to be aware of - and eradicate - for your family's health and safety.
This odorless, colorless gas usually enters homes through the soil, or through cracks in the foundation or gaps in your home's flooring.
Why is detecting and eradicating radon gas important? For starters, radon and lung cancer go hand in hand. Trapped inside your home, radon gas can build to dangerous levels.
An inexpensive test kit can put your mind at ease; or alert you to a danger that warrants professional eradication. Here's what you need to know to determine whether or not radon gas is present in your home.
These short-term tests remain in your home for anywhere from 2 to 90 days, depending on the device.
The most common short-term radon testers are charcoal canisters, alpha track, electric
ion chamber, continuous monitors, and charcoal liquid
If testing shows your result is 4 pCi/L or higher of radon, take a follow-up test to be sure. You can follow up with either a long-term test or a second short-term test:
If your first short-term radon gas test result is more than twice EPA's 4 pCi/L action level, you should take a second short-term test immediately.
From there, once you've confirmed you have a problem, you can take steps toward remediation.
There are several proven methods to reduce radon in your home, but the one primarily used is a vent pipe system and fan, which pulls radon from beneath the house and vents it to the outside.
This system, known as a soil suction radon reduction system, does not require major changes to your home. Sealing foundation cracks and other openings makes this kind of system more effective and cost-efficient.
Similar systems can also be installed in houses with crawl spaces. The right system depends on the design of your home.
If there is radon in your water supply, it poses an inhalation risk and an ingestion risk. However, most of the risk from radon in water comes from radon released into the air when water is used for showering and other household purposes.
If you've tested the air in your home and found a radon problem, and your water comes from a well, have your water tested. And it's probably time to consider contacting a radon mitigation professional.