What to Know About Radon in the Home

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What to Know About Radon in the Home

Where Does Radon Originate?

You may think that radon is something that you’ll never need to think about beyond your high school chemistry class. Unfortunately, radon is a real threat that affects homeowners across the country. Radon originates from radioactive elements like uranium and thorium breaking down underneath the ground. It floats upwards into the atmosphere and can become trapped inside buildings. Learn about the dangers of radon in the home so you can protect your family against its adverse health effects.

Why Should I Worry About Radon in the Home?

The most frightening result of long-term exposure to radon is lung cancer. The EPA estimates that over 20,000 people in the US die every year due to radon-related cancer. Even worse, radon has no smell, color, or taste, so you could have high levels in your home unknowingly. If your home hasn’t been tested for radon, make it a priority to do so as soon as possible.

How Can Radon Get Inside My Home?

Once radon seeps upwards through the ground, it may find its way into buildings through the smallest of cracks, gaps around utility lines, or even porous materials. Once it is inside, it accumulates due to the airtight nature of homes. While having a well-sealed home is great for energy-efficiency, it can make a radon problem worse.

How to Test for Radon

The only way to learn about a radon problem, before serious health signs manifest, is to test your home. Testing can be done in different ways, with a DIY kit or by hiring a professional. It is recommended to hire a professional to administer the test. They use advanced testing equipment compared to cheap DIY kits. With something as serious as lung cancer, you don’t want to risk receiving inaccurate results.

Next Steps After Radon Testing

Radon mitigation is needed in homes that have radon levels of 4pCi/L or higher. A mitigation professional will employ various tactics like repairing the foundation and installing a radon mitigation system with vents and fans. After the system is installed, the home should continue to be tested for radon every year.

January is National Radon Action Month, so schedule a radon test. Maryland Home Inspectors provides home inspection services and radon testing to Washington DC and Baltimore. Contact us to schedule a radon test.

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