Radon is a radioactive gas that has been shown to cause lung cancer in patients exposed to it over a lengthy period of time. This odorless, colorless gas is a result of decaying uranium in the soil. While not harmful in low-level amounts, it can be deadly if a homeowner is exposed long-term to the gas.
How Radon Enters Your Home
Radon gas is expelled from the soil below a home. It’s important to realize that any house in any location is susceptible to radon. Depending on the construction of your home, radon can come up through gaps and other holes in the foundation. In rarer cases, radon can enter a home through well water.
Understand How To Test For High-Levels Of Radon
As you discovered above, high levels of radon can be to blame for lung cancer. Therefore, radon testing should be done on any potential property that you’re going to purchase. Due to the deadliness of its exposure, realtors always suggest radon testing as part of the home inspection process. If you’ve already gone through the home inspections process and didn’t order a radon test, then you should do so now.
There are three main types of tests. These include short-term, long-term, and continuous. It’s important to understand the difference between each so that you know what type of test you should be using on your home.
Short-Term Tests can be found at your local hardware store, online retailer, or home center. They typically have activated charcoal that collects a measurement of radon levels over two to seven days. You’ll need to ship off this type of radon test to a lab for testing. This method is great for a quick at-home test to see if the radon levels in your home suggest further testing.
Long-Term Tests are very similar to short-term tests, except they are installed in a home from 90 to 365 days. These use an alpha particle tracking method for measuring the radon levels in your home on an annual basis. You can obtain these test kits from your state’s local radon agency or at an online retailer.
Continuous Radon Tests come in the form of a pluggable device. You simply plug it into one of your receptacle outlets, and it will reveal the average level of radon in your home. These can be used in both the short and long-term, depending on the preference and need of the homeowner.
There are no immediate symptoms of radon exposure and the only way to know if you and your family are at risk is by performing one of the aforementioned tests. The EPA and the Surgeon General recommend testing all homes below the third floor for radon. Gain peace of mind by scheduling your test today!