As a homeowner, maintaining a safe and healthy living environment is a top priority. Understanding various household health hazards and effective methods for combating them ensures you and your family have a better quality of life.
Read on to learn what homeowners need to know about radon.
What is radon?
Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that’s tasteless, odorless, and colorless. In essence, it’s the byproduct of decaying uranium in soil, rock, and water. Radon is a health hazard due to its radioactivity, emitting ionizing radiation as it decays. This ionizing radiation can damage living cells and potentially lead to mutations in DNA, increasing the risk of lung cancer when inhaled over long periods.
The primary source of radon entering your home is the soil beneath it. As uranium breaks down, it releases radon gas and travels through various cracks and openings in the foundation, walls, and floor. Other possible entry points include plumbing gaps, sump pumps, and construction joints.
The importance of regular radon testing
Regular radon testing is crucial in ensuring the safety and well-being of you and your family. Radon is impossible to detect without proper testing. Additionally, radon levels can fluctuate over time due to seasonal shifts, changes in soil conditions, and changes in your home’s ventilation or structural integrity.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends that all homeowners test their homes for radon at least every two years, regardless of previous test results. This frequency ensures that people detect any changes in radon levels early, allowing for timely mitigation measures if needed. It’s also advisable to test your home for radon during the process of buying or selling a property, as well as after any major renovations or construction projects.
While testing is the most effective way to identify and address radon issues in your home, homeowners can implement several supplementary tactics to increase radon protection. These additional measures can help minimize radon entry into your home and improve indoor air quality, reducing your overall exposure to this harmful gas.
Installing a radon mitigation system, such as a soil depressurization system, can effectively reduce radon levels by drawing the gas from beneath the foundation and venting it outside. Additionally, repairing foundational damages, such as cracks, gaps, and other openings, throughout your home eliminates entry points, trapping radon in the soil where it belongs. You can even utilize air dehumidifiers to combat radon in your home! Proper humidity levels can help reduce the amount of radon that attaches to dust particles, making it less likely for you to inhale those particles. Another strategy is to use air purifiers with HEPA filters, which can capture some of the radon decay products before you breathe them in.
Use this helpful guide on what homeowners need to know about radon to ensure your humble abode is a safe and healthy environment for the entire family! Remember that, above all else, regular testing is the most helpful method for eliminating the risks of radon exposure.