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Radon In Your Home: Questions And Answers

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Radon is a gas naturally found in the earth that is odorless and colorless, making it very hard to detect. If someone is exposed to too much radon, it can cause cancer and be deadly. There are home radon test kits available to homeowners who want to be aware if radon is present in their home. It is most commonly found seeping out of cracked foundations, in dirt crawlspaces, or through the porous holes in brick. Here are some questions and answers to help you learn more about this dangerous gas.

Why Should I Test For Radon?

According to the EPA, radon can be found in soil almost anywhere in the world, and can easily seep into your home. Over time, your home's foundation may wear and crack, and the gas can seep into your house from the ground without your knowledge. Almost one in every fifteen homes in the United States has some level of radon in their home. Aside from your house, this gas is also found in other buildings like schools, libraries, and other public buildings. Testing is important so you can investigate ways to reduce or remove it as soon as possible.

How Can I Reduce Radon?

Fortunately, there are some things all homeowners can do to help minimize the risks associated with radon gas. First, be sure your basement or crawl space is correctly and thoroughly sealed. If you have concerns, install a gas permeable layer between the slab and flooring of your home, followed by plastic sheeting. This will help to keep the gas from seeping up and into the house. You can also install a vent near this area of your home that will release any gas out and into the atmosphere rather than into the air you're breathing in the home. 

What Problems Can Radon Cause?

The most common health related issue with radon gas is lung cancer. Since you don't know you're breathing the gas in, over time your lungs can be exposed to the radioactive gas without you knowing it. Doctors have discovered that people who smoke cigarettes have a much higher chance of getting lung cancer from breathing in radon, since the lungs are already weakened by smoking. 

What Should I do If I Have Radon in My Home?

You should hire a professional testing company to come in and assess the levels of radon in your home. They can give you a thorough report of the level of radon and if it will pose a threat to you and your family members. Next, determine how to seal off areas where the radon is getting in, and provide proper ventilation in your attic and crawlspaces so any remaining radon can be directed out of the home.