6 Tips for Dealing with Radon Gas
Radon gas is a naturally occurring substance that can be found all over the planet. When certain radioactive substances, often found in rocks but they can be in other places, decay, they release radon gas as a byproduct of that degradation process. The problem is that radon gas is very dangerous. It is the second leading cause of lung cancer, after smoking. It has been estimated that as many as 20,000 people die every year in the United States as a result of exposure to radon gas, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) and the Surgeon General’s Office. Radom testing companies like to remind people that radon gas is odorless, colorless, and has no taste. The only way to know your home has a problem with this is to have a radon testing and inspection come in and look for you.
- Radon gas seeps into the home from below. It can come up through cracks, holes, or other openings in the foundation of a home or the walls around it. Because it can be found in the rocks around and under a home, it rises and will enter through any spot it can find. Typically, the highest levels of radon gas can be found in a basement, crawl space, or the first floor of a home (if there is no basement or crawl space). Experts at radon testing companies say that it is important to test any floor below the third floor. For homes with two stories or less, the entire home will have to be checked.
- Before you sell a house, you should have a radon testing company come in and run a test. If you find that the house you are trying to sell has an issue with the dangerous gas, you will do yourself no favors if you ignore it. Fixing it by dealing with a reputable radon mitigation company can make it easier to sell the house.
- Finding radon in your home is no reason to panic. There are a lot of ways to deal with radon in a home. The first step, of course, is to enlist the services offered by radon testing companies. If you are looking for professional help but do not know where to turn, you can reach out to the EPA or the radon office that is run by your state government. If you have had one or more radon testing companies check your home and they found radon gas and this makes you worried about the health implications, you should talk to your doctor.
- When you are looking to buy a house, you should ask the current owner what kind of work they did to determine if there is radon gas in the home. If the owner of the home says that they have not contracted with any radon testing companies, you should ask that they go ahead and have the house tested. There are parts of the country that have had more problems with radon gas than others. Areas in which home buyers should ask for the testing to be done are southern Appalachia, the Northeast, the northern Plains, and the Midwest.
- If you found a house that you really like but it has a high radon gas level, ask for the current owner to work with a radon mitigation and abatement service to get rid of it. In most cases, the owner will be responsible for paying for any efforts to lower the radon levels in the house. If you are not convinced that they are doing the right thing, consult with other radon testing companies in the area.
- If you are having a new home constructed, you still have to worry about radon in the structure. There are a number of materials that have been developed to prevent radon from entering a home. You should talk to the builder about using those in your new home if you have concerns about radon gas.
At the end of the day, radon gas can be very dangerous and hard to prevent. If you have a sump pump, you should have it sealed. If you are concerned about this, there are radon testing companies that can help.