Radon Test

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Buyer's Guide: Radon Test

Radon Testing - A Guide For Homeowners to Lower Your Risks of Indoor Air Quality Problems

Radon testing remains a mystery to many homeowners, though professional Radon Inspectors are trained in this field and should be called immediately when detected. Radon is a very dangerous substance and no amount of protection is adequate for homeowners. The Radon Tester reports levels of Radon 100 times higher than normal. While levels of exposure have been known to exceed that of many chemicals, the Radon Tester can help determine how much Radon is present in your home.

Radon testing remains a mystery to many homeowners, though professional Radon Inspectors are trained in this area and should be called immediately when detected. Most residential property exchanges now require radon mitigation, which consists of reducing radon levels through structural improvements, sealing cracks and porous material. This test can help determine how much radon is present in your home and what you can do about it. It can also alert you to other potential health problems, such as lung cancer, as well as to the levels of ozone in your home.

High levels of radon can cause lung cancer, especially if someone is continuously exposed to the Radon gas in their home. Radon enters your home through the cracks in the foundation, the walls and floorboards of the basement and other spaces. Once in the home, it travels throughout via air or liquid, which it absorbs into the lungs. Radon gas is most dangerous when it is released from high levels of concentration; otherwise, the gas would dissipate rather than collecting and accumulating.

While the levels of radon gas emitted by your own home may not be very high, your indoor air contains measurable levels of radon gas. Even if you keep your home sealed and are diligent about keeping your chimney, plumbing and electrical systems operating properly, the amount of radon in the air is cumulative - meaning that over time, the levels build up and can pose a serious health risk. Over a fifteen year period of time, the level of radon in your home could reach as high as three hundred milligrams per liter. This level is well above the maximum safe levels recommended for sustaining life, but still below the levels which could cause illness.

One of the first steps to reducing radon levels in your home is to locate the radon source. The first step is to find the main areas where radon accumulates. If you have soil, check under sinks, basements, crawl spaces, sheds, attics, out buildings and porches. Generally, the majority of radon comes from soil, and if the soil contains bentonite or brown rocks or juniper wood, this can be a radon hotspot. You can often smell radon underground, so be on the lookout for it.

Radon enters your home through the vent pipe, so it's very important to maintain the pipe's sealing to prevent radon from getting into your home. If the soil in your crawl space or basement contains bentonite, you are at an increased risk of developing lung cancer as a result of inhaling radon gas. The EPA recommends that all homes built with penetrable soil have a radon mitigation system, or have the builder install the system before building. For your peace of mind and to meet the radon guideline, you should have the mitigation system installed by a professional, and he or she should make sure that it's properly sealed and is not missing from the soil.

The second step to reducing your radon exposure is to maintain your ventilation. For this guideline, you'll want to focus on reducing the amount of heat in your house. The Radon Health Recommendation recommends that every home have a centralized, duct-less fan in the attic or a dehumidifier to draw excess moisture out of the air. You may also want to invest in an exhaust fan for the basement or another place in your house where you'll have plenty of ventilation.

The final step is making sure that your plumbing system and your vent pipe is cleaned out regularly. The Radon Health Recommendation recommends using a radon emission monitor where you ventilate your basement, to check for levels on a weekly basis. If you find any areas that are high, you should call your local health department or your plumber to see what they recommend for reducing your exposure. In addition to cleaning out your vents and plumbing lines on a regular basis, you should consider placing an absorbent sock in your sump pit for each visit to the sump pump and vent pipe to catch any leaks that might occur.

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