Is Radon Gas In Your Home? 5 Facts You Need to Know

When was the last time you had radon testing done on your home? If the answer is never, you're about to find out why radon testing is key to maintaining a healthy home environment for your family. Radon gas is highly dangerous and can invade your home undetected. Knowing what to look for and what steps to take will help keep you and your family safe from this silent killer.

What is Radon Gas?

Radon gas naturally occurs through the decay of uranium in the soil. It is existent in low levels outdoors, making it less of a health risk. Although, radon seeps into your home through cracks in walls and floors, sump pumps, poorly-sealed basements and crawl spaces, areas around water sources such as well water or springs, or any other opening that allows air to enter from the outside of your home. Your home traps radon in and it will build up over time. As you breathe it in, you and your family are at high risk of developing lung cancer.

Facts About Radon

  1. Radon is odorless, colorless, and tasteless making it completely undetectable by human senses. Without proper testing, one could be breathing unsafe levels of radon for weeks, months, even years without knowing until it is too late. The only way to know to know what the Radon levels are within your home is to perform a test.
  2. Radon is everywhere. You may find that you have a high level of radon gas in your home if you live in an area where it's common for soil to contain uranium ore.
  3. Exposure to Radon has no immediate symptoms. Symptoms from exposure to unsafe levels of radon gas could take years to reveal themselves. Radon has been identified by the Environmental Protection Agency as the second leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers in the United States, with approximately 21,000 deaths every year. This is why Radon is called a silent killer.
  4. Radon gas can be present and build up in any building. Not only is it recommended to test your home for radon, but also schools, offices, and any place of business should be tested.
  5. Radon levels in homes are highest during the winter months due to doors and windows being kept closed to keep the house warm.

Radon Atomic Mass and Element Symbol

Testing for Radon

Radon testing is the process of measuring the level of radon gas present in the air within a building. Testing is essential because radon cannot be detected by human senses and the only way to determine if your home has unsafe levels is by conducting a test. Radon testing can be conducted by qualified professionals, such as a home inspector or indoor environmentalist. You can also purchase a radon testing kit to easily perform a test on your home. Testing your home for radon gas is a simple process that can be completed in minutes. When testing, it's important to know what levels are safe so you can take steps to reduce them if necessary.

Tips to protect your home from Radon

Make sure your home has good ventilation

Having good ventilation in your home is not a permanent solution for radon, but it will have an effect. Open windows when the weather permits. This increases ventilation by allowing fresh air to flow in and letting radon disperse out of your home. Also, use your HVAC system. Even when you aren’t heating or cooling your home, it is effective to run the fan mode to 

Seal gaps and cracks in the foundation

Sealing gaps and cracks in the foundation should always be a basic part of Radon Mitigation. Since it's a gas, radon naturally moves to areas where there's less pressure, or otherwise known as the path of least resistance. By sealing gaps and openings, we can increase efficiency of a Radon Mitigation system. By reducing the number of entry points, we can maximize the sub-slab suction of the Radon Mitigation system to effectively reduce Radon levels without having to overcome losses in pressure.

Picture of a sealed cold joint as a part of Radon Mitigation by Ensign Building Solutions.
Sealed Cold Joint As a part of a Radon Mitigation System Installation

Perform a radon test in your home every 2 years

The EPA recommends that homes should be tested for radon every 2 years as a part of routine home maintenance. After performing any major renovations or home improvement projects, a home should be tested again as the building dynamics may very well change. Even after installing a Radon Mitigation system, it is still recommended to perform Radon Testing every 2 years.

Following the installation of a radon mitigation system, retesting your home every two years is recommended for:

  • Ensuring Continued Effectiveness: Over time, components of the mitigation system may experience wear and tear, or external factors like ground movement can affect its performance. Regular retesting allows you to verify that the system is still effectively keeping radon levels at a minimum in your home.
  • Early Detection of Issues: Early detection of any potential problems with the system, such as leaks or fan malfunctions, enables prompt repair or adjustments to maintain optimal performance. This proactive approach minimizes the risk of re-exposure to elevated radon levels.
  • Peace of Mind: Knowing your home maintains a safe and healthy environment for you and your family brings peace of mind and reassurance. Regular retesting provides objective data on the continued effectiveness of the mitigation system, allowing you to focus on enjoying your home without worrying about potential radon exposure.

Do Not Mitigate Radon Yourself

We do not recommend trying to mitigate Radon by yourself. This is a job for a specialist. Mitigating Radon requires special knowledge, expertise, and tools. In trying to fix this problem yourself, there is a high potential for creating more hazardous problems and even increased costs. Save yourself the headache and have a certified radon professional service your home.

If you have problems with Radon in your home, office, or any other type of facility, call us today and we’ll use our expertise to provide you with the best solution. Ensign Building Solutions services Residential and Commercial buildings all over the North Georgia area.

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