Radon is a radioactive gas that forms naturally when uranium, thorium, or radium. These are radioactive metals that break down in rocks, soil & groundwater. According to the CDC Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer after cigarette smoking. Exposure to Radon in your home can have long term effects on your health.
What you should know about Radon
The reason why Radon can affect your health is that dangerous levels can be found inside a home if they build up. Radon is generally not a health risk outdoors due to it being diluted in the open air. As mentioned, Radon comes from the natural breakdown of uranium found in most rocks and soils. Radon emits atomic particles and that is what is inhaled on the air we breathe. Once they are inhaled, they go into our logs and the particles can alter DNA according to the EPA.
How does Radon enter my home?
The easiest way Radon enters your home is through cracks or openings in the foundation. Radon comes from the soil. If you are purchasing a home, in most cases you can request the builder perform a radon test for a small fee. They can take simple steps to deter radon from entering the home. Recommended adjustments they can make that are recommended by professionals consist of adding a layer of clean gravel, lay polyethylene sheeting on top of the gravel, install a gas-tight vent pipe from gravel through the building to the roof, and seal and caulk the foundation thoroughly.
How do you test for Radon?
The radon levels that should not be exceeded indoor is 4.0 pCi/L. This is what is recommended by the EPA. There are a couple of options to test for radon, one of them being test kits available for purchase online or at home improvement stores. The other is having Diamond Property Inspections perform radon testing for you, this is an additional service to your Home Inspection. If high levels of radon are found, you must contact California’s state radon program to help in finding a qualified professional to mitigate it.
How long does it take to test for Radon?
There are two types of radon testing. Long term, and short term. In the event of purchasing, selling, or building a new home you likely are looking for short-term results. Due to the radon levels tend to vary from day to day as well as seasonally, a short-term test is less likely to tell you a year-round average of radon levels. However as suggested by the EPA, a short-term test may be helpful to decide what needs to be fixed in the home. There are two types of devices commonly used for short-term radon testing, a passive device group consists of alpha track detectors, alpha canisters, charcoal liquid, etc. Radon tests should be taken for a minimum of 48 hours, and some devices may require a longer period. An “Active” short-term radon test is continuous monitoring for at least 48 hours. This is the most common tool used in Real Estate transactions.
Here are common Myths about Radon
Radon testing is difficult and lengthy. False. Radon testing is fairly easy. As a qualified and experienced Home Inspector, I can bring the expertise needed for quick & effective testing. However, it can be done by yourself following the proper instructions, and guidelines for effective results.
If high levels of radon are found, it cannot be fixed. Most home repairs are fairly simple and cost effective. The repairs are comparable to common home repair costs. Although costs can vary by qualified contractors to mitigate the problem.
If my Neighbor tested for Radon, I’m good. Unfortunately, radon levels can vary from home to home. The only true way to confirm you are good is by testing.
Call Diamond Property Inspections at (951) 351-1855 to schedule your Inspection today in Riverside County or its surrounding areas. Let us know how we can help you Radon test your home. “We don’t cut corners, we inspect them!”