Now, the holidays are over with and New Years’ resolutions have been made and in some cases already broken. The Christmas tree and decorations are packed up and placed in storage in preparation for the 2019 Christmas Season. It’s time to get back to having a healthy and trouble-free home.
January is National Radon Action Month. The EPA recommends radon testing. It’s easy and inexpensive. If your level of radon is 4 picocuries per liter or higher, it’s recommended to fix your home. Radon levels less than that still pose a risk and in many cases may be decreased. Radon is estimated to cause approximately over 20, 000 deaths per year as the second leading cause of lung cancer. Smoking still causes more lung cancer deaths.
Radon, like CO2, can’t be seen, smelled, or tasted. It’s found all over the United States and comes from natural radioactive breakdown of uranium in soil, rock, water, and gets into the air you breathe. It can get into any type of building.
How do you know if you have radon? Testing is the only way. It’s inexpensive, easy, and only takes a few minutes. Fixing a radon problem is not costly and radon reduction systems work.
New homes can be built with radon resistant features. By installing them at the time of construction, it makes it easier and less expensive to reduce radon levels. For more information about radon resistant construction techniques, check out epa.gov – Building Radon Out: A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Build Radon-Resistant Homes.
How does radon get into our homes? It moves up through the ground to the air above and into our homes through cracks and other holes in the foundation. Radon gets in through cracks in solid floors, construction joints, cracks in walls, gaps in suspended floors, gaps around service pipes, cavities inside the walls, and the water supply if you have a well.
There are two ways to test for radon. One is short-term testing and the other is long-term testing. What’s the difference you may wonder? Short-term tests remain in your house for two to ninety days. Long-term test remains in your home for more than 90 days. This long-term test is more likely to tell you your home’s year-round average radon level than a short-term test.
Where can you get a test? You can purchase a do-it-yourself test through the mail, hardware stores, and other retail outlets. Or you can hire a qualified tester to do the testing for you.
Now, you’ve done your testing and have learned what your radon level is, what’s next? You need to reduce the levels by using a vent pipe system and fan which pulls radon from beneath the house and vents it to the outside. This system is known as a soil suction radon reduction system and doesn’t require major changes. Other fixes is to seal foundation cracks and other openings. You may also hire a contractor who is trained to fix the radon problem. For more information check out https://www.epa.gov/radon/find-radon-test-kit-or-measurement-and-mitigation-professional.
Once your problem is fixed, retest again to make sure the radon levels are reduced. And retest your home once every two years. Most soil suction radon reduction systems include a monitor that indicates whether the system is working properly.
In closing, may 2019 be a happy, trouble-free, and healthy home year for you and your family.
Reference – www.epa.gov