Why You Need To Test Your Home For Radon ASAP
You may think you’re safe from any and all problems inside your home, but if you’ve got a radon issue, you’d better think again. A lot of people think “out of sight, out of mind” when it comes to radon and that’s absolutely the wrong mentality to take.
Radon has been tagged by the U.S. Surgeon General as the second leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S. The Surgeon General’s Office also estimates that as many as 20,000 lung cancer deaths are caused each year by radon.
If you’re wondering what radon is, it’s a naturally occurring radioactive gas that can’t be smelled or seen. As noted above, it’s the second leading cause of lung cancer behind smoking. What’s worse is that many of the health effects caused by radon aren’t noticed until years of radon exposure have already happened. Such symptoms can include:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pains
- Weight loss that’s rapid
- Coughing up blood
If you think your home isn’t affected by radon, you’d best think again. It’s been estimated that 1 in 15 U.S. homes have radon levels that are at or above the level recommended by the Environmental Protection Agency.
So what’s the average homeowner to do to combat radon? The easiest answer is testing or radon. By testing for radon, you’re taking an important step to find out just how high the levels may be in your home. So don’t hesitate to get to your local hardware store and pick up a radon test kit.
When testing for radon, most test kits come in to forms: short term kits and long term kits Short term kits test between 2 and 90 days while long term kits test for longer than 90 days. Not only that, but there are two general categories of residential radon testing kits: passive which requires no electricity and active, which does require electricity.
If you’re wondering what the difference is, passive radon devices for testing for radon can include charcoal canisters and electret ion detectors. Both of these accumulate radon samples which are then tested to determine radon levels in a home. As you go through testing for radon in your home, find a low spot, such as your basement, to do it. If your test results show a number of four or higher, you need to act immediately.
In the midst of testing for radon, if your tests show a number of four or higher, here are three steps you can take immediately to deal with a radon problem:
- Find a radon mitigation contractor: It’s easy for radon levels to rise in a home and it’s very hard to lower them. Doing so requires contractors with special skills of radon mitigation. You can search online to find a radon mitigation contractor or you can contact state EPA officials to find a reputable one.
- Let your RMC make a plan: Radon can affect many different types of homes, but the way they are affected are very different from one home to the next. A radon mitigation contractor will consider the style of your house along with other factors to come up with a plan for dealing with radon. As an example, if you have a basement a contractor will likely install a radon mitigation system or a heat recovery ventilator. This works to reduce radon in a home by pulling in outside air—which has lower radon levels—and expelling the air in your home.
- Maintain your RMS: Once your contractor has installed a radon mitigation system, you’re going to work to maintain it and keep your home’s radon level acceptable. That means you’ll have to check your system’s manometer and get your home tested for radon every couple of years.
By testing for your radon in your home using a quality radon test kit, you’re taking important measures to keep your home safe as well as yourself and your family. With a variety of test kits available, there’s no excuse not to test so you can avoid any nasty health problems down the road and keep a healthy home to boot.