Because radon is a colorless, tasteless, and odorless radioactive gas, it’s impossible to detect without testing for it. Radon is carcinogenic and is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States after smoking. For this reason, it is important to know the levels of radon in the home.
How Does Radon Enter a House?
Radon naturally occurs with the decay of uranium and thorium, which are often found in granite bedrock. Radon seeps up through the bedrock and can enter a house via cracks in the foundation. Radon can also be found in well water. The levels of this gas may even vary in two neighboring houses. Because one home has dangerous levels doesn’t mean that nearby homes will test high for radon gas.
How is Radon Detected?
The most accurate way to detect the gas is to hire a professional to test for the presence of radon. Levels at 4 picocuries per liter are considered dangerous by the EPA. If the levels are higher than what is considered safe, they can be lowered by installing a mitigation system.
How is Radon in the Home Removed?
There are different ways for a professional mitigation contractor to reduce the amount of radon gas present in a home. One way is to prevent radon from entering the home in the first place. If there are cracks in the home’s infrastructure, they should be sealed. The contractor might install sub-slab or sub-membrane depressurization systems to suction the gas away. If radon has been found in the well water, it can be removed through a charcoal filter. A professional radon mitigator uses a combination of these techniques, depending on the unique circumstances of the house.