Radon is an odorless, colorless, and tasteless gas that, according to the EPA, is present in the environment – indoors and outdoors. It is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that can cause lung cancer over time. At Vinson Home Inspections, we offer Radon Testing as an additional service to our home inspections in Salt Lake. UT. Here is what you need to know about radon, its hazards, how to inspect for radon, as well as how you can decrease radon levels in your home.
What is Radon?
Radon comes from the natural breakdown of uranium in soil, rock, and water. Radon gas is basically static, unscented, and flavorless gas. Being that, it can even be in the air you breathe and enter your home through cracks, gaps, and other holes in the foundation.
Dangers of Radon
Radon is a health hazard and is considered the second leading cause of lung cancer next to cigarette smoking. Since it is colorless and odorless, it’s hard to detect until a radon test is done. Radon is also called a silent killer. But many homeowners have no idea how toxic this gas is. In fact, studies show a correlation between breathing high concentrations of radon and lung cancer. According to the EPA, smokers are more susceptible to lung cancer due to radon inhalation and smoking’s synergistic effects. A person who never smoked but has been exposed to 1.3 pCi/L has a 2 in 1,000 chance of lung cancer, while a smoker has a 20 in 1,000 chance of dying from this disease.
Radon also produces radioactive decay products called radon daughters or radon progeny. These robust decay products will then stick to surfaces as dust particles, which you can unconsciously inhale. Inhalation of contaminated dust can also cause lung cancer.
You can’t see or smell radon. Testing is the only way to know your levels. After all, radon poisoning may be one of the reasons why your house could be making you sick.
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How Does Radon Enter Your Home?
Radon gas can seep through minute cracks and other holes in the foundation, pores in concrete, and gaps in walls and floors. Common ways for radon to enter your home are as follows:
- Cracks in the floors
- Construction joints
- Gaps in suspended floors
- Service pipes gaps
- Cavities inside walls
- Water supply
- Cracks and holes in your foundation
Salt Lake City, UT Radon Testing
Radon is a cancer-causing radioactive gas. So, if your home has high radon levels, you’re at a higher risk of developing lung cancer. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, nearly 1 in 3 homes had screening levels over 4pCi/L, the EPA’s recommended action level for radon exposure.
Radon Mitigation System
A radon mitigation system involves ventilating your home using PVC piping to draw radon gas up from the soil and out of your house. It is compliant with the requirement of the EPA. The most effective system is placing a vent pipe in the sump pit (if you have a sump pump) or making a hole under your concrete floor slab. Put a special in-line radon fan in the attic or outside the house to draw air through the vent and radon from under the basement floor. The easiest method is to run the vent outside of the house and up to the eaves. (You can also run the vent up through the house and out the roof, which is a lot more work and cost, but it looks better).
Know Your Radon Levels
The only way to know the levels of radon is to test. Testing is easy and inexpensive. We provide radon testing by placing a continuous monitoring radon testing machine in the home for at least 48-hours. It takes radon measurements each hour and then provides an average radon measurement at the end of the testing period. Then, we provide a report on the same day that we pick up the radon monitor.
Schedule your radon test with your home inspection and know your radon levels!
Vinson Home Inspections | Radon Video | (801) 928-7170
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