When buying a home, one of the inspections you may be encouraged to get is a Radon Inspection. Radon is a radioactive gas released from the normal decay of the elements uranium, thorium, and radium in rocks and soil. It is an invisible, odorless, tasteless gas that seeps up through the ground and diffuses into the air. In a few areas, depending on local geology, radon dissolves into groundwater and can be released into the air when the water is used. Radon gas usually exists at very low levels outdoors. However, in areas without adequate ventilation, such as basements, radon can accumulate to levels that substantially increase the risk of lung cancer.
Radon is present in every home both old and new; however, it is not always present at a dangerous level. It can enter homes through cracks in floors, walls, or foundations, and collect indoors. It can also be released from building materials, or from water obtained from wells that contain radon. Radon levels can be higher in homes that are well insulated, tightly sealed, and/or built on soil rich in the elements uranium, thorium, and radium. Basement and first floors typically have the highest radon levels because of their closeness to the ground.
According to the EPA, if these gas levels ever reach 4 pCi/L (the scientific measure of radon), then you have a hazardous amount of toxins in the air. Once the test is conducted and the results come back higher than the recommended EPA amount allowed, then it is time to have a radon mitigation system installed by a licensed professional.
It is important to always consult a professional contractor beforehand to ensure you’re getting the appropriate equipment to fit your home. In addition, these contractors can install the apparatus for you to ensure quality performance. Although this project may not be a cheap purchase, it is very important to have a good radon system installed when high levels are present. Proper investment is priceless when it comes to proper prevention and the health of one’s family.
-Brad Thomas, Buyer Specialist