Radon is a colorless, odourless radioactive gas formed by the decay of the small amounts of uranium which are naturally present in rocks and soil. And if this sounds alarming and dangerous, it is because it is! Radon is a leading cause of lung cancer in non smokers and can be present in your home without you even realising it is there.
January is National Radon Action Month, a campaign initiated by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in order to raise awareness about Radon and improve safety in the home.
Radon is prevalent across the USA and can affect all types of home from the old established historic buildings to brand new properties. This means that your first step should be to test your building. You can buy a home test kit or have the property tested by a professional contractor but the important thing to know is that if the radon levels are at 4pCi/ L or higher you will need to take action in order to reduce radon levels.
So how do you reduce Radon in the home?
You cannot do this yourself. You need to hire a specialist contractor to fix it for you, and it can be carried out in a variety of ways depending upon the construction of your home. Some methods are more expensive than others so it is important to shop around for the right accredited contactor who can work with your needs and your budget.
Some methods prevent the radon from entering your home, whereas others reduce the radon levels once they are present. Soil suction for example is a preventative measure that works by drawing the radon away from your home into the soil where it is then vented into the air by pipes so that it can dissipate harmlessly.
Other methods draw the radon down under the home through the floor slab and deep into the soil. This is a common method known as Active subslab suction and requires the use of a single suction point.
Other types of radon reduction include sealing cracks in the foundations of the home to prevent the entry of radon, house or room pressurisation that uses a fan to draw the radon away from the living space and the use of a Heat Recovery Ventilator (HRV) which increases ventilation in the home.
The important thing to know about Radon is that although you cannot see, feel, touch or taste Radon if it is there, it does pose a serious health threat to you and your family. The good news is that this is entirely preventable but only as long as you take action.
Now we are in National Radon Action Month, it is a great time to test your house for Radon to find out whether you are living with this deadly material. It is crucially important to call in a professional service if you do have a Radon problem. It is not expensive or difficult to reduce Radon levels in the home but it is important to act before this deadly radioactive material compromises the health of you and your family.