You have seen the radon testing kits at Home Depot and have probably heard about it before. Radon is a radioactive gas that naturally exists in some soils and some of the soils where homes are built can contain radon.
If you are a homebuyer and not sure if the home you are interested in has radon in the soils that are seeping into the home, a radon test has to be completed. Usually an inspector will charge a separate fee for a radon test and the property needs to be kept completely sealed for approximately 48 hours for the test to be accurate.
If radon is found in a home, homeowners may have a radon mitigation system installed to route the radioactive gases away from the home through a ventilator. I have been told by inspectors that Radon usually has to be in concentrated amounts to have dangerous effects on someone’s health but many say any amount of radon can be a risk for cancer. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer after cigarette smoking and has become a concern for many homeowners and buyers.
Normally, windows are opened in the house throughout the year and doors are open and closed as homeowners come and go which allows for air flow throughout the home. If fresh air is not let into the home and gases from Radon accumulate, it can be dangerous. Regardless, if you have radon in your home or not, make sure to allow fresh air inside throughout the year. The air inside people’s homes is often worse to breath than the air outside! Radon can be dangerous because it cannot be detected by sight, smell, or taste and often collects in basements or lower levels of the home by seeping in through the foundation or cracks. If you have concerns about radon in your home, contact a professional and have a radon test completed.
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