Is Radon Gas A Concern To Homeowners?

Home Builder with RAW Chimney Sweep and Inspections

Some Facts About Radon Gas:

It is estimated that if a non-smoker is exposed to high levels of radon gas over their lifetime, they will have a one in 20 chance of developing lung cancer.

That same indiidual, if a smoker, would have a one in three chance of developing lung cancer. 

The surgeon general has warned that exposure to radon gas is the second leading cause of lung cancer today and is the number one cause of lung cancer among non-smokers.

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Radon gas is a radioactive gas that is known to be cancer-causing.

One of the main problems in education is you cannot see, smell or taste radon gas.  Despite this radon gas may still be a problem in your home.  When you breathe air containing radon, you increase your risk of getting lung cancer. 

Your risk of developing cancer from exposure to radon gas depends on several factors:

  • the level of radon gas in your house
  • how long you have been exposed to the radon gas
  • whether or not you are a smoker

Almost every home in North America has some radon gas. But the levels vary from one house to another, even if they are next door to each other.

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You should test for radon gas presence.

The only way to determine the level of radon gas in your home is to perform a test.  The EPA and the Surgeon General recommend the testing of all homes below the third floor for radon gas.  It should be noted that your neighbours home may test very high for radon gas, and the home on either side may be safe, radon gas concentraions often appear in small pockets.  You can buy a test packet, and perform the test yourself, ensure the lowest level in the home that if frequently occupied is tested.

All levels of radon gas and be fixed in homes.

All homes with radon gas can be fixed, and the solutions may vary somewhat. 

However generally these include some form of venting the airspace below the basement floor, known as sub-slab depressurization.  Essentially a pipe is installed through the foundation floor which is directed to the outdoors, a small fan will be blowing to draw the radon gas from under the house and deposit it outside.  This soluiton will reduce radon gas levels by over 90%.

By increased ventilation in the home and sealing any potential radon gas entry points may also reduce radon levels, but may not be as effective as sub-slab depressurization.

Even homes with very high levels can be brought down to acceptable and safe conditions.  As these migtigation systems are sometimes complex, and need alarms to be installed to monitor ongoing radon levels, these are not usually considered a DIY job.

If You Are Selling a Home.

The EPA recommends that you peform a test for radon gas before putting it on the market and, if necessary, lower your radon levels.  While you may consider doing a self test here, there is more credibility for the buyer if you have a professional perform the test.  Save the radon gas test results and any information you related to necessary radon gas mitigation. 

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You can find a professional to perform a test in your area - click here.

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Wells Home Inspection Services




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