Detecting and addressing Radon

By
Home Inspector with Pillar to Post professional Home Inspection WA lic Inspector #236

Detecting and Addressing Radon Contamination in the Home Many homeowners are increasingly concerned about the possible presence of radon in their homes – and with good reason. You can’t see, smell, or taste radon, but it is the leading cause of lung cancer deaths among nonsmokers in North America, and it could be present at a dangerous level in your home. The good news is that if radon is detected, steps can be taken to remedy the problem. January has been designated National Radon Action Month; learn the facts and take action.

WHAT IS THE SOURCE OF RADON?

Radon is naturally occurring odorless, colorless, radioactive gas that is formed by the ongoing decay of uranium in soil, rocks, sediments, and even well or ground water. While radon that escapes into the atmosphere is not harmful, dangerously high concentrations can build up indoors, exposing residents to possible health risks.

HOW DOES RADON ENTER THE HOME?

Radon gas can migrate into the home in several ways. Openings or cracks in basement walls or floors are common avenues. Sumps, basement drains, and spaces between gas or water fittings can also allow radon into the structure.

HOW CAN MY CLIENTS FIND OUT ABOUT RADON IN A HOME THEY ARE CONSIDERING FOR PURCHASE?

A Pillar To Post Home Inspector can conduct a Radon test as either part of the home inspection process or on its own. An inspector will set up the testing equipment and report on the results once the proper measurement procedure is complete. If an elevated level of radon is detected, steps can be taken to lessen the concentration inside the home.

REDUCING THE LEVELS OF RADON IN THE HOME

Radon mitigation methods can include sealing likely entry points, improving ventilation, and a process called soil depressurization, which vents air from the house back into the surrounding soil, reducing the level of radon that can enter the home. Professional mitigation services can provide recommendations for a home’s specific conditions.

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-Brendan

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