What is Radon?
Radon is a tasteless, odorless gas that is released from rock and soil. More specifically, it’s radioactive particles being released from uranium deposits found almost everywhere. The particles make their way through the rock and soil and into the open air. The danger comes when these airborne particles build up in natural enclosures and more commonly, our homes. When radon levels in a structure become elevated, anyone who spends a large amount of time in that structure is at risk. The certified radon inspectors of Davenport are here to make sure you know exactly what’s going on in your home and the best ways to lower radon levels.
Be sure to ask us about having a radon test performed as part of a full home inspection. Price should never be a main concern when it comes to health, but this is how we give you the best prices in the industry.
The issue with radon
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) claims that radon is one of leading causes of lung cancer in the United States. It’s second right behind smoking. The American Cancer Society has said that if radon levels were to drop by half across the country, the number of lung cancer cases and deaths would significantly decrease. They report that it is more of a danger to the American people than all toxic chemicals found in our food production. It takes a few years for these terrible effects to take place, but we can all agree waiting is not a good idea.
What you can do as a homeowner
The most important decision you can make when it comes to tackling the danger of radon is proper testing. There are various methods for performing radon tests and your expert Davenport inspection team is here to teach you about them. The main forms are short-term and long-term testing.
Short term tests usually run for a couple days up to a week. They gather particle data for this short time frame and the results are meant to determine if further testing is needed.
Long term tests run for months to years and give a much more accurate representation of gas levels in the house. This is due to the phenomenon of radon levels varying wildly from month to month, week to week and even day to day. Differences in wind direction and speed, snowfall, temperature, air pressure and activity in the house are just a few variables that have an impact. Continuous testing also falls into this category. This is one of the best ways to test for radon because it gives accurate readings day to day for years.
There are a few things you can do if radon levels are only slightly elevated in your home. If you have a crawlspace, make sure to cover that ground with a polyurethane sheet at least 6 mil thick. If there are any holes leading to the basement or crawlspace, make sure to board them up or seal them properly. Caulk is a great tool for closing off any cracks in pavement or concrete (radon can make its way straight through porous concrete, adding cracks makes it too easy).
Radon Mitigation Systems
There are a couple different types of mitigation systems as well.
Passive systems are typically put in a home during new construction and rely on changes in air pressure to lower radon levels. The problem is that these don’t work perfectly all the time and they are generally installed by construction workers who don’t always put them in properly.
Active systems are better at removing gasses from the home. They use a fan and electricity and usually send air through a pipe extending through the roof. They produce a little noise but it’s hardly noticeable and is a small price to pay for a safe home.
We’re here when you need us
The radon experts of Davenport are ready to go to work for you. We’ll be glad to give your home a proper radon inspection as a stand-alone test or we can do it as part of an in-depth home inspection. Let us know your thoughts and we’ll think about it with you.