Once you have made a significant investment in buying a house, you want to do literally everything to ensure its safety and well-being.
But do you realize the need to understand the potential hazards lurking in your house – unseen? Yes, after all, owning a property is not that easy.
Radon is one concern you must address during your home ownership. It's a colorless and odorless radioactive gas that emanates from the ground and then seeps into your living spaces. So, recognizing its signs isn't as easy as you think.
But it's important.
Prolonged exposure to elevated levels of radon can pose serious health risks, majorly an increased likelihood of lung cancer.
To give you a better know-how about this deadly threat, we'll first discuss what is radon and its signs that might suggest that it exists within your home.
What Is Radon?
Defining radon is as simple as stating that it's a radioactive gas that occurs naturally.
When the thorium, uranium, and radium are broken down in the rock, soil, and water, radon is produced. It's further released into the air, impacting the indoor living environment of your house.
How do you get exposed to radon?
Once you breathe in radon, you're subjected to radon exposure. And you might not even know, but within your home, there can lie a high amount of radon. Is this ringing an alarm in your head? It should. You don't even realize what amount of threat you're under because of this surprise.
Radon has the potential to rise from the ground and infiltrate your house through fissures in the foundation.
Once it enters through these cracks, it's trapped inside, accumulating over time. Additionally, radon may enter homes through well water.
You should know that radon exposure is not limited to specific types of homes. But it can occur in houses with basements, crawl spaces, or those built on a slab. However, the likelihood of radon accumulation is higher in homes that are:
Very well insulated
Located at a place with a lot of uranium, radium, and thorium
Signs of Radon In Your Home
Radon Testing Results
This one is quite an easy-peasy (and obvious) sign.
Radon testing results play a significant role in protecting your well-being and maintaining a healthier indoor air quality.
And so, it'll be fair to credit it as the most thorough way of indicating the presence of radon within your home.
Thinking that this will be a costly endeavor? Well, not really…
Fortunately, radon testing kits are easily accessible, so you can actually DIY these tests. Not only this, but they're also user-friendly and offer a cost-effective solution to get accurate measurements.
Following the instructions provided with the kit, you can collect air samples and send them to a laboratory for analysis.
The results from such tests will provide valuable insights into your house's radon levels.
You might not be aware of this, but geographic location significantly impacts the potential for high radon levels within your home.
Certain areas are more susceptible to elevated radon concentrations. This is because of the variations in the underlying soil composition. So, you might not be aware, but your home might be built over such soil. shrugs
You can now assess the radon risk specific to your region. You may also consult the radon potential map. It's a valuable resource that local environmental or health departments provide to help homeowners like you.
With this map, you can determine the likelihood of encountering high radon levels. This is entirely based on geographical and geological factors.
If you reside in regions identified as high-risk areas, then you can use this information as a proactive measure. You shall then conduct a professional radon inspection and take necessary precautions to mitigate the health risks of radon exposure.
Neighborhood Radon Levels
You might get the signs of radon exposure once you consider the radon levels in your neighborhood. You can ask your neighbors whether they recently (or previously) conducted radon tests in their homes.
This step will provide you with valuable insights into the potential risks within the house.
If there are high radon levels found in your neighborhood, then it is already a sign that your home is most likely subjected to high radon levels.
Radon can permeate the ground and affect multiple houses at once. And so, collaborative efforts among neighbors to monitor and address radon levels collectively can contribute to a safer living environment for everyone.
Cracks in Foundation or Basement Floors
This one is an obvious sign.
If you find cracks or gaps in a home's walls, floors, and foundation, then know these all are serving as potential entry points for radon. This underscores the significance of conducting a radon inspection and inspecting these areas for any visible openings.
Considering the pathway of radon, examining your basement for any signs of openings or cracks that might let radon in becomes important.
Regular inspections, especially in areas where the foundation meets the ground, can help identify and address potential entry points. Eventually, this reduces the risk of radon accumulation.
Sump Pump and Drainage Systems
If your sump pump pits and drainage are not properly functional and sealed, that's another sign of radon entering your home. And so, you shall take crucial considerations to prevent its entry.
These systems can get vulnerable and so they can infiltrate indoor spaces, your house in this case.
How to handle this issue?
Well, as a first, you shall prioritize the regular inspections to ensure that sump pump pits and drainage systems are effectively sealed and working in their optimal working condition.
Proper maintenance and sealing of these components can serve as a protective measure against radon gas intrusion.
By addressing potential weaknesses in sump pump and drainage systems, you can actively reduce the risk of radon accumulation, fostering a safer and healthier indoor environment for yourself and your loved ones.
In conclusion, radon accumulation and exposure within your house is an unforeseen and unexpected issue that might be there, but you're still unaware of it.
As a homeowner, you might wonder how to know about this silent threat. Well, we just highlighted the major signs above for you!
The best way to mitigate this issue is to schedule a radon inspection. It'll give you a complete insight into the property's condition. And will also help you take prompt action later.
If you're looking for expert professionals to conduct radon testing, you can always contact Home Sight Inc. With us, make your indoor living experience worth it!