Since radon naturally occurs under the soil, there's a possibility the gas could be seeping inside your home. If your home has never been tested for radon, you may want to have a test done so you know if your home has a radon problem. The only way to know the level of radon you're being exposed to daily is to do a test. If the level is high, there are options for mitigation that will make your home safer to live in. Here's how radon gets in your house, why it's a problem, and how to deal with high levels of radon.
How Radon Gets Inside
Radon is found in well water sometimes, so the gas might escape when you run water from your faucets, but the most common way for the gas to get in your house is through the soil. If you have a crack in your foundation, the gas can leak through the crack.
If your foundation doesn't have any damage, radon can still get in since it rises through the soil naturally and can collect in your crawlspace. Plus, the pressure in your house is a little lower than the pressure under the soil, and this creates a vacuum that pulls radon inside, where it gets trapped.
Why Radon Is Dangerous
Radon is dangerous because it's a leading cause of lung cancer. Since the gas is undetectable through smell, sight, or taste, you could be exposed to radon for many years and not know it. This cumulative exposure puts you at a higher risk of developing lung cancer. The more radon in your home, the higher your risk.
How Radon Mitigation Works
The first step is to have a radon test done over a period of a few days. This test will detect radon and also tell you the amount of the gas you're being exposed to. Once you know your home has a radon problem, talk to a radon mitigation contractor about the best way to proceed. The type of foundation your home has plays a role in the method used to reduce radon levels.
If your home is over a crawlspace, radon wafts up through the soil and is pulled into your living space. The contractor may place a membrane on the floor of your crawlspace that blocks radon. They may also install a vent pipe to pull the radon out from under the membrane so the gas can be released outdoors where it won't harm anyone.
If your home is on a concrete slab or basement, the contractor may start by filling all the cracks that let the gas through. Then, they may install a vacuum vent system through the foundation that places a pipe near the soil and draws the radon up the pipe and out of the roof of your house.
Once the radon mitigation service has installed the system, the level of radon may be checked again to make sure the system is functioning properly. While a vent system that routes radon to the outside is a common and effective way to deal with high levels of radon, the contractor has a few other options to consider if those methods don't work or if they can't be used for some reason.
Contact a company that offers radon mitigation services to learn more.