Home Maintenance Blog

Has your home been tested for Radon?

Posted by Andrew Balfour on Jun 21, 2017 5:05:45 AM

Has your home been tested for radon? Since the soil in Montgomery County is known to be high in radon, it’s a good idea to have your home tested — whether it’s new construction or an existing build. Taking the time for radon testing, and if needed, to make the necessary changes to your home, is essential for your ongoing health since radon exposure has been linked to an increased risk of lung cancer.

Here’s a closer look at radon and the process of having your home tested.

What is radon?

Radon is a gas that has no noticeable scent or color. You cannot tell just by breathing in or observing the air whether or not radon is present, which is why testing is so important. Radon is naturally emitted from the soil in some areas, and Montgomery County, MD happens to be one of those areas. In fact, Montgomery County has some of the highest radon levels in the United States. Radon levels are frequently above the 4.0 pLi/L level that the EPA has designated as the “action level,” or level at which homeowners should take measures to protect against radon.

What problems does radon cause?

Radon exposure is the second biggest risk factor for lung cancer; smoking is the first. It may also increase your risk of other types of cancer, though more research is needed to be sure.

How does radon enter your home?

Since radon is emitted by the soil, it generally enters your home through the foundation. It can seep in through cracks in floors, gaps around pipes, and joints in your walls. If you have a private well, radon may also enter through your water supply.

What does radon testing involve?

Testing your home’s radon levels is actually quite simple. Most homeowners elect to do a short-term test, which involves leaving a detector in your home for up to 90 days. The detector collects air samples over this period and then reports your radon level in pico-Curies per liter, or pCi/L. If your level is above 4.0 pCi/L, it is considered actionable.

There are also long-term tests that you leave in your home for a whole year. This way, you get an accurate picture of your home’s radon levels year-round, rather than just during a particular season. If you have the time, a long-term test is preferred to the short-term test. You can order tests online from National Radon Program Services; they come with detailed instructions.

What do you do if the test results come back high?

If your radon testing levels are high, you’ll need to hire a Certified Radon Contractor to make changes, such as sealing up cracks. They can also install a radon mitigation system, which removes radon from the soil before it is able to enter your home.

Testing your home for radon is an important step towards maintaining a healthy home. To learn more about radon testing and other ways to keep your home safe, contact Hassle Free Home Services.

Topics: Home Maintenance Management, Home Safety, Interior Maintenance

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