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What Is Radon & Why Is It In My Home?
Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that comes from the decay of uranium in soils. This gas enters the home through cracks in the foundation before becoming trapped.
This gas is found all over the United States, and homes need to be tested for it before being sold. Here is what you need to know about radon, its risks, and what you can do to mitigate it.
Radon Is One Of The Top Causes Of Lung Cancer In The U.S.
The presence of radon is a significant health issue in that it is one of the top causes of lung cancer in the United States after smoking. Exposure is a risk to both smokers and non-smokers, but higher in those who smoke. Mitigating radon is the only way to reduce exposure and keep the home and its occupants safe.
Testing For Radon Is Easy & Inexpensive
Radon cannot be seen, smelled, or tasted. Testing for the gas is the only way to know if you and your family are at risk. These tests are inexpensive and can be done by the homeowner and purchased online or home improvement stores. Follow the directions carefully to ensure an accurate test.
If a homeowner prefers to have a professional radon test, they will need to contact their state radon program and find a licensed, qualified professional.
What Happens If A Home Tests Positive For Radon?
If a home inspection detects the presence of radon, the inspector will file a report of their findings. If the levels in the home are 4 picocuries per liter (pCi/L) or higher, the house must be fixed.
If a seller has already tested their home for radon, ensure that it is from within the last two years. The results of that testing need to be available to buyers and their agents. The test needs to have been conducted by a radon professional, and any changes to the house, as a result, must also be provided. These changes may affect radon levels.
If the home has not been tested for radon, make sure that it is done as soon as possible and done in the lowest level of the house that is used regularly.
A Radon Mitigation System Must Be Installed
Before a buyer can close on the home and move in, a radon mitigation system must be installed. This system pulls radon from the home and vents it outside. These systems can reduce radon levels in the home by up to 99% and oftentimes, the seller is willing to pay for the installation of the mitigation system.
It is recommended that all homeowners test their homes for radon every two years.