Radon is a radioactive gas that can be found in any home, new or old. This toxic gas comes from decomposed uranium in the soil, and since it always moves from the ground into the air above, it often leaks into houses through cracks in the foundation. However, you cannot see, smell, or taste this gas, which means that even though it is dangerous and cancerous if it builds up in the home, it can never be detected unless special procedures are enforced, such as occasional radon testing.
According to the Surgeon General, Radon is currently the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. Only smoking surpasses it in causing lung cancer deaths each year. This is especially scary for smokers because if you smoke and live in a home with high Radon levels your chance of contracting cancer is extremely high.
Radon tests can take on many forms for a variety of different purposes. If you are buying or selling a house, it is always a good idea to hire professionals to inspect the property. Although this is more expensive, these qualified experts have specialized equipment that actively analyze the gas levels within a couple of days and officially report this information to the prospective buyers. However, the most common form of radon testing comes in passive kits that any homeowner can use themselves.
These tests are inexpensive and available in either short or long-term tests. Short-term tests are great to get a quick idea of gas levels within a few days, but since these levels change daily these kits won’t give extensive results. They’re dependable but not reliable over long periods of time. Long-term tests stay in your house for a few months and give a better idea of yearly gas levels. Here are a few do-it-yourself kit options to choose from.
This is the most common device that you would find in stores, and is often a short-term test. It arrives in a packet filled with charcoal and should be put on a first floor level, several feet above the floor, most come with hooks for easy hanging, where they then collect radon atoms from the surrounding air. Follow the instructions on the packet, but once the time period is up, anywhere up to 90 days, simply mail the packet back to the company where they will analyze the gas levels in a lab and inform you of the results.
This is often a long-term test and works similarly to charcoal, but instead a plastic strip collects alpha particles from the gas. Though they stay in the house longer, the results they generate will give you a larger scope of the gas levels in your home once you send the packet into the lab.
This passive test still inspects, but unlike the other tests, it continually stays in the house. Often plugged into a regular socket in the basement, a radon detector will sound off an alarm when gas levels get too high. It can be set at both a short-term or long-term settings, and is a great precautionary measure to in ensure your home’s safety.
Don’t put your family in unnecessary danger, have your home tested for Radon. As severe of an issue as Radon is, the good news is that it can easily be detected and treated. A simple, inexpensive home radon test can detect the presence of Radon. Don’t worry if Radon is detected in your home because Radon reduction systems are very effective and reasonably-priced. Radon reduction systems that are installed in homes have been proven to reduce Radon levels as much as 99 percent.
Always consult a professional contractor beforehand to make sure you’re getting the appropriate equipment to fit your house. Proper investment is priceless when it comes to proper prevention.
At Georgia Pro Inspection Company we serve all of Metro Atlanta with reliable home inspection services. We perform detailed home inspections and provide easy to read information with illustrated reports regarding your home. Call us today at (770) 655-0536 for your more information.