What Is Radon and Why Should You Care?

Your home is supposed to be safe, but when you don't properly maintain or care for your home, issues can arise. In some cases, a natural substance can turn your home into a health hazard. If you would like to know more, keep reading to learn about radon.

What Is Radon?

Although dangerous, radioactive materials are naturally found in the ground, including the ground under your home. When some radioactive materials decay, they give off an odorless and colorless gas called radon. In most cases, this gas is not dangerous because it disperses quickly into the air.

The problem arises when that radon leaks into a home. Most homes today have a tight envelope to prevent heat loss/gain. Unfortunately, this can cause radon gas to get trapped inside your living space. Of course, since radon is odorless and colorless, you may not know your home is filled with it.

How Does it Get Inside the House?

Radon gets into your home by coming up directly from the ground. If you have an unsealed crawlspace, it may rise from the dirt and fill the crawlspace. However, in other cases, radon gets inside via small cracks and holes in the basement, foundation, walls, etc., including holes that are hard or impossible to see with the naked eye.

What Can Radon Do?

Radon doesn't cause immediate symptoms, but that doesn't mean it's not dangerous. The biggest risk of radon gas exposure is cancer: lung cancer to be precise. Even once the lung cancer develops, you may not notice symptoms until it has spread or even metastasized.

How Do You Get Rid of and Prevent Radon?

Your best bet is to prevent radon buildup inside the home, and there are a few ways you can do that. If you have a crawlspace, consider having it sealed or covered with plastic. It's also a good idea to add a few inches of aggregates to act as a secondary barrier. If you're still worried, install a pipe from the crawlspace to the roof, to serve as an exhaust. You'll also want to seal any gaps, especially those near the ground.

If you already believe radon may be inside your home, you'll need to test for radon. This can be done by professionals, but you can also install a radon detector yourself. Some people use radon testing as a permanent long-term solution to monitor radon levels, but others use short-term tests to quickly measure the current levels.

Radon is a naturally occurring gas, but that doesn't mean it's safe. Exposure can significantly increase your risk of lung cancer. If you would like to know more, contact a radon testing provider in your area today.

For more information on radon mitigation, contact a specialist in Noblesville, IN.