Radon And Home Inspections
Cincinnati does not have greater exposure to radon than other parts of the country. However, it is important to understand radon and good to know the radon levels in your home. If you are buying a home, or even if you have been in your home for some time, you should learn about radon, and possibly consider having your home tested.
Radon exposure is a cumulative danger. It builds up over years. That said, while there is no need to panic if you have concerns over radon, you should schedule a test.
Where Does Radon Come From?
Radon comes from the soil into your house. Decaying uranium in the soil causes it. This gas has no odor and no color, so it can be difficult to detect. If you have gaps between your floors and walls, or cracks in your foundation, radon may be moving from the soil into your home. Any concrete foundation will let some radon through – it’s just a question of how much.
This gas is present in the air around us every day, just in small, trace amounts. The gas is radioactive, but low levels of exposure are no cause for concern.
However, a large amount of radon building up in a house over years can have harmful results. 21,000 Americans each year contract lung cancer caused by radon exposure.
The short-term test for radon involves a small, circular test kit. Most use activated charcoal. These kits are available at hardware stores and online.
You leave this test kit in the lowest area of your house where you spend a lot of time. Radon is heavier than oxygen, so it is most prone to collecting in basements and low elevations. After you have left the test kit to collect a sample, you mail the kit to a lab, and the lab sends you the results on your home’s radon levels.
A more reliable test can be performed where a monitor is placed in the home, and the radon levels are recorded for two to three days. The collected data is then reviewed by a certified technician, and a recommendation is made. I do not do testing myself, but I do work with a company certified to perform the tests and remediate radon if the levels exceed the threshold. I can arrange for a test to be performed. I can send you additional information if you want to learn more about radon. Also there are historical test results available to see if your area has a likelihood for high radon levels.