The EPA has named January National Radon Action Month to help raise awareness about the dangers of radon in your home. Many people think they may have high levels of radon in their home because a friend or neighbor has discovered unsafe levels in their home nearby.
You may also suspect radon in your home is a problem if someone in your home has received a lung cancer diagnosis. While these are all good reasons to have your home tested for radon, in reality, every home should be tested.
Learning About Radon in Your Home
If you are unfamiliar with what radon is and why it is dangerous to have in your house, you are not alone. This toxic gas can rise up from the soil underneath your home and enter it through tiny openings and cracks in the foundation and walls.
Radon exposure can have lethal consequences and professional testing is the only way to know with certainty if radon in your home is a problem. These are a few of the primary reasons why you need to schedule regular radon tests with a professional.
1. An Undetectable Gas
If your home has a natural gas leak, an obvious and strong odor will alert you to the gas leak. Radon, however, is odorless and colorless and undetectable without professional testing. In fact, some people have been exposed to high radon levels for years simply because they were unaware that it was present in their homes.
2. Serious Health Issues
Radon is created as a byproduct of natural uranium degradation. It is a carcinogenic gas that can cause lung cancer. If you fail to test for radon in your home regularly, you may be inhaling this gas daily for months or even years. Radon causes thousands of deaths every year, and these deaths might have been avoided through testing and remediation.
3. No Home is Immune
While uranium and radon may be more common in the soil in some regions than in others, it is present everywhere. This means that your home can be affected by radon gas as it escapes the soil underneath your home.
You may assume that your home is properly sealed and that the foundation is perfectly intact. However, even the newest and most well-sealed homes may have tiny gaps that can allow radon to enter the home. An airtight home may be particularly problematic because the gas rises up and into the home and then has no way to escape, allowing it to accumulate over time.
4. Professional Testing Gives Accurate Results
You may be thinking about trying to test for radon on your own. While there are home test kits available, scheduling a professional inspection and testing is critical. A do-it-yourself test will not be as accurate as a professional test and there is always a chance for error when an untrained individual runs the test. It’s important to test periodically for radon because the gas levels may increase at any point in the future.