If you’re a homeowner, you might be surprised to know that a deadly gas is located in your house. It’s called radon. Radon is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas that is also radioactive. Its radioactivity did not come to the public’s attention until 1984, when a worker at a nuclear power plant in Pennsylvania was found to be contaminated with radioactivity. It was determined that the radioactivity was caused by radon in his home.
The link between high concentrations of radon and lung cancer is well-known. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Surgeon General’s office have stated that there are an estimated 20,000 lung cancer deaths caused by radon each year. The EPA also stated that one in three homes in seven studied states and three Indian lands had high enough radon concentrations that they warranted action.
Radon testing is one way to determine the concentration level of radon in your home. Residential radon testing can use short-term or long-term tests. Short-term detectors measure radon levels between two and 90 days, while long-term tests determine the average concentration for more than 90 days.
With 1 in 15 U.S. homes estimated to have radon levels at or above the EPA action level, many homeowners may wonder where exactly the radon comes from. Radon is known to come from rocks, which makes mines and the foundations of houses a larger danger than large bodies of water, such as the ocean.
Often, a dangerous level of radon will come from cracks in a house’s foundation. These cracks can be revealed during a heavy rainfall, which, especially in the basement, can cause the house to flood. Generally, radon comes through at the lowest level of the foundation, meaning that any part of a basement or cellar that accumulates water would be the most dangerous.
Fortunately, a good protocol to follow when suspecting high levels of radon is to seal up the parts of the foundation that are exposed to the rock underneath. If you have serious flooding, however, you made need a sump pump. Here are some tips about sump pump installation and whether you need a sump pump installation contractor.
- Ask yourself if you need a sump pump. A sump pump is a tool that pumps water out of a sump, which is a low space that collects water and contains chemicals. They are particularly useful for basements.
- Think about finding a sump pump installation contractor. If you plan on needing a sump pump for one session with the intent of sealing the foundation to prevent further radon contamination, a sump pump installation contractor may work well for your needs.
- Consider looking for radon testing service. If you want to get a firm answer on the level of radon in your home, think about getting local radon testing. A radon mitigation and abatement service may be important for your safety.