If you're considering paying a professional to conduct a radon home testing, you might be wondering what radon is and why you should be concerned. Take a look at some of the basic issues involving radon and why a radon home inspection is a good idea.
What Radon Is
Throughout the world, there are naturally-occurring deposits of radioactive materials. Among two of the most common sources are Uranium and Thorium. As these materials breakdown over millions and even billions of years, they emit radiation.
How Does Radon Get into Your House?
Normally, the radiation from decaying materials will get trapped in pockets of gas inside the earth. Most of the time, these pockets will just stay there, undisturbed.
However, a number of natural and human activities can disturb ones that are fairly close to the surface. Rainwater, for example, can break through rock formations in the ground and cause the radioactive gas to emerge. Digging a foundation for a building also may disturb the pockets of gas. Similarly, activities like mining and drilling can bore into radon-producing deposits.
Why You Should Worry About Radon
Radon is an inert gas that has no taste, color, or odor. Unfortunately, radioactive gas can trigger a host of health problems. Cancer, especially lung cancer, is by far the biggest radon-related concern. In fact, radon exposure is the second-leading cause of lung cancer deaths in America, only trailing tobacco smoke.
Trace amounts of radon are present in the atmosphere at all times, but global air circulation keeps it from collecting in anything close to dangerous levels. Poorly ventilated areas, though, will collect radon. In particular, basements in homes are ideal collectors.
Liability for Radon in a House
Landlords and property sellers are liable for radon that's present in a home. Issues with radon on a property must be disclosed when renting or selling a place. Failing to test is not an excuse, either. In fact, a house can be deemed uninhabitable until radon mitigation is performed.
Signs of Radon Exposure
Respiratory issues are the most common indicators of radon exposure. Prolonged exposure may lead to shortness of breath, even if you haven't exerted yourself.
Testing and Remediation
Hiring a professional to conduct a radon home inspection is the best way to determine whether a property might have an issue. If radon is discovered, you'll need to seal cracks in the foundation and basement. Also, it's wise to increase circulation throughout the structure.
For more information, contact a company like ProCheck Radon Systems, LLC.