Radon is an odorless, tasteless, and invisible gas that can enter homes through a crawl space, a sump pit, cracks in the foundation, and other fissures underneath a house. Radon is created by a natural breakdown of uranium in the soil, and long-term exposure to it is estimated to kill over 20,000 people annually. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer, after smoking. The only way to tell if your home has unsafe levels of radon is to test for it.
According to the EPA, radon is present in unacceptable levels in one out of every 15 homes in the U.S. Radon levels vary by house, not by state or by region. Your neighbor’s house could have very low levels of radon, and yours could be dangerously high.
The EPA recommends testing your home for radon every two years. If you already have a radon mitigation system installed in your home, you should test for radon once a year to ensure the system is working properly. Since radon levels can change from season to season as the soil changes, alternate your tests between seasons to achieve the most accurate result.
If your house undergoes a major renovation, especially involving structural changes or foundation repairs, make sure you retest for radon. Adjustments to your HVAC system, and finishing or remodeling your basement, are also triggers for a new test. If someone in your family plans to occupy the basement or a partially buried ground floor, test the space to be lived in.
Before moving into a new home, whether it’s new construction or not, have radon testing performed along with the standard inspections. If possible, run a long-term test so you have accurate knowledge of the home’s air quality and can install a mitigation system, if necessary, before moving in.
For more information about radon testing procedures and frequency, please contact:
Illinois Valley Radon Mitigation, LLC
717 Bellevue Avenue
Ottawa, IL 61350