What You Need to Know About Radon

If you have purchased a home anytime in the past decade, I am sure you learned all about Radon testing and mitigation strategies. The first time I had ever heard of this when we purchased our home a few years back and we included the installation of a Radon Mitigation system into the closing requirements. But, what is radon? Let’s dig into what Radon is, why you should take steps to prevent it’s entry into your home and your options for protecting you and your loved ones.

What is radon?

Radon is a radioactive gas that is the result of the natural breakdown of uranium in soil, rock, and water. Typically radon moves up through the ground to the air above and into your home through cracks and other holes in the foundation and mingle with the air you breathe. Since radon gas has no taste, odor or color, the only way to detect it is through testing by certified technicians.

How does radon enter the home?

Radon gas seeps into homes through the soil. Although it can seep directly through pores in concrete, the worst entry points are gaps in walls and floors. The levels and dangers of the radon levels coming into your home really depends on the way your specific house interacts with the surrounding soil. Your neighbor’s radon level may differ substantially from yours.

Is radon dangerous?

The short answer: yes.

If radon is building up, it does not give you easy-to-spot health symptoms like headaches or dizziness. Studies have shown that long-term exposure to high levels of radon can cause lung cancer. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that lung cancer caused by radon exposure kills about 21,000 Americans every year. It was classified as a Class A carcinogen by the EPA.

How can I prevent radon from entering my home?

Dry Basement® Foundation Solutions uses radon-resistant and reduction technology to fix the radon problem in your home. If you have had the radon levels tested in your home and need to take action we have several options:

  1. We can install a No Water System® that will prevent radon from entering the basement through the wall-floor joint.
  2. Installing a SurfaceDrain® to collect water and drain it into the No Water System® without allowing radon gas to seep in.
  3. Install Dry Shield® and Dry Shield Crawl Space® to reduce entry points for radon.
  4. WallShield® panels form a radon barrier in your basement.
  5. Install a radon mitigation system which involves ventilating your home by using PVC piping to draw radon gas up from the soil and out of your house.

If you aren’t ready to hire a professional, you can always try these DIY solutions in the meantime:

  • Caulk foundation cracks, construction joints, and other openings.
  • Install an airtight cover on your sump pump (choose one that allows access to your sump).
  • Cover soil in crawl spaces with polyurethane plastic sheeting tightly attached to the walls.

Once you are able to take proper action to reduce the levels of radon in your home, you can rest easy knowing you have done what you can to protect you and your family from the harm of this dangerous gas.

Contact Dry Basement today to find out more about how Radon Mitigation can be achieved in part with the installation of some of our systems.