When you own a home it is essential to test for radon gas before and after you purchase it. Why? Radon is an invisible and odorless radioactive gas that is continuously created by natural breakdown metals in soils. Any home in any state may have a radon problem and the average person receives each year more radiation from radon than from all other sources. Almost all risks come from breathing air with radon and its decayed products.
How Does Radon Get Into Your Home?
The air pressure inside of your home is slightly lower than in the ground, creating a vacuum that draws in radon from several feet away and into the basement through openings and pores in concrete that are created when the concrete cures and passes moisture to the surface. These pores allow a passage way for radon gases, water vapor, and liquid water to enter the basement. Warm air inside your home moves upward like inside a chimney and this stack effect reduces air pressure in the basement. When the ground is soaked with rain, the bottled up radon gas in the ground moves to these warm openings, and the stack effect will cause radon inflow that will easily migrate into your home.
Heavy radon gas accumulates in basements and on lower floors. According to the residential radon lung cancer study completed in Iowa, the 1st floor of a home receives 40% of its air from the basement level.
Consequences Of Radon Gases
Radon decaying products causes cancer. It is estimated that 12% of all lung cancers are caused by exposure to radon gas. It is also estimated that 15,000 to 20,000 of the 158,000 lung cancer deaths per year in the United States are caused by exposure to Radon. Many years may pass before the effects of radon are detected.
Prevent Radon Gases In Your Home
You can minimize the entry of radon gas into your home by sealing cracks in the foundation and along the basement walls, floors, and molding. Be sure to cover all crawl spaces with a heavy polyethylene barrier and seal it to the foundation wall. Close all sump pits and floor drains.
Contact us about radon gas in Richmond, Virginia as well as Fredericksburg, Charlottesville, Williamsburg, and Ashland.