How to Test Your Home for Radon

Radon gas can rise to extreme hazardous levels especially if it enters into an enclosed space such as your home. However, most homeowners overlook the issue of radon concentration in a home environment and its long-term effects. First you need to know how radon finds its way into the house before you start figuring out how testing for radon is carried out. Radon has long-term effects on your health considering that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) estimates that radon causes 20,000 lung cancer deaths each year. This means that radon gas testing should not be treated as a matter of choice but necessity. Before commencing radon testing, you need to understand how radon gets into your home. Generally, radon builds up in the house as a result of air pressure difference between the air indoors and outdoors. The outdoor air will be dense while the air inside is less dense. Once radon gas accumulates in the house, it forms radioactive particles that once inhaled, get deposited in the airways. Over a long period of time, radioactive radon gas particles can cause lung cancer.

How to test for Radon
Radon can be found in almost every home and the only thing that varies is the concentration. In extreme cases where the concentration is high, you need a residential radon testing service to first establish how bad the situation is before commencing radon mitigation and abatement. It is understandable that there are homeowners who are unfamiliar with how testing for radon is done. A routine procedure when testing for radon takes approximately 48 hours. Concentrate your efforts to the structures located on the lower parts of your home. This is where radon gas is likely to build up. There are some areas in the house that radon has the greatest likelihood of forming. If you have a basement, place a radon detector inside the basement especially if you spend more than 7 hours in the basement weekly. If your home has a cement floor, the detector can be placed in any room. However, you should try to avoid the kitchen, laundry room and the bathroom.

Setting Up the Kits and Interpreting Results
Perhaps it is setting up the kit that is challenging to most people testing for radon but setting up the detectors is a straightforward process. Radon detectors can be found in different forms. There are those found in a bag, others in a vial while others come in canister forms. Whichever detector type that you choose, these kits have instructions that are easy to follow. Nothing can go wrong if you follow the instructions as outlined. However, some pre-planning is required before you take the test. You are required to keep the doors and windows of the house closed except for normal entry. In addition, you are discouraged from operating a fan or any equipment that will increase aeration from outside. These however are with the exception of small exhaust fans that are operational for a limited amount of time as well as fans that aid radon reduction in your home. Avoid high humid areas in the house such as the kitchen, laundry and bathroom. These areas are likely to cause false readings. Depending on the results, you can arrange for retesting of the house before making the decision on whether to seek the services of local radon mitigation company.

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