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Frequently Asked Questions About Radon Gas

The presence of radon gas in residential properties can place the home’s occupants at risk. In this blog, local home inspection specialist Optima Home Inspections answers some frequently-asked questions about this gas.

The presence of radon gas in residential properties can place the home’s occupants at risk. In this blog, local home inspection specialist Optima Home Inspections answers some frequently-asked questions about this gas.

What’s Radon Gas?

Soil contains trace amounts of uranium. When uranium decays or breaks down, it releases an odorless, colorless, toxic gas called radon. The amount of radon in the soil depends on the soil chemistry, which varies from one property to the next. Factors such as weather, soil porosity and moisture levels all affect the amount of radon that could be released into your home.

How Does Radon Gas Get Into Your House?

Radon typically moves up through the ground and into the air through cracks and holes in a home’s foundation, after which it can circulate in the air and get trapped in homes that lack adequate ventilation. Radon can also enter the house through well water. On rare occasions, radon can come from elsewhere through building materials manufactured using raw materials contaminated with radon. This can be avoided by choosing a roof replacement company that uses materials manufactured by reputable manufacturers.

What Are the Risks of Radon?

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has a wealth of scientific data on the relationship between exposure to radon gas and lung cancer. In fact, exposure to radon gas is second only to smoking as the leading cause of lung cancer.

How Can You Prevent Exposure to Radon Gas?

Fortunately, there are simple solutions that can help prevent—or at least minimize—exposure to radon gas. If you’re looking into having a new home built from the ground up, you don’t need to worry about building on an area with high radon levels. The EPA already has an existing map of such areas, so you’ll be informed of it before you even purchase the property. Proper building techniques incorporate systems that allow for soil gas flow.

You’re less at risk of exposure to radon gas if you have an unoccupied basement that has adequate ventilation. If you’re planning to convert it into a living space, However, you’ll want to first have radon levels tested by a professional. A test may likewise be necessary if you notice cracks in the basement floor that weren’t there before. Lastly, making sure your home receives adequate ventilation can help reduce radon gas concentrations in the air.

Optima Home Inspections can help ensure that your home is safe from the effects of radon gas. Give us a call at (845) 849-1369 or fill out our contact form to schedule a home inspection or energy audit appointment.