The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that radon is the second most common cause of lung cancer after cigarette smoking. No short-term health symptoms are associated with radon poisoning, but there is a long-term risk of lung cancer. It is important to understand what it is and how to test for radon in the home to keep you and your family safe.

What is Radon?

Radon is an invisible, odorless gas that occurs naturally when radioactive elements in the soil break down. It can seep up through the soil and into your home via cracks in the foundation. Radon is dangerous in residential and commercial buildings where the gas can build up and become concentrated.

Radon is found in every state, but some areas pose a higher risk than others. It depends on what elements are present in the soil. When outdoors, radon gas is diluted in the air and doesn’t pose a risk to your health. However, radon in the home can become concentrated because it is trapped and cannot escape, potentially leading to serious health consequences.

How to Test for Radon

While you can perform radon testing on your own, hiring a qualified professional is a better choice. A radon pro will know how to conduct the test and is trained to understand the results.

There are both short- and long-term tests available. Short-term tests measure radon levels in the home for up to seven days, while long-term tests will measure radon levels for between three months and one year.

Radon Mitigation for High Levels of Radon in the Home

If your home has high radon levels, professional mitigation is the best solution to reduce the concentration of the gas in your living spaces.

The cost of mitigation will vary based on your situation, but it is far more affordable than the long-term health consequences that may result from high radon levels in the home. A professional will design a system specifically for your property. After the mitigation system is in place, test the home within 90 days to verify it is working as expected. It’s important to conduct a test yearly to ensure your family is safe.

Have your home tested for radon to protect yourself and your family from this dangerous gas. The test results will give you the peace of mind needed to feel safe and know you’re healthy in your home.

Old House Home Inspectors offers inspection services for older homes and historic properties in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Contact us to request an appointment.