If you're thinking of hiring radon testing services, read on to learn five things about what to expect.
1. What is radon?
Radon is a gas that occurs naturally. It is in the earth's atmosphere in small, harmless, amounts. Radon gas is generally not a problem outside. Constantly shifting air currents are enough to prevent any dangerous build-up of the gas, but radon can build up and collect inside a building where airflow is limited.
2. Is radon harmful?
Radon is harmful in large quantities. When radon gathers and becomes a large part of the air you breathe, over time, it can seriously harm your lungs and is the second biggest cause of lung cancer. The symptoms of radon exposure overlap with many other respiratory problems and include trouble breathing, tightness in the chest, difficulty swallowing, and a persistent cough.
3. How likely is a radon problem?
Exposure to high levels of radon is fairly common. Up to 6.5 out of every 100 homes in the United States are plagued with dangerously high levels of radon. It is easy to miss a radon problem since the gas has no smell and is colorless. The only way to be sure that you are not breathing toxic air is to have radon testing done.
4. What does the testing process look like?
There are many different options available for radon testing and your radon testing provider can guide you through them. Some radon tests are short term, and others are long term. Many factors can influence the day to day levels, such as temperature, weather, or snowpack. A longer-term test will give you a more accurate reading of the fluctuating levels of radon in your home.
Some continuous radon level monitors can be installed in your home for a constant and accurate reading. With more temporary options, some radon testing providers will have you mail in the results to a lab to be analyzed. This could take a few weeks. Some testing is easy enough to do yourself, and others require a more professional touch.
5. What if you have a radon problem?
If you test your home or building for radon and find out that you have a problem, you have a few choices about how to bring the radon levels down. A radon mitigation team can take a good look at your building and come up with a solution that works for you. One option is installing a ventilation system; another option is decreasing radon build-up by sealing up cracks and gaps in your house.