Radon is a colorless and odorless byproduct produced by the natural decay of radioactive elements. In tends to collect instead of rising and dispersing, which means it can collect in your home. The main concern is that radon is a leading cause of lung cancer, so mitigating it is a must for the health of you and your family.
The soil beneath your foundation is where radon usually comes from. If there is a high amount of radioactive minerals in the soil that are breaking down, then there is a greater likelihood that radon will be present. There are radon maps available that show regions where radon is more likely to be in the soil, but don't depend only upon these maps. Radon testing in the home is the only way to be sure if radon is present.
2. Foundation Porosity
A porous foundation is what allows radon to enter from the soil and into the home. If there are cracks or other voids in the foundation, then there will be a greater chance of radon intrusion into the house. Unfortunately, though, cracks aren't technically necessary for this to happen. Concrete, which is the most common foundation material, is naturally porous so small amounts of radon can seep through even if the surface is unbroken.
3. Stone Elements
It's not just radioactive minerals in the soil that can produce radon. Natural stone features in your home may contain these elements and they may be in the process of breaking down into radon. If you have stone walls or a natural stone fireplace, for example, then you need to have your home monitored for the possibility of radon. This doesn't mean you need to get rid of your natural stone, you just need a mitigation system.
4. Well Water
Municipal water undergoes all sorts of testing on a near daily basis to ensure it is free of contaminants. Plus, the water goes through treatment facilities and isn't directly used straight from the aquifer. Well water, on the other hand, is delivered directly from the aquifer where it has been in contact with minerals that may be producing radon.
Although radon enters the home, it is only a risk if it doesn't quickly disperse. For this reason, homes with basements and rooms without windows or ventilation are more likely to have dangerous levels of radon. Many mitigation systems are designed to increase ventilation so that radon can move harmlessly out of the home.
Contact a radon mitigation systems service if you are concerned that there may be radon in your home.