What is Radon?
Radon is a naturally occurring, cancer causing byproduct of the radioactive decay of Uranium in soil. While you cannot see, smell or taste radon, it may still be a problem in your home. Breathing in radon-contaminated air increases your risk of getting lung cancer. In fact, radon is the leading cause of lung cancer amongst non-smokers in the United States.
How Home Inspectors Test for Radon
One out of every 15 homes in the U.S. has elevated levels of radon that should be lowered. According to the US EPA, the “action level” for determining when to address the radon in your home, school or work is 4pCi/L. Testing your home is the only way to determine if there’s a radon problem. Home inspectors are educated in testing for radon and their kits are more reliable than those you can buy yourself.
The problem with testing for radon is that if the kit is faulty, it might not be obvious to the inspector on hand. Missing the presence of radon in a home is an easy mistake to make if your testing kit malfunctions, and that error can reflect badly on you as a professional. For this reason, e&o insurance coverage for radon testing is essential.
How Does Radon Enter a Home?
Radon is produced by the breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water. The air pressure inside your home typically is lower than the pressure in the soil that surrounds the foundation. Due to the difference in air pressure, homes can draw in radon through foundation cracks or various openings. Once radon enters, your home can trap it inside where it will start to build up. Any home old or new can develop a radon problem.
The most common ways for radon to enter your home are:
- Well water
- Cracks in concrete slabs
- Building materials, such as brick, concrete and rock.
- Floor/wall construction joints
- Gaps around service pipes
- Exposed soil from a sump or crawl space
- Loose fitting pipe penetrations
How to Treat Radon
The good news is that due to the advancement and experience with radon mitigation systems, trained radon contractors can resolve virtually any radon issue in any home.