Radon gas is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that rises from the ground in areas that have a lot of granite and other rock under it. If the land where your home sits has radon gas under it, it can make its way into your home and, over time, can cause health problems for anyone living in the house. There are solutions to remove the gas, but the first step is testing to determine if there is any and what the levels are.
If you suspect you have radon gas in your home, you need to have a testing service come and check the radon levels for you. The US EPA rates the levels of radon as any level over two picocuries per liter of air, or pCi L, as dangerous to the people living in the home. Some low levels of radon are considered acceptable, but there is no safe amount in the house.
If you have a reading above the two pCi L levels, you need to consider hiring a radon mitigation contractor to come out and fix your home so the radon cannot get in. There are a few ways to stop the gas from entering, but encapsulating the space under the house is the most effective.
The most common radon mitigation method used in a home that tests high for the gas is to seal the underside of the house to stop the gas from coming in. Everything under the home is wrapped and sealed so nothing can get through to the home. A fan system is installed to vent the collected gas and remove it through a pipe above the house.
The contractor and their crew will stretch a plastic material under the home and seal all the seams. The vent pipe for the fan is installed on the outside of the house, and the fan will run at low speed all the time to ensure the gas coming in is vented completely.
In most cases, proper mitigation will reduce the radon gas in your home to below two pCi L or lower. A second test inside the house verifies the reductions once the radon mitigation is complete and the ventilation system has been running for a few weeks.
After your home is sealed and vented, it is good to have the radon mitigation contractor install a radon gas monitor to ensure the levels stay under dangerous limits and your family is safe in the house. Long-term exposure to high levels of radon gas can cause many respiratory issues, including cancers and other serious illnesses. Still, with proper mitigation and monitoring, you can make and keep your home safe for years to come.