Ways To Reduce Radon Levels in Your Home
Radon is a colorless and odorless gas that naturally forms when radioactive metals such as uranium, thorium, or radium break down in rocks, groundwater, and soil. When inhaled over a long period of time, radon can have several negative health impacts, and it is currently the second leading cause of lung cancer after cigarette smoke.
When outdoors, radon disperses rapidly and poses little threat. If radon seeps into one’s home, however, it can become trapped and accumulate until it reaches unhealthy levels. Generally, radon levels of four picocuries per liter (pCi/L) or higher are considered dangerous. However, radon levels below four (pCi/L) still pose a health risk. Fortunately, there are many effective ways to reduce radon levels in your home.
Install a Radon Mitigation System
The most effective way to reduce radon levels in your home is to have a qualified contractor install a radon mitigation system in your home. In some cases, radon mitigation systems can reduce radon levels in one’s home by up to 99 percent.
These systems typically work by using a fan to continuously pull air from the soil and release it outside through a pipe. Depending on the size of your home and the installation company, such systems generally range in cost between $800 and $2,500. In most cases, radon mitigation systems only take a few hours to install and can effectively reduce levels in one to three days.
Seal Off Any Cracks or Holes
Radon often enters a home through cracks or small holes in the foundation, basement, or flooring. As such, it is important to seal off these entry points in order to reduce radon levels as much as possible. To do so, carefully inspect your home for any gaps and seal them using caulk or an epoxy sealant. While it may be difficult to find every single crack and crevice, tacking as many as possible should help lower your radon levels to some degree.
Improve Your Home’s Ventilation
Reducing radon levels in your home is one of the many benefits of good ventilation. By increasing airflow in your home, you can help prevent radon particles from accumulating in the air and, instead, can flush them outside, where they will dissipate.
The most important areas of your home to ventilate when it comes to reducing radon levels are lower level locations, such as the basement and crawlspace, and the living areas of a slab foundation. To improve the ventilation in your home, consider investing in a quality HVAC system and leave windows open when weather permits to let fresh air inside as much as possible.