Radon is an odourless, radioactive, and colourless gas. Prolonged exposure to this toxic gas can lead to severe side effects, including lung cancer. Therefore, it’s your mandate as a responsible homeowner to make sure to check the radon levels in your home. With radon mainly coming from the ground, you need to be on guard since its levels usually fluctuate regularly. This way, you’ll be able to confirm whether it’s within the recommended limits.
But, how do you go about reducing radon levels in your home if it isn’t in the recommended levels? If this is a question you’ve been asking yourself, below is an in-depth discussion highlighting the different ways of lowering the levels of this toxic gas in your home.
How Do You Test For Radon
Before you even jump ahead to try and lower the radon levels in your home, the first thing to do is testing your home for radon. This way, you’ll be able to tell whether or not there’s a need to reduce the levels of radon in your home.
Here’s an overview of the steps you should follow when measuring radon in your home:
- Buy a radon testing kit.
- Do tests to determine the radon levels in your home. These tests are usually easy to perform, affordable, and only take a couple of minutes. When doing the test, all you need is to open the test kit and leave the tiny measuring gadget inside a specific room in your home and leave it there. How long you leave the measuring device in the room depends on whether you’re performing a short-term or long-term test. The short-term test can take a couple of days to 90 days, while the long-term test takes over 90 days. It’s best to go for the long-term test since this gives you more accurate and relevant results.
- Send the testing kit to the relevant testing bodies to determine the radon levels in your home.
Once the results are out, you’ll be contacted to know whether the radon levels in your home is within an acceptable level.
Ways To Reduce Radon Levels In Your Home
There are different ways of lowering radon levels in your home, and they differ in terms of effectiveness. The different ways you can achieve this include:
- Seal Gaps And Cracks
This is an excellent technique of reducing the flow of radon into your home. It usually involves sealing the openings found in your home’s foundation to try and curb the flow of this toxic fumes into your home. In addition, sealing cracks is also affordable.
Nonetheless, you shouldn’t solely rely on sealing cracks as an effective method of keeping out this gas from your home. This is because it can be hard to determine the gaps and cracks through which radon finds its way into your home. Moreover, the continued sealing of these cracks, other than being time-consuming due to the need for regular maintenance, can become quite tedious.
Should you choose to go with this method to lower the radon levels in your home, make sure to buy a sealant recommended by experts. This way, you can be sure that the radon levels in your basement don’t rise to toxic levels.
Another way of effectively cutting out the flow of radon into your house is by making sure it’s well-ventilated. To do this, you’ll be required to open the vents and windows, allowing the flow of air to all rooms in your home. You should also consider installing an air-to-air heat exchanger, also referred to as the heat recovery ventilator (HRV).
With the HRV, you can either ventilate one room or all the rooms in your home. This machine does this by introducing outdoor air as it uses the cooled or heated air being produced to either cool or heat the air that’s entering your house. For the HRV to remain effective throughout the year, it needs to be maintained and balanced correctly. If you do this, you’re guaranteed to enjoy constant ventilation all year.
For the HRV to be more effective at lowering radon levels in your home, you should only focus on the basement’s ventilation. This system is also useful in getting rid of indoor pollutants and improving your home’s air quality.
- Use High-Density Polyethylene Plastic
The main entry points of radon into your home are the storage areas, sumps, cold basement rooms, crawl spaces, and drain areas. Therefore, you need to cover these areas to reduce how much of this radioactive gas enters your house. When doing this, you should use high-density polyethene plastic that does an acceptable job reducing the inflow of radon into your home.
Reducing the radon levels in your home can either be done by a skilled professional or by yourself. With that said, it’s best to always work with a professional because they have the knowledge and experience needed to ensure that the radon levels in your home are ideal. But, if you choose to DIY, this guide has highlighted some of the ways you can free your home from this harmful gas.