Having radon in your home can be a serious problem. It can be harmful to your health and can cause lung cancer. Different techniques for reducing radon include long-term and do-it-yourself radon tests.
Radon Testing Colorado Springs is a simple way to reduce the risk of lung cancer. It is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States after cigarette smoking. If your radon level is over 2.0 pCi/L, it is recommended that you take action. There are several different types of tests available. There are short-term tests, which require a two to 90-day measurement, and long-term tests, which can last up to a year.
Taking a short-term or long-term test for radon is a good way to get a snapshot of your radon levels. Usually, higher radon levels are observed during the winter when houses are closed up. However, radon’s true levels can vary significantly over time.
A long-term test can be performed for up to a year. It gives more accurate annual average radon concentration results than a short-term measurement. Typically, a long-term radon test is conducted at the same location in your home.
The test must be conducted under proper conditions for a radon measurement to be meaningful. This means using a test device approved by the National Radiation Protection Program (NRPP). A short-term test is usually done for just a few days. The test device should be placed at a height of 20 inches. It should be placed in an area that is frequently used. This could include a living room, bedroom, basement, or playroom.
The EPA recommends that homeowners test for radon every two years. If a test shows that your home has high radon levels, the EPA will advise you to install a radon reduction system. The EPA also recommends a short-term measurement for homes that are at least 2 pCi/L of air. This measurement should be paired with a longer-term measurement to determine if you have a real radon problem.
A short-term test is a quick measure of the radon concentration in a home. The tests are set up in a room that is used frequently. The room should be free of drafts and away from any heat sources. During the testing period, all windows and doors should be closed.
The results from a short-term test should be sent to a laboratory for analysis. The short-term test is usually followed by a longer-term measurement, which considers the changes in the home’s usage throughout the year.
The long-term radon test is performed for a minimum of 91 days to a maximum of 12 months. A lab analyzes the radon levels.
A radon test kit is available at most home improvement stores. They are typically available for $10 to $50. The kits include the necessary materials to perform the test.
Using Techniques to reduce radon in your home is a great way to protect yourself and your family from this odorless, tasteless gas. It’s also a good idea to have your home tested regularly. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends testing all homes below the third floor. In addition to testing, the EPA also recommends installing a mitigation system to reduce radon. Consider your location and weather conditions when determining which radon mitigation system to use. Radon can be more prevalent in some areas, such as in the Western United States.
Active systems involve a vent fan that pulls radon from the foundation into the outdoors. They don’t use much power but require a constant flow of air. Passive systems do not contain a fan but rely on air currents or pressure differentials to move the radon out. They can be effective, but they can also be expensive.
A few of the most common techniques to reduce radon entry are:
- Sealing cracks in the walls
- Removing soil from the foundation
- Increasing ventilation
For more information, see the EPA’s website.
Professionals use these techniques to reduce radon levels in your home. The EPA’s Citizen’s Guide for Radon and Indoor Air Quality states that “there is no known safe level for radon.” It also mentions that 29 people are diagnosed with lung cancer for every 1000 people exposed to four pCi/L over their lifetime.