Radon levels refer to the amount of radon gas, which is a carcinogen in the air that can cause lung cancer. Every family member is always at risk for this, both from combined radiation sources, or human-made. No matter how clean your house is, there is still a minimal risk through the radioactive decay of Uranium in the soil.
It is crucial for you to know how to measure the radon levels from time to time, as it is considered as the primary cause of lung cancer for individuals who doesn’t smoke. The higher your radon levels, the higher are your risks for diseases.
Here are some tips for you to follow to measure the radon levels in your home:
1. Test Your Home Regularly
Testing your home for radon levels is usually a quick and easy process. You can purchase your radon test kit at home improvement stores and hardware shops or purchase a test kit here instead.
You can check your home short-term, or long-term yourself, or ask for a professional to help you out.
● Short-Term Radon Testing
Short-term radon testing is usually done for homes that undergo radon testing for the first time. This testing occurs between 2 to 90 days. It is recommended for the places where you spend the most time such as your living room, your bedroom, and your children's playroom or family room.
For this, you do not have to test damp places in your houses such as your kitchen and bathroom, as the water exposure in these areas also interferes with results. It is best to perform your test in dry and high-traffic areas of your home.
● Long-Term Radon Testing
This is recommended if the result of your short-term test yields more than 4. Long-term radon testing usually takes from 90 days to one (1) year. You can purchase it from state radon agencies and online retailers.
This tends to be more accurate than the short-term tests, as the period of testing is longer, and the factors are significantly affected by air pressure, winds, snow and soil moisture.
Do note, too, that these tests are also still applicable even if you are renting a home. For rental apartments, you can ask your landlord to apply for radon testing.
2. Do Not Compare Your Results With Others
It is a misconception to think that the radon levels in your home are the same as that of your neighbor's because you live near each other, or have the same soil.
If your neighbor's results yield to adequate radon levels, it doesn't mean that yours are, too. Always undergo testing when you have to and do not take this measurement for granted.
3. Fix or Remodel Your Home
When your radon tests yield a result of 4 or higher, it is suggested that you remodel your home.
Although radon gas usually results from the uranium levels of your soil, it can also be a result of problems with your heating, water pressures or home ventilation. Therefore, it is advisable for you to check your heating and ventilation systems and change or remodel when radon levels are high.
4. Ask A Professional
When you are unsure with what to do or how to accurately measure the radon levels in your home, it is best for you to consult a professional.
This professional contractor can make changes to your home to ensure that the radon is kept from coming inside your house. Before making a final decision as to which contractor to hire, ask for two (2) to three (3) quotations first so you can be sure you have value for money.
5. Install A Radon Mitigation System
Installing a mitigation system can help control the level of radon that gets inside your house. This system involves that of using a PVC drawing pipe to draw the gas up from the soil and out of your home.
It is a highly effective means of ventilation that is also healthy for your family's lungs. You can ask a professional contractor to do this for you.
6. Re-Test Your Home
If you have recently made changes in your house, it is best for you to have it tested again. This re-testing should still be done even if your previous results have yielded to satisfactory results.
Any changes in your doors, windows, ceiling, roofing, and even the insulation of your walls can lead to changes in your radon levels; hence it is best to do another short-term test again.
These tips will help you monitor and maintain lower levels of it, pegged at 0.4 pCi/L (picoCuries per Liter) as the safe level that each home should keep. However, almost 1 out of every 15 homes go beyond this safe level. Remember, it builds up more inside the house; therefore it is crucial for you to measure its radon levels regularly.