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Why You Need to Test for Radon Gas and How to Protect Your Home from its Dangers

If your home is located in an area with naturally occurring uranium, then there is a good chance your home is at risk of being exposed to radon gas, a colorless substance that is created when naturally occurring uranium breaks down over time. While radon gas, in and of itself, is not lethal, it can in the right concentrations heighten one’s risk of developing cancer if exposed to it for long enough. For example, the risk of lung cancer increases by 16 percent per 100 Bq/m increase in long time average radon concentration. If local radon testing reveals levels of radon in your home, then it is time to look at ways to protect your home from its dangers.

  • Place a Vapor Barrier in the Crawlspace: Since radon gas will come up to the home from under the ground, it’s important to seal the sub-level of the home in every way possible. The first way this can be done is by placing a vapor barrier in any crawlspace located in the basement. Many basements have crawlspaces located somewhere in them that have exposed earth. This area should be covered with a plastic layer to seal the space and keep radon gas from getting in. If local radon testing detects levels of radon gas, then a vapor barrier should be placed in your basement crawlspace.
  • Seal the Area Around the Sump Pump: Another way to protect your home from the dangers of radon gas is to seal the area around the sump pump. The pipes that connect the sump pump to the sewer go through the ground, which can provide another potential avenue for radon gas to get into the home. So it’s important to seal this area to keep any radon gas out.
  • Place a Gravel Barrier Under the Foundation: A third way to keep your home safe from radon gas is to provide a means of radon mitigation by placing a layer of gravel under the foundation slab of your home. This can be done in one of two ways: the gravel can be laid before the foundation slab is poured when a house is being built, or it can be placed under an existing foundation. In either case, the gravel helps to keep the radon gas out of the home.

In conclusion, there are several ways to keep radon gas out of your home. If local radon testing reveals radon gas in your home, it is important to seal and protect your home because exposure to radon gas can cause cancer over a long period of time. Ways to protect your home include placing a vapor barrier in the crawlspace, sealing your sump pump, and placing a gravel barrier under the foundation slab. All of these ways can keep your home safe from radon gas.

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