Discovering that there is radon present in a home doesn’t have to be a deal breaker in the home buying process but it’s definitely worth being knowledgeable about and prepared for.
WHAT IS RADON
Radon is a naturally occurring gas when uranium found in rock and soil decays. As the uranium deteriorates, the radioactive gas rises to the surface of the ground and releases into the air.
Radon is odorless, tasteless, and colorless and does not pose health risks when found outdoors. However, it does become dangerous in concentrated amounts such as when it becomes trapped in a home.
RADON IN HOMES
Unfortunately, foundations are not always effective barriers against rising radon gas from the ground. It can enter homes through cracks or gaps in floors, walls, foundations, and even through the home’s plumbing. Radon may also be present in well water. Because Radon is denser than the air, it settles in basements and crawl spaces and can distribute through the home via HVAC systems. High levels of radon are found in approximately 1 in 15 homes.
WHAT ARE THE DANGERS
Radon in concentrated levels poses health risks and is the 2nd leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. Once airborne, the particles are radioactive and can damage the lining of the lungs over time.
Of course, the risk of cancer increases substantially if the home’s inhabitants are smokers but radon is also the lead cause of cancer in people who have never smoked.
Homes with radon levels over 4.0 pCi/L (Picocuries per liter of air) should consider a mitigation system. For perspective, that amount of radon in the air equates to smoking roughly 8 cigarettes per day.
RADON IN NEW HAMPSHIRE
New Hampshire residents are no strangers to the possibility of radon in their homes. Known as the “Granite State”, New Hampshire’s bedrock is rich with granite and other rock types. The sediment from these rock types have naturally high levels of radon when eroded.
Most hot spots for radon in New Hampshire are found in the northern part of the state. Additionally, more than half of New Hampshire’s ground water also has elevated levels of radon.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
The best defense for radon is to stay proactive and knowledgeable about the levels of it in your home. Because radon levels can change, it’s recommended to have your home tested every few years. Testing typically costs less than $150 and little effort, especially if you hire a professional to do it.
In the event that your home presents high levels of radon, mitigation systems are commonly used to reduce the level of gas to a safe amount. These systems work to prevent radon from entering your home by redirecting and expelling it up and out of your house using ventilation fans and piping.
If you haven’t had your home tested, schedule your radon test with Platinum Home Inspections today!
And for additional information and resources on radon in New Hampshire; visit https://www.dhhs.nh.gov/programs-services/environmental-health-and-you/radon