Hey there, have you ever heard of radon? It might not be a household name, but it’s a big deal, especially when it comes to your health and your home. Radon is an odorless, colorless gas, and believe it or not, it’s the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. Scary, right? But the scariest part is that it can lurk in your home, at high levels, without you even knowing it unless you take action.
What Is Radon?
Radon is a radioactive gas that seeps into homes from the natural breakdown of uranium in soil, rock, and water. It creeps up from the ground and can slip through foundation cracks or holes, sneaking its way into your living spaces. It can also enter your home through well water. According to the EPA, almost one in 15 homes in the U.S. has elevated radon levels of 4 pCi/L (picocuries per liter). What’s even more surprising is that any type of home can have a radon problem, even those without basements.
Radon in Florida
Now, let’s talk about radon in Florida. This beautiful state is known for its sunshine and beaches, but it’s not exempt from radon concerns. Radon can be found in homes across Florida, and it’s essential for all Floridian homeowners to be aware of this hidden danger.
Testing for Radon
Testing for radon is a straightforward process and is especially crucial for Floridians. You’ll want to focus on testing the lower levels of your home, particularly those below the third floor. You can purchase testing devices online or hire a qualified radon tester to assess your home. Be sure to opt for reliable testing devices. There are two main types:
1. Passive Devices: These don’t require power and are exposed to your home’s air for a set period before being sent to a lab for analysis. Some are better at resisting interference or disturbances. Examples include charcoal canisters, alpha-track detectors, charcoal liquid scintillation devices, and electret ion chamber devices.
2. Active Devices: These require power and continuously measure and record radon or its decay products in the air. Many can provide reports and indicate any fluctuations in radon levels during testing. Active devices are pricier than passive ones. They encompass continuous radon monitors and continuous working level monitors.
You can choose between short-term and long-term testing. Short-term testing typically lasts from 48 hours to 90 days, suitable for homebuyers or situations with time constraints. Long-term testing extends beyond 90 days, providing a year-round average radon level. Whichever you choose, ensure that everyone in your home follows testing instructions diligently to obtain reliable results.
Fixing High Radon Levels
If your radon levels fall between 2 and 4 pCi/L or higher, it’s time to take action, as per EPA recommendations. Remember, high radon levels pose a health risk and are a leading cause of lung cancer. Fortunately, fixing radon problems isn’t as complicated or expensive as you might think. It can be accomplished without major home alterations, with costs similar to other common repairs.
You can lower elevated radon levels in several ways, such as sealing cracks, installing venting pipes and fans, or utilizing sub-slab suction. Consult radon mitigation contractors to get estimates and determine the most suitable system for your Florida home.
Radon and Home Renovation
Planning a home renovation in the Sunshine State? Don’t forget to check your indoor radon levels, especially if you’re working on a basement or lower-level room. It’s equally important to retest radon levels after completing renovations, as they can change. Installing a radon-reduction system during renovations is not only better for your health but also less expensive than doing it afterward.
If you’re thinking of selling your Florida home soon, radon testing is a topic you should explore. For more information on radon, check out these helpful resources:
Stay informed and safe in your Florida home!
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Hey there, I'm April Tsotsos, and I love teaching first time homebuyers and homesellers best practices and how to access all of their options available to them right here in North Port, Florida.
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