There are cracks in the foundation. Nothing structural. Nothing that's going to threaten the stability of the home, but they're there. Nooks, crannies and holes through which seeps an invisible threat. Colorless, odorless and undetectable by the average human, it is none the less the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States.
Radon gas is created when uranium in the soil decays. The gas then seeps through any access point into the home. Common entry points are cracks in the foundation, poorly sealed pipes, drainage or any other loose point. Once in the home, the gas can collect in certain areas especially basements and other low-lying, closed areas and build up over time to dangerous levels. The Environmental Protection Agency of the U.S. Government has set a threshold of 4 pico curies per liter as the safe level. As humans are exposed to the gas over a period of years, it can have a significant and detrimental effect.
How widespread is the problem? Radon has been found in homes in all 50 states. Certain areas are more susceptible than others, but no location is immune. Concentrations of radon-causing materials in the soil can be either natural or man-made. Homes built near historic mining operations may be higher risk. The only way to tell for sure is to have the home tested.
If high concentrations of radon are found in your home, you have several options. Radon is only a problem when it is concentrated in high volume, improving the ventilation in an area is often sufficient to solve the problem. In other cases, it may be necessary to limit the amount of radon getting into the home by sealing or otherwise obstructing the access points. Once again, a professional should be engaged to ensure that the radon is effectively blocked.
If you are buying or selling a home, radon can be a significant issue. Buyers should be aware of the radon risk in their area and determine whether a radon test is desirable. When in doubt, the EPA always recommends testing. The cost of the test can be built into the home's price. If test results already exist, make sure they are recent or that the home has not been significantly renovated since the test was performed. If in doubt, get a new test done. If you're selling a home, having a recent radon test can be proactive. You can then assure potential buyers that there is no risk and avoid the issue from the start.
Call A.A.R.T –Christine Popeck at 703-608-9548 for all of your Radon needs
ADVANTEK HOME INSPECTIONS
Phone: (703) 406-1346