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Radon and Drought Conditions are a Scary Combination

Thursday, April 11th by Mary Smith

So you have had your home tested for radon and the results came back negative. So now you never need to be concerned about radon in your home again, right? The answer is a resounding, "no!" As the weather changes along with the seasons, so too can radon levels.

With severe drought conditions these last few years, there are many reasons why homeowners should probably have their homes re-tested. Most likely your home's foundation has seen an increase in cracks in the basement floor. These cracks are a prime example of how radon can enter home. The drier-than-normal soil under some of our homes also contributes to the higher radon levels.

With furnaces running in the wintertime, homes experience higher radon levels because of the "stack effect." The stack effect is when large volumes of air move through a. In the winter, the warm air in a heated building is lighter (less dense) than the cold air outside the building. That warm bubble of air wants to rise up and out of your home. The flow of air leaving the top of the building draws cold air into cracks at the bottom. The reverse happens in the summer when the hot air outside of an air-conditioned house pushes cooler indoor air down from the ceiling and out of cracks in the basement. This could lead to moisture problems on the top floor. So it's always good for a homeowner to re-test their home during the winter months when radon levels can be at their highest.

Having your home tested for radon is very easy, inexpensive and you don't have to have a lot of fancy equipment. Test kits can be purchased at home improvement stores and some state radon offices offer radon tests at little or no cost.

It is recommended by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that all homeowners have a radon test conducted every two years - especially if the conditions in and around the home have been altered by weather conditions, structural changes, or if you have installed a new furnace or insulation. If radon is detected in your home, you can reduce the radon levels with a radon mitigation system. Radon mitigation systems are usually highly effective in reducing radon levels by as much as 99 percent. Even homeowners who have discovered their homes had extraordinarily high levels of radon found that they could actually reduce those levels rather easily. All radon mitigation systems should be installed by a certified technician.

If you already have a radon mitigation system installed and it's over 5 years old, it's recommended that your system be inspected to ensure you are protected from radon exposure. The EPA actually recommends all homes with a radon mitigation system still be tested every 2 years.

Radon levels in your home may change with certain conditions and seasons. Be attentive and proactive to keep your loved ones safe from radon! Radon exposure over a lengthy period of time has been proven to cause cancer so it's best for all homeowners to have their homes tested if you even suspect that you live in an area where radon could be present. Let the National Radon Defense network help you find a certified radon mitigation contractor in your area and have your home tested for radon today.