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Monday, April 15th by Mary Smith
A question that seems to be getting some discussion lately is how often should one test their home for radon? Look at it from this perspective, do you change the oil in your car every so many miles or do you simply wait for the lights on the dash to come on. We don't just do these things once in a while and then assume we're in the clear. We all know things change over time and the same goes for radon. Many of us may not have looked at it that way and believe once is enough.
Radon is an invisible, odorless and tasteless gas that seeps up from the ground and disperses into the air. Lower levels of radon aren't a cause for too much concern as everyone breathes in small amounts of radon every day. The serious health risks come into play when areas with radon have inadequate ventilation thus increasing the levels and the risk of developing lung cancer.
Many things can cause the radon levels to change inside of your home. One of those things is seasonal changes. If a short term radon test was performed in the spring, you should probably consider doing another test during a different heating/cooling season, like the fall or in the winter. If the area you live in experiences an extremely hot summer or a very rainy spring, it may be a good idea to test the levels in your home yet again. It isn't an expensive endeavor or even difficult to test for the potentially deadly gas plus it's really the only way to know if any changes have occurred to the levels of radon inside of your home.
Changes in the Surroundings
The EPA identifies the following major ways that radon can enter a home: cracks in solid floors, construction joints, cracks in walls, gaps in suspended floors, gaps around service pipes, cavities inside walls, and the water supply. This means that if renovations, changes in ventilation, natural disasters, settling soil beneath your home, or even just time have occurred, radon could basically be finding new ways to enter your home, and you should retest just to be sure.
In fact, according to the EPA, "If you are planning any major structural renovation, such as converting an unfinished basement area into living space, it is especially important to test the area for radon before you begin the renovation. If your test results indicate a radon problem, radon-resistant techniques can be inexpensively included as part of the renovation."
Otherwise if you finish the basement and then do a radon test, you may end up needing to redo the finished portions of the basement in order to install the necessary mitigation pipes. Because major renovations can change the level of radon in any home, you should always test after any work is completed.
Living Pattern Changes
Not only do the radon levels in your home change, but so do your living arrangements. If you decide to turn your basement (closer to where radon enters your home) into a master suite or a family room, you should retest the home on that level.
In conclusion, you may not need to test your home as often as you change your car's oil, but it is a good idea to test them every so often. The certified radon mitigation specialists at Miller Radon Services can help with any concerns you may have about the levels of radon in your home. Miller Radon offers both radon testing and radon mitigation services throughout Pennsylvania including Wilkes Barre, Williamsport, Pittston, Hazleton, Kingston, Bloomsburg, Pottsville, Berwick, Danville, Lewisburg, Selinsgrove, Mountain Top, Nanticoke, Sanbury, Dallas, and surrounding areas. Contact us for your radon test and free mitigation quote.