What is Radon? 

Radon is a radioactive noble gas that comes from the decay of radium in the soil. Radium is also a daughter or progeny nuclide of Uranium (Uranium decay). Radon is a colorless, odorless, invisible gas that can only be detected through the use of proper equipment and protocols. Chronic exposure to elevated radon levels has been linked to an increased incidence of lung cancer in underground miners.

 

Radon is constantly being generated by the radium in rocks, soil, water and materials derived from rocks and soils, such as certain building materials. Radium is a decay product of uranium which is naturally occurring in the soils and rocks of the earth's crust. Uranium is present at about 0.5 to 5 parts per million (ppm) in common rocks and soils. The concentration of radon gas in the soil will be related to the amount of uranium present. However, this is not a good indicator of the level of radon in an individual home. The radon concentration in a home is dependant on the type of soil the home is built on. Cracks, openings and various penetrations in the building foundation will provide the pathway for the radon in the soil to enter the home. The ventilation rate and air flow patterns within a house are important factors that will affect how much radon will be pulled into different areas within the house.

Radon can also be dissolved in ground water and can be introduced into the indoor air through the aeration of well water during its use in washing machines, showers, etc. 

Infographic showing multiple ways Radon can enter a home

How do I know if I have Radon? 

The only way to know if you have Radon is to test for it. Since Radon is colorless and odorless, special machines were developed to detect the gas. Some areas od the country are more prone to Radon than other. Colorado has lots of Radon due to the rocky nature of the earth in that area. Michigan has lots of rock but it is more spread out and can be found in small pockets next to areas that have no radon. At least at the time of testing. Radon can appear at any point, which is why regular testing every 2 years is recommended, especially if you are in high to moderate radon zones. 

Michigan map showing the different Radon levels and areas of Michigan

According to the EPA over 21,000 deaths occur annually from Radon. While testing for the gas is on the rise, it still goes relatively untested in many cases. Radon can take years to show symptoms, which is again why regular testing is recommended and mitigation is necessary when levels at or above the EPA standards are found. The testing process is easy and noninvasive to the home.  We can walk you through the process and provide results within days of starting the test. 

What if Radon is found? 

Thankfully with more and more people testing for Radon, the mitigation process is more streamlined and much more cost effective. If Radon levels are above the EPA minimum standards, A Radon mitigation company can determine the cause and the best course of action to remediate the Radon and make the home safe to inhabit. The costs of the services can depend on the remediation needed but are usually on the lower end of a home repair cost's, comparatively.