Here in the rocky mountain region, you probably do. Our area generally runs in the moderate to high potential when it comes to Radon gas.
What is Radon? I hear about it, but why should I care?
Radon is a colorless, odorless, naturally occurring gas which seeps out of the earth. Radon has been around, well basically, forever, but it’s only been in the last 25 years or so that we’ve come to really know a lot or care a lot about it. Why do we care about it? Because it causes lung cancer. In fact, it is the second leading cause of lung cancer and is responsible for thousands of deaths per year.
So how do you know if you’ve got Radon? Get yourself a radon test kit to start. Come in and see the helpful hardware folks at your rocky mountain region Ace Hardware and we’ll show you.
There are basically two types of tests, short-term and long-term. Short-term tests are commonly used for real estate transactions. You can have results in days and be on your way. A long-term test work over several months. Long-term tests are far more accurate. Radon does not seep out at regular rates. It comes and goes. If you’re using a short-term test and get a low or high reading, that may not be accurate. You could get stuck with radon mitigation costs you do not need or a false sense of being safe. That is why I highly recommend the long-term test. If you’re planning on selling your home in the next few months, start your test now. Get a long-term test and get more accurate results.
Radon seeps in through many simple places in your home. It easily comes in through cracks in your basement walls or floors, basement windows, sumps, even well water. In older homes, and past times, it used to seep right up and out your house, because your house wasn’t sealed very well. Heck, when I was growing up we used to get dust that blew in around our windows. If dust can get in, radon molecules can get out. Now, with new windows and doors, tightly sealed and weather-proofed homes, we’ve doomed ourselves to trapping in the Radon that has naturally been around since our homes were built.
Radon mitigation can give the gas a path of least resistance to exit your home and not become a problem. However, it can be involved to install and requires a professional to do so. But do not put this off, if your radon readings come back elevated.
There are many sources of radon information ranging from the American Cancer Society to the US Geological Survey. There are many companies who can install a radon mitigation system in your home. Research them well. Read up on radon. Your lungs will be glad you did. And since most of us use our lungs on a rather regular basis, you’ll be glad too!