It’s troubling to think about, but radon is most likely in the air you breathe. This radioactive gas is the product of the normal decay of certain elements. While it’s of little concern in small doses, prolonged exposure to radon can lead to very real health concerns.
Homes with high radon levels increase that risk potential. Before we learn how to tell if a home is at risk, let’s first learn how radon gets into your home.
In most cases, radon comes from the ground and then becomes airborne. It often enters a home through the cracks in floors, walls or foundation. Cavities in the walls or gaps around pipes are also viable entry points.
Radon can also come into your home through building materials used in a home renovation project. Your water supply can also be a source of radon if the water comes from a well where radon is present.
Radon levels are generally highest in homes that are well insulated and tightly sealed, since it’s difficult for the radon to escape. Homes that were built on soil rich in radium, thorium and uranium also tend to have higher radon levels since radon appears when these elements decay. Because radon comes from the ground, the highest radon levels can often be found on a home’s ground floor or basement.
It is estimated that about one in every 15 homes in the United States has a radon problem. High radon levels are possible in homes of any age or location.