Outdoor pollution is worrying enough as it is, what with factors such as vehicle emissions, industrial pollution, and fossil fuel burning. It’s enough to make you want to spend all your time indoors. A lot of people did, actually; during PCE (pre-COVID era), people spent around 90% of their time indoors, according to a US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) report.
Today, it’s safe to say that people stay indoors more than ever. But, it’s alarming to know that indoor air may not be as clean as people thought it might be. According to the same EPA report, indoor air can sometimes be two to five times dirtier than the air outdoors.
Radon: The Silent Killer
There are many causes of indoor air pollution. One of the most insidious is radon, a tasteless, odorless, radioactive, cancer-causing gas. It comes from decaying radioactive minerals like uranium in rocks, water, and soil.
Outdoors, radon mixes with air and doesn’t present any danger to anyone. But, when it enters enclosed spaces, like a house, it’s a different story. The gas is the second highest cause of cancer in the lungs. Radon contamination kills around 20,000 people annually.
Test Your Home
The importance of testing your home for any traces of this gas can’t be stressed enough. There are test kits you can purchase to do the test yourself, but the EPA recommends that you hire professionals to do the job. Testing for radon Colorado Springs, if you’re in the area, is a great step towards making your home safer.
The sooner you do it, the better. It’s better to find out about the radon level in your home through testing than finding out through the hard way that the radon level in your home is high. Besides, before you can do anything about the radon level in your home, it’s best if you know what you’re dealing with first.
Tips For Radon Mitigation
The first and best tip for radon mitigation is always to have your house tested. If the results show that the level is high, you need to find ways to lower the level pronto. Without a professionally installed mitigation system, reducing radon levels can be tricky, especially in places where radon levels in the environment is high, like Colorado. And, since Colorado has one of the highest radon concentrations in the US, radon mitigation Colorado Springs is probably one of the most Google-searched terms.
However, if for any reason you can’t yet avail of the services of the pros, here are a few tips, which are recommended by the professionals themselves:
After the mitigation system, ventilating your home is the second best way of decreasing its radon levels. Start from the lowest level of your house—basement, crawlspace, or the living area—if your house has a slab foundation. If your basement is being ventilated, it’s best if you limit or even restrict its use for a while. It’s more cost-effective and safer that way.
Next is to open the windows, the lot of them, if you can, to create a cross breeze. Radon, when it rises to the surface, dissipates when it comes into contact with air, as most gases do. With your windows open, radon won’t stand a chance.
So, open those windows, weather permitting, of course. If you’re forced to shut your windows because of the weather, radon levels would rise again; you’d have to open the windows to air your house.
2. Seal Those Cracks
Keep in mind that radon seeps into the house via cracks and those tiny gaps in your house’s foundation, floor, and basement. Find those breaks and cracks—as many as you can. Seal them with epoxy or caulk. You may not get everything, but sealing enough holes and gaps will affect your radon level. The important thing is radon levels are reduced significantly.
3. Avoid Depressurizing Your House
Your house’s air pressure can be lowered by a combination of exhaust fans and combustion units, for example, fireplaces and wood stoves. Radon is attracted to houses with low air pressure. To prevent lowering your house’s air pressure and creating suction for radon, open windows near exhaust fans or combustion units.
Also, you can install a system to bring in air from outside into the units. You could also seal your HVAC system that uses cold-air returns installed in your basement. This could prevent the escape of basement air into the air ducts.
The best tip regarding radon is to first have your house tested. If it’s high, then you can follow the tips enumerated above to lower the radon level in your home. Keep in mind, however, that you should have your house tested again for radon levels. If the level is still high, you may have to face the music and have the professionals install a radon mitigation system.