Do all basements have radon gas?

Author: Sienna Cartwright  |  Last update: Saturday, November 20, 2021

Basements aren't the only place you can find radon. This is a common assumption since radon is most commonly found in basements. Unfortunately, it's also very wrong. Radon gas can be found anywhere in any home, not just in the basement.

Can radon be in a house without a basement?

Radon can also enter your home through well water. ... Any home can have a radon problem. This means new and old homes, well- sealed and drafty homes, and homes with or without basements. In fact, you and your family are most likely to get your greatest radiation exposure at home.

How do I know if I have radon in my basement?

The only way you can tell that you might have radon in your house is looking for the entryways. Finding cracks in your floor or walls might mean radon has made its way into your home, but there's still no way to know for sure.

Do finished basements have radon?

It's found naturally in the ground and is present in many homes, but it is a concern when levels get too high. One way radon can seep into the home is through cracks in the basement concrete. ... To help mitigate radon emissions, the first thing to do when finishing your basement is seal any cracks in the concrete.

How do you get rid of radon in a basement?

A contractor will drill two small test holes in the concrete floor on opposite sides of the basement, then install a vacuum in one and measure air flow with the other. If there is sufficient air movement below the slab, then a radon evacuation stack can be installed with a fan that exhausts to the exterior.

How dangerous is radon to your health?

How do I get rid of radon in my basement?

There's no single method that fits all radon removal system needs. Common techniques include: Sub-slab depressurization, where suction pipes are inserted through the floor or concrete slab into the concrete slab below the home. A radon vent fan then draws out the radon gas and releases it into the air outside.

What are the first signs of radon poisoning?

A persistent cough could be a sign that you have radon poisoning.
  • Persistent cough.
  • Hoarseness.
  • Wheezing.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Coughing up blood.
  • Chest pain.
  • Frequent infections like bronchitis and pneumonia.
  • Loss of appetite.

Does every house have radon?

The simple answer is “yes” – at least trace levels of radon will exist in every home. ... That will mean an old home, new home, drafty home, well insulated home and homes with and without basements. If any part of your foundation is in direct contact with the soil, it has the potential of having elevated levels.

Can I test for radon myself?

You can do it yourself or hire someone to do it for you. from a hardware store. Or you can order one by calling 1-800-SOS-RADON (1-800-767-7236) or going to the National Radon Program Services website ( Set up the testing device to check the air for radon.

Is it OK to live in a house with radon?

The EPA states, “Radon is a health hazard with a simple solution.” Once radon reduction measures are in place, home buyers need not worry about the quality of the air in the home. ... Since removing radon is relatively simple, your family will be safe in a home with a radon reduction system in place.

Can you reduce radon by opening windows?

As a temporary solution, however, you can reduce radon levels simply by opening windows. Opening windows improves air circulation and ventilation, helping move radon out of the house and mixing radon-free outside air with indoor air. Make sure all your basement windows are open.

What homes are susceptible to radon?

Answer: All types of houses can have radon problems-old homes, new homes, drafty homes, insulated homes, homes with basements and homes without basements. Construction materials and the way the home has been built may also affect radon levels, but this is rare.

Where is radon most commonly found?

Radon levels are usually higher in basements, cellars and living spaces in contact with the ground. However, considerable radon concentration can also be found above the ground floor.

What causes radon in basement?

Radon comes from decaying Uranium that is contained in the rock and soil beneath the basement (under the foundation) of every home. ... This process actually draws air more forcefully between the high and low-pressure areas and can pull more air from the rock and soil beneath your home impacting your radon levels.

How common is radon in homes?

It's common: About 1 in every 15 homes has what's considered an elevated radon level. The gas is odorless and invisible, says the EPA, and it causes no immediate symptoms, so the only way to know if your home is affected is by testing your individual residence.

What state has the highest radon?

Alaska has the highest radon levels of 10.7 pCi/L. Homeowners in Alaska are encouraged to test for radon every two years.
Here are the 10 states with the highest Radon levels:
  • Alaska (10.7)
  • South Dakota (9.6)
  • Pennsylvania (8.6)
  • Ohio (7.8)
  • Washington (7.5)
  • Montana (7.4)
  • Kentucky (7.4)
  • Idaho (7.3)

How long does it take for radon to affect you?

Radon gas can damage cells in your lungs, which can lead to cancer. Radon is responsible for about 21,000 lung cancer deaths each year in the United States, though it usually takes 5 to 25 years to develop. Early signs and symptoms of lung cancer may include: persistent cough.

How can radon be prevented?

More Ways to Take Action
  1. Stop smoking and discourage smoking in your home. ...
  2. Increase air flow in your house by opening windows and using fans and vents to circulate air. ...
  3. Seal cracks in floors and walls with plaster, caulk, or other materials designed for this purpose.

Does radon show up in blood test?

There are no symptoms, signs, or laboratory tests that are specific to radon poisoning. There are specialized tests that can detect radon in your urine, bones, and blood, but the results of these tests only tell if you were recently exposed to radon.

Does radon cause dizziness?

Long-term radon exposure produces symptoms akin to those of lung cancer. Unlike carbon monoxide poisoning or exposure to other dangerous gases, you won't notice symptoms like fatigue, headache, confusion or dizziness. That's because radon gas decays rapidly, damaging the cells in your lungs as it breaks down.

Does concrete stop radon?

Remember that even several inches of concrete cannot stop radon. Some builders believe that the plastic vapor barrier under the slab will stop radon. Although it is a part of the "radon resistant" construction, it merely reduces the flow of soil gas.

How do you test for radon in your home?

The only way to know how much radon is in your home is to test it. To test your home for radon, you can purchase a test kit at some hardware stores or online from several organizations that are working to reduce radon. You can also hire a certified professional to perform a test for you.

Do Ceiling fans reduce radon?

Ceiling fans can considerably reduce radon levels when the levels are low. If the levels are above 14 or more, I recommend using depressurization systems. As per the tests done, a good ceiling fan can reduce radon levels by as much as 95% when coupled with a positive ion generator.

How do you know if you have been exposed to radon?

If you think you've been exposed

Possible symptoms include shortness of breath (difficulty breathing), a new or worsening cough, pain or tightness in the chest, hoarseness, or trouble swallowing. If you smoke and you know you've been exposed to high levels of radon, it's very important to quit smoking.

Can air filters remove radon?

Yes, air purifiers help with radon gas reduction to some extent. The air purifiers with activated carbon filter technology are highly effective in trapping radon gas.

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