Radon is an invisible, tasteless, and odourless carcinogenic gas that comes up from the ground and into our soil and groundwater. Radon levels are typically highest closest to its source. As a result, basements usually have the highest concentration of radon in a home with levels decreasing the higher you go. Here are three reasons basements are scary year round – and what you can do about it.
1. Basements are an extension of our living space.
Modern-day basements aren’t usually reserved for storage. Today, they’re quite often an extension of our living space. That means occupants tend to spend more time down there than it takes to do a load of laundry. And sometimes we offer that space as a place for guests to lay their heads. If someone spends four or more hours a day in the basement, it’s important to ensure the radon concentration is within an acceptable range. This is especially true if occupants exercise in the basement or if children spend time there as the higher your respiration rate, the greater your risk of developing radon-induced lung cancer (over a prolonged period of time).
2. There can be cracks in the foundation.
Spiders and other creepy crawlers aren’t the only things that can come into your home through cracks and crevices. Cracks in the foundation and gaps around service pipes are two of radon’s favourite entry points. The good news is that sealing off these entrances can help decrease the concentration of radon in your home – and it’s fairly simple to do. If you’re handy you may even be able to tackle it yourself. If you’re not, enlist the help of a C-NRPP professional.
3. Your furnace lives there.
If you ever watched Home Alone as a kid, there’s a good chance its famous furnace scene gave you nightmares for weeks. While your furnace may not threaten to eat you alive, it can be scary when it comes to radon. Hung furnaces are an ideal way for radon to enter your home. Further, HVAC systems can cause wild fluctuations in radon concentrations. Testing for radon is the best way to determine if you may need to take a closer look.
Don’t let radon scare you! Test for radon today by getting one of our easy-to-use test kits. We promise it’s not a trick! Treat your family to the assurance that you can breathe easy in your home – including your basement.