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  • Writer's pictureAardvark Home Inspectors

Unseen Intruder: How Radon Sneaks into Your Home

Radon, a radioactive gas, is a silent intruder that can infiltrate our homes and buildings without our knowledge. Understanding how radon enters our living spaces is crucial for safeguarding the health and well-being of ourselves and our loved ones. In this blog post, we will explore the various pathways through which radon can find its way inside and compromise indoor air quality.




1. Soil Permeation:


The most common entry point for radon is through the soil or rock beneath our homes. As uranium and radium decay naturally, they release radon gas. This gas seeps through the soil and can enter buildings through cracks in the foundation, gaps around utility lines, or openings in basement walls and floors. Even well-sealed and newer buildings are not immune to radon intrusion.



2. Water Sources:


Radon can also enter homes and buildings through water sources. Private water supplies, such as well water, may contain radon that is released into the indoor air when the water is used for activities like showering or cooking. Although waterborne radon is less common than soil-based radon, it remains a potential route for its entry.



3. Building Materials:


Certain building materials, such as granite countertops or specific types of concrete, may contain naturally occurring radioactive substances. When these materials are used in construction, they can emit radon gas over time. Proper ventilation and sealing of these materials can help mitigate radon entry.



4. Natural Gas:


Radon gas can be present in natural gas if it is sourced from underground reserves that contain radon. When natural gas is used in various appliances, it can release radon into indoor spaces. While the levels are generally low, it is essential to be aware of this potential source and maintain adequate ventilation.



5. Accumulation:


Once radon penetrates a building, it can accumulate to higher concentrations if there is insufficient ventilation or if the structure is well-insulated. Radon gas can become trapped in basements, crawl spaces, or other enclosed areas, leading to elevated levels in those regions of a building.


In conclusion radon gas can silently infiltrate our homes and buildings through multiple pathways, endangering our health if left unchecked. By understanding how radon enters our living spaces, we can take proactive steps to mitigate its presence. Regular radon testing, sealing cracks and openings, ensuring proper ventilation, and employing radon mitigation systems when necessary are vital for maintaining a safe and healthy indoor environment. Remember, awareness and action are key to protecting ourselves and our loved ones from the risks of radon exposure.

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