How does Radon become present in homes?
Presence of Radon in Homes
Because there are no overt signs or symptoms of radon exposure until cancer is diagnosed, hoemowners are unaware of the importance for radon measurement and radon mitigation. Radon can enter any home or new construction despite the overall condition of the building structure.
Radon tends to alter drastically depending upon soil conditions, mineral content, ventilation, and the structural integrity of the home. It is not uncommon for neighboring properties and structures to have completely different radon measurements. The items listed below are the most common radon gas entry points:
- Water Seepage Entry Points
- Dirt Crawl Spaces
- Foundation Cracks and Basement Wall Cracks
- Floor Drains
- Sump Pump Pits or Basins
- Well Water
Wet or moist crawl spaces can contribute between 10 to 15 gallons of water in the form of vapor throughout the home each day. Water vapor enters the crawl space through concrete walls, slabs, foundation blocks, vents, and the soil. After entering the structure, the water vapor travels upward throughout the home and eventually deposits as water condensation upon encountering the cooler surfaces of walls and ceilings.
This water vapor is an ideal conductor for dispersing radon gas and other pollutants throughout the home. Often this water vapor is so fine that the average homeowner would not detect it. Even closed crawl spaces, which are effective at increasing the overall indoor air quality, may collect radon in the enclosed space.
Radon can enter any existing home or newly constructed one, even those with no visible cracks. The ground elements and architectural components of each residence affect every property differently. Because of the earth surrounding the water supply, radon can leach into well water and disperse through the air from a number of sources:
- Showers 60 – 70 percent
- Toilets 20 – 30 percent
- Drinking and Cleaning 10 – 50 percent
- Laundry 90 – 100 percent
- Dishwashers 90 – 100 percent
As seen above, radon can be dispersed in the home through the faucets and drains. Stomach cancers resulting from radon ingestion of well water is much lower than lung cancers from airborne radon, but any undue risks are unacceptable. The only assurance of getting an accurate radon level inside your home is to measure it or hire a certified radon mitigator for the task.