5 Potential Reasons for Radon in Your Home

Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that’s found in the environment, but it can also enter your home and gather in basements or similar enclosed areas. Although radon is commonly found in homes, that doesn’t mean it’s not dangerous. In fact, exposure to high levels of radon is one of the leading causes of lung cancer, so it’s not a problem to ignore. Fortunately, it’s easy to test for this dangerous element and External link opens in new tab or windowradon mitigation system installers in Will County, IL, can eliminate your exposure to radon before you suffer any ill health effects. Here are 5 of the most common reasons that homes experience radon issues.

Sketch of home and magnifying glass with radon text 

1. Soil

Radon is the gas that forms when radioactive elements breakdown. These radioactive elements are found naturally in the soil and rocks, so a major source of radon in homes comes from the soil surrounding the home. The topsoil generally doesn’t contain many radioactive elements, but as you go deeper into the soil, there are other elements or chemicals that erode and decay and release radon as a byproduct. The radon is able to enter your home, especially in the lower levels like a crawl space or basement, because it’s surrounded by the soil containing radon.

2.  Stone Foundation

Newer homes are typically made of concrete foundations, but there are older homes that may have been constructed with a natural stone foundation. Even a remodeled home could still have elements of an old natural stone foundation, like a root cellar. These rocks often contain radioactive elements, especially granite, which can contain trace amounts of uranium. When these elements begin to decay in your old foundation, the radon seeps into your home.

3.  Rocks around Home

Even if you have a newer home that doesn’t have a natural stone foundation, you could still be at risk of radon exposure from rocks that are located under and around your concrete foundation. If there are radioactive elements in these rocks, the radon gas will start to build up, which means it needs to move up to escape. That means that in many cases it will move up into your basement and collect there.

4.  Groundwater

Although radon is a colorless gas, it can also be found in groundwater. If you frequently use water from a well, it’s important to have the water tested for radon because that’s one of the common contaminants found. This happens because the aquifer is often located in rocks and soil that contain radioactive materials, and when the radon is created it’s released into your home every time you use well water. Fortunately, there are radon mitigation systems that can address radon that comes through the water.

5.  Gaps in Foundation

Cracks in the foundation are typical because some settling occurs over time. One of the biggest problems with gaps or cracks in your foundation is that radon gas can more easily enter your basement. Concrete is already a porous material, so if the rocks and soil around your foundation contain radon, you may be exposed to even higher levels of radon when there are holes or gaps in the foundation.

You can help limit exposure by filling in these cracks, but most people will also need professional External link opens in new tab or windowradon mitigation in Will County, IL, as well to adequately reduce radon levels. To have your home’s radon levels tested and to get a mitigation system installed, contact Will County Radon Mitigation today.