Inspect for Radon Gas When Purchasing a Home
By Mark J. Donovan
||Here in New Hampshire, where its nickname is “The Granite State”, radon is a real concern. The reason for this is that radon, which is a gas, is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the nation. Most rock types contain some trace level of uranium in them, however, granite has an above average uranium content in it.
Consequently virtually every intelligent home buyer in New Hampshire has two types of radon tests done as part of a home inspection. The first test checks for radon gas in the home, and in particular the basement.
The second radon test checks for the presence of radon gas in the water supply.
Radon gas is a chemically inert gas that is odorless and colorless. It also has a high density. As a result, it tends not to mix well with other gasses, e.g. nitrogen and oxygen, and resides in low places, such as in a basement or crawl space. Thus, the reason for testing for radon gas in basements.
|Levels above 4pCi/L in the air are considered to be of concern and remedial action should be considered. A radon gas mitigation system typically includes venting the basement and home using a combination of vent pipes and fans that pulls the air from the basement and home. Also any foundation wall cracks should be sealed and any cracks in basement floors should be patched. In addition, the installation of an attic fan is also recommended.
Similarly, radon gas is also soluble in water at certain temperatures. Consequently radon gas can be absorbed and degassed from water with simple changes in the water temperature.
Therefore this is why a home’s water supply should be tested if the home has its own private well. Radon levels above 2K pCi/L in the groundwater supply are considered concerning and should be remediated. Radon gas can be removed from a home’s water supply by aeration treatment or granular activated carbon (GAC) treatment.
For radon water tests, there are kits you can purchase from water testing companies. You simply fill the test bottle with water from your tap and send it in for analysis. The radon water testing company will typically provide you with results in a week.
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