You Should Have Radon Detection Even in Newer Homes
I never heard of radon until we moved into our own house. It had a fully concreted basement, but there were sections that had stone walls. Someone suggested I do a radon test. I ordered a radon detection kit. It is pretty much just an envelope with a sponge in it. The spongy things collect evidence of the radioactive radon gas. Then an estimate is made as to the concentration of the gas in the area where the test envelope was hung up. We had enough radon in the basement that the testing company recommended limited exposure. They said it would likely be okay for doing laundry, but no one should spend extended times in the basement.
The problem is that we have a forced-air heating system. Air is spread out through the house. I know radon was getting into the upper levels when the furnace was running. We decided to seal up the cracks in the basement as much as possible and then add ventilation to the basement. It is all part of radon mitigation. The gas seeps up through cracks in the concrete and sewer drains in the floor as well as stone foundations and older foundation walls. A sealant helps prevent the gas from getting into the basement.
The radioactive gas is like smoking a lot of cigarettes as far as its effects on the lungs. It would be awful to get lung cancer due to a gas in your basement you do not even know is there. Crawlspaces are other great spaces for the gas to accumulate. It seeps up through the ground but is not an issue outdoors due to how it is diluted into the open air. The enclosed spaces of our homes concentrates it and makes it more deadly when it comes to exposure. It is radioactive and detectable with a radon detection kit.