Tuesday, 10 June 2014

How best to find a solution for Radon

You may have heard of radon gas and wondered what it is, how it might affect your home and what you can do about it.  Here’s a quick guide and some good news about how you can deal with high levels of the gas if necessary.

Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas which comes from granite and has no taste or smell.  All of us are exposed to it, however, some areas of the UK with most granite, such as Scotland, Wales and Cornwall, have higher levels of the gas.

A picture of a beach with granite rocks leading down to the sea
Granite in Cornwall

Radon circulating in the air poses little risk to us, it’s only when it gets trapped in our homes that the risk rises.  As we breath in, the radioactive elements enter our lungs and start to decay which, over time, can lead to tissue damage and in some cases, lung cancer.  The risk is greater if your lungs are already damaged from smoking.  It’s therefore, important to reduce the levels of radon coming into our homes.

Testing is easy and under £50.  You will be sent two small plastic detectors which you leave in your home for 3 months and then send away for evaluation.  Levels from house to house vary and it may be that your levels are low and, therefore, nothing to worry about.  

Fortunately, there are quite a few solutions available if you find high levels in your house. It may be that you need a sump under the floor boards which sucks any radon away before it enters your home, or a positive ventilation fan which blows air from your loft changing the pressure in your house.  If you have a suspended floor, natural ventilation may well be all you need, or you may need mechanical underfloor ventilation.  

If you were buying a house that had a high level of radon, your mortgage company may consider a retention until the right solution is found.  However, as you can see, testing is easy and there are many solutions which can fix the problem, so it shouldn’t stop your sale from going through. Have a chat with us and we can advise you on the best course of action.

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