To be so noble, radon causes an awful lot of problems.
You can’t see it, taste it or smell it, but the effects of radon gas can be far reaching. Radon is dangerous because it’s undetectable without testing and its presence is a health hazard. It might be all around you, and you’d never know it. The same is true for every home that you inspect.
Homeowners need radon education whether or not you provide radon inspections. Contamination can happen in any home and in any neighborhood. The most luxurious house in the county might have elevated levels. And the most humble home might be free and clear of it.
Here’s why radon education is so important:
#1: Radon is a Radioactive Gas
One of the six noble gases, radon is a chemically inert radioactive gas that carries with it a known cancer risk. That might be ironic, considering that radon was once used to treat certain cancers. It’s a natural byproduct of decaying radium. And although it’s abundant in nature, there are few widespread uses for it.
#2: Any Location Might Have Radon
Radon is no respecter of geographical locations. While some locations have a much greater concentration of radon, it’s present in every state in the U.S. Northern states tend to have higher levels, and southern states tend to have lower levels. But that’s not universally true, as some parts of northern Michigan are lower and some areas in Southern California rank high.
#3: New Homes Aren’t Immune to Radon
For some reason, many homeowners tend to connect older homes with radon. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Any home could have elevated levels of radon indoors, whether it was built 6 months or 100 years ago. And in some ways, new construction might be even more vulnerable. Radom comes up into the home from the soil below. Drafty, old houses might help more radon escape. Tight construction could hold more inside.
#4: Radon Exposure Equals Radiation Exposure
If you’re exposed to radon, you’re exposed to radiation. They go hand in hand. Exposure happens when people inhale the gas or consume it in drinking water or food. Inhalation is considered the greater risk, says Air Chek Inc. It’s easier to inhale and inhalation happens all day long.
Radon ventilation might run up through the house or on the outside.
#5: Mitigation is Often Possible
Homes with elevated radon levels aren’t totaled. Mitigation is not just possible, it’s often fairly simple. Probably the most straightforward approach is a fan-assisted ventilation pipe that routes radon from the ground under the basement up through a pipe and out the roof. This Old House shows one method.
Although radon is a home hazard, radon inspections are usually specialized and separate. You could partner with a radon inspector and offer reciprocal work referrals. Or you could offer radon inspections as an additional service. Either way, homeowners benefit from the additional knowledge and the ability to make their homes healthier.
ICA School offers a full radon certification course, and it’s included in your tuition. That’s one more way that we offer one of the best home inspection courses on the market today. Enroll now and get started on a rewarding and beneficial career.