There are some dangerous substances that can be hiding in your house. Depending on the time when your home was built, it’s possible that asbestos could be lurking within your home.
Asbestos did an incredibly job at keeping your home from becoming flammable. However it was less successful at keeping you healthy! Another danger you may not realize is radon gas within your house. You can do everything right, and if the soil composition well below your home is wrong, there’s the potential for deadly radon gas to slowly pool in your home. Thankfully both of these dangers have been identified and can be fixed!
Asbestos is a tricky material. It’s often included in so many materials that you may not even realize it’s there. You can’t “eyeball it” to spot asbestos. The best way to do an asbestos test is to bring in a professional. If you want to do it yourself, you’re going to need to get an asbestos chemical test. You’ll spray down the area you’re testing, then cut into it to get a sample to send out for testing.
Asbestos remediation involves more than just cleaning up the area with the asbestos products. When you’re working on asbestos remediation you’re also planning on how you’re going to ensure that the problem doesn’t come back again. Think of it as trying to cure the disease instead of treating the symptoms. Generally you will work with a professional to determine the cause of asbestos issues, and what you’re going to do to replace it and ensure there’s no further asbestos issues in the future. This is especially important if you are dealing with mold. Removing mold is one thing, but if it’s just going to come back, what have you really accomplished?
Radon gas is caused by the decomposition of radioactive minerals. We’re not talking about high quality plutonium, but small bits of uranium, plutonium or any other radioactive substance are in soil across the world. As they break down, the gas is released through the dirt, and if it’s occurring beneath your home, it can enter through cracks and crevices in your foundation. Short term exposure to small levels isn’t an issue. Long term exposure as it builds up can be a big problem!
If you wish you can use a professional to test for radon in your home. However you can buy testing equipment and perform your own test. If you wish you can purchase a kit through the National Radon Hotline. Use a short term test (less than 90 days) to determine if there is potentially a problem. Radon levels are ranked from 1 to 4 with 4 being the worst. If your test shows a 4, you should immediately progress with a long term test to make sure it’s valid. Perform the test in a high traffic room in your lowest used floor.
There are several options to lower the level of radon entering and staying in your house. To help prevent it in the first place, you want to seal every crack in your basement/foundation to start. This will ensure that the Radon isn’t using the cracks to get in. You can also wire your attic vent to allow for it to work as an air vacuum. It will pull air out of the house in case radon has been building up.
If you’ve performed a test and find yourself with a radon level of 4, it’s not a time to mess around. Having a specialized contractor work on it is really the only way to ensure your safety at that time. They can tell you the right methods for fixing things up.