Radon is an odorless, colorless gas that can cause a number of health conditions. It is produced from the natural breakdown of uranium in the soil. The idea of something unseen and dangerous lurking in your home can seem frightening, but thankfully there are ways to cope with it.

How do I Know If My Home is Affected?

Thanks to radon’s evasiveness, the Environmental Protection Agency recommends that everyone test their homes and take action against this unseen menace. To do this, you can buy a testing kit from most hardware stores or call in a radon testing professional. Be sure that you follow the directions to get an accurate reading.

There are two kinds of tests : Short-term tests (which take between two and four days) and long-term tests (which take 90+ days). Short-term tests are for checking how your radon levels are at the moment; long-term tests provide a more accurate reading for your home’s levels as the year progresses.

What are Normal Levels?

Since it is a naturally occurring phenomenon, radon exists throughout the world and is carried in the air. You can expect the outside air to contain levels of about 0.4 pCi/L (pico Curies per Liter). Inside, levels should test at about 1.3 pCi/L.

What if My Home Has Elevated Levels?

Don’t panic, you’re going to be okay! It’s better that you know, so the first thing you should do is repeat the test to make sure that the results are accurate. If they test at elevated levels once more, contact an expert.

Knowing the risks of radon is important but knowing how to control it is even more critical. Understand how to test levels and where to turn if your home tests higher than you expected.