There are many statistics that come out every year about the dangers of emissions of gasses that have no smell or colour, and that come into homes from under ground. Some are potentially harmless but it is gasses like radon gas that can cause illness and death when breathed in for varying amounts of time.
The effects of Radon gas are becoming increasingly publicised to help people become aware of the dangers that, without knowing, inhaling this gas over a long time can cause. The inhalation of Radon Gas is the second highest cause of lung cancer after smoking, so it is a serious issue that awareness has to be raised for so action can be taken.
What Causes Radon Gas?
Radon gas is produced by the decay of uranium in the ground. Although it is a naturally produced gas, it has deadly effects if high concentrations are consumed. It is likely that there may be emissions of the gas intruding into your property because the gas is present in rocks and soil, however in low concentrations it can be relatively harmless. However, properties that have rooms directly in contact with the ground, such as basements, may be more at risk of containing the gas, so now there are solutions to this problem if this is the case for your property.
Protecting Your Property:
There are many ways of protecting your building against Radon gas intrusion whether it is a new or old build. There are maps provided by the Health Protection Agency and BRE that shows the areas that are highly affected by Radon gas due to the geology of where you building is located.
New properties located in areas where low concentrations are predicted to be found can have basic protection installed, which consists of a radon barrier (also know as radon membrane) being installed beneath the building.
Those that are in areas predicted to have high radon concentrations will be in need of full protection so ventilation will need to be built, for example through the use of block and beam flooring, as well installation of a radon barrier. Older buildings may not be able to have this ventilation system, so therefore a sump will need to be included under the building as well as the radon barrier.
Because of the seriousness of the effect of radon gas, any radon gas prevention work must be carried out by professionals. Many cases have been found whereby work carried out has been insufficient and radon has been allowed to enter a property, potentially causing the occupants to suffer from the effects of radon gas.