Radon is a concerning problem and especially as it is something you can not see or smell. If you weren’t already aware of the ever present danger of radon, then it might well be time to learn not just what radon is, but how it can enter your home and where radon will be found.
So, to help you out we have put together this guide on where you are most likely to find radon, where it’s most likely to be prevalent in your home, and how to check for its presence in your property.
Where is Radon Formed?
If you weren’t already aware, radon is formed within the ground itself, when the naturally occurring uranium within the earth slowly decays, and then makes its way to the surface. Thanks to the way in which properties in the UK both ventilate and regulate their heat, it is very easy for the radon in the ground to rise up and then circulate throughout a property.
A deeper scientific examination of radon would tell you that radon is considered a health hazard due to its radioactive nature. In fact, radon gas is the number one cause of lung cancer within individuals who do not, or have never smoked. Now, radon is so common that it is highly likely (nigh on unavoidable) that we will all inhale it on a daily basis. In small, low level quantities however, radon is entirely harmless. It’s when the gas is routinely ingested within a property (outdoor or well ventilated areas pose a much lower risk) that an individual need become concerned.
What is particularly dangerous about radon is that it is entirely odourless, colourless and tasteless, meaning that the only way to detect it is with the implementation of specific and specially designed radon testing kits.
Where Is Radon Found in the UK?
One of the biggest questions when it comes to radon is ‘Where is radon most common in the UK?’ and the real answer might surprise you, with pockets of the harmful substance spread all across the British isles.
However, asking where radon is most likely to be found might be a question with endless answers. We can narrow it down significantly however. If you wanted to know the area of the UK with the most radon, then we can say that the south west coast, in particular Cornwall, features an incredibly rich and potent level of radon.
It would be fair to say in fact that Cornwall is the most radon-heavy area of the UK. What we would say to those living in this region is that if you have never conducted a radon test in your property, or have not conducted one for a significant amount of time, then you should seriously consider taking matters into your hands and arranging a radon survey as soon as possible.
Wales is another region in the UK where radon is particularly wide spread. Again, if you do live in Wales and haven’t conducted a radon test in a long time then it could well be worth arranging for a test as soon as you are able to. Whilst these are the two most affected regions within the UK, that doesn’t mean that the rest of the UK is free of radon by any stretch.
What could be more beneficial to learn, especially from a potential property buyer or sellers point of view, is a precise look at the amount of radon present in any given area. You can check online radon maps like this one for a clearer look into the levels of radon around the country, and see just how heavy the radon level and distribution is within your specific area of the UK.
This is a great way to identify more about the threat level of radon to you and your property directly. The map gives an indication of typical radon levels in your area, which will in turn give you a good idea about the levels of preparedness, testing and provisions you might have to make in relation to treating radon in your property. Ultimately the only true way to identify if your property is at risk of having high radon levels is to undertake radon testing.
Where Is Radon Found Within a Property?
I mentioned in the first section that radon naturally rises from the ground, and as a gas, it will naturally find its way into a building thanks to the ways in which a property will naturally draw air in from the ground, through the different gaps and spaces within the flooring.
This means that for the most part, radon gas is most dangerous in the basement or ground floor areas within a property as these areas are common entry points for radon gas.
So, you may well consider testing for radon on your ground floor or within a basement for a good first indication of the amount of radon within your property. These tests will be able to provide you with a more forensic view of how much radon is present in the property, and the danger it can pose to you.
At this stage, it will be pertinent to consider different alleviation methods for lowering the levels of radon gas in your home. This could be done via the installation of a radon sump, via further ventilation being opened up or even by specialist ventilation equipment being installed within your home.
All are viable and tested methods of controlling radon gas levels in a property, but remember, as a gas, radon may act in a less predictable manner and could be entering your property in a different manner.
Now you might think that as the gas rises from the earth, that it will be most concentrated within the basement and ground floor levels of any property. This might well be the case in most homes, but consider that you spend nearly half of your life asleep, and with most bedrooms being located on the second floor, it is well worth testing for radon in your bedrooms and first-floor level rooms to make sure that you aren’t being exposed to dangerous levels of gas as you sleep.
It isn’t common practice for radon testing to be carried out in buildings on floors higher than the first – but if you want to remain totally secure in your knowledge of any properties standing radon levels, then be sure to test the basement, the ground floor then the first floor in that order of priority.
If you do have any questions, further concerns, or requests when it comes to radon detecting and mitigating within a property, don’t hesitate to contact us online or call us on 0800 046 6193 today. PropertECO prides itself on its professionalism, and expertise within the radon mitigation and control industry.