With summer approaching, many homeowners are turning to radon testing businesses like Sir Build-a-Lot to get their home’s radon measurement in Des Moines, IA. Testing in summer is not a bad thing, but a lot of people think they should only test in winter since that is when radon levels are the highest.
In reality, radon levels can fluctuate a lot between the seasons. It really depends on your home and lifestyle if winter or summer has higher levels of radon. In general, it’s a good idea to have radon tested in multiple seasons to ensure levels do not exceed normal limits.
To understand how radon might fluctuate over the course of a year, you first need to understand where it comes from. Radon is a colorless, odorless and tasteless radioactive gas that can pose a serious health hazard to you and your family. Radon comes from the soil underground and can work its way up to the surface and into your home.
At larger concentrations, radon can cause serious harm to your health, as it has been linked to the development of lung cancer. Homes with an abnormally high level of radon will require a system for radon mitigation in Des Moines, IA to keep everyone safe.
How the seasons affect radon
Radon does not always enter your home at a consistent rate, nor does it stay in your home for a specific amount of time. The fluctuations in radon present can be caused by a few different things, including the season and how well ventilated your home is.
Radon levels are typically higher in winter. The concentration of radon in your home is exacerbated when you have your home sealed up against the cold. By keeping doors and windows shut, radon cannot escape as easily and will continue to circulate.
Additionally, something called the stack effect can increase radon levels in winter. Hot air rises in your home and escapes out the top, which creates a sort of vacuum that pulls air inside to replace it. The air that comes in is sometimes pulled from beneath the home, where radon is likely to originate from the soil.
Snow and ice can also make a difference. When layers of snow coat the ground around your house, it creates a sort of barrier that prevents radon gas from exiting the soil outside. This makes it more likely to travel upwards underneath your home as the easiest way out of the ground.
Summer levels can be high, too
Although the average radon measurement in Des Moines, IA tends to be higher during winter months, the levels of radon evident in summer can also be high. Usually, this is because your home is sealed up during the summer while you run the air conditioning.
Additionally, more radon can reach the surface and enter your home during summer months. This is believed to be due to the soil being drier, allowing gas to more easily travel into your home, where it has the potential to circulate and stay.
By keeping doors and windows closed, your house may contain even higher levels of radon than in winter. If you keep your house open and well ventilated in the summer, there’s a good chance that radon is escaping your home and dissipating, posing a much lower risk to your family’s health.
Test in multiple seasons
If you are worried about radon tests in the winter or summer being misleading, you should conduct a test in each season to verify that your radon levels are safe.
To schedule radon testing this summer, call Sir Build-a-Lot! Our testing experts will provide comprehensive residential radon testing and services for radon mitigation in Des Moines, IA to keep you and your family safe. We even work around your schedule with afternoon and weekend services. Get in touch today for a free estimate.