How does radon get into my home?


Radon is odorless, colorless, and tasteless; it is an inert noble gas. Radon is a naturally-occurring, carcinogenic, radioactive gas produced by the decay of radium in the soil. Radon gas exposure is the greatest single source of natural, ionizing, background radiation, only surpassed by medical radiation.

Generally, the air inside your home is is lower-pressure than outdoor air. Inside your home, warm air rises and must be replaced with air from outside. Your house can draw up to 20% of the air inside your house from the soil below it.

Cracks, gaps, joints, and cavities in basement floors, walls, and around service openings like water pipes, drains, electric junction boxes, and sump pump pits, allow soil gas to enter the building through the loose, disturbed gravel and soil surrounding your home’s construction.

Radon Done continuous radon monitor test in progress.

The conditions necessary for radon in soil gas to enter your home are present through common construction methods, including filling excavation for basements and crawlspaces with loose earth and gravel, allowing the gas to pas through into a home through cracks and gaps in the foundation—even through the hollow cores of block walls.

As radon gas is trapped in your house and builds up inside the lower levels, it will rise with warm air into living spaces. As air is moved throughout your house by fans or heating or air conditioning system, the concentration of radon gas may be little different in the upper levels than in the basement.

As the radon gas inside your house undergoes radioactive decay, it releases ionizing radiation, and airborne radioactive decay products.

How do I lower the radon in my home?

It is impractical and impossible for a homeowner to prevent radon from entering the home through caulking and sealing visible cracks. The only recommended method of remediation is through soil depressurization by a licensed radon remediation professional.

Woman cooking in home with unknown radon levels. Any home can have a radon problem, the only way to know is to test. Radon is the second leading case of lung cancer after smoking.

The EPA recommends that every home be tested for radon. Changes to your home such as additions, remodeling, or even a new roof or siding can change the level of radon inside your home.


Any home can have high radon, the only way to know is to test.

Include a radon test with your home inspection for any house you consider buying.

Schedule a Radon Test Now for $150 What is Radon Gas?

Radon Information

Skyline of Columbus, Ohio at night. Columbus is the capital of Ohio, located in central Franklin County.

What are radon levels in Franklin county, Ohio?

Central Ohio has high radon potential according to the EPA. Average radon levels recorded and submitted to the Ohio Department of Health range from 2 to 4 Pci/L (picoCuries per liter), shown in light blue in the graphic below, to ZIP Codes with averages over 10 Pci/L, shown in red in below.

Although there is no safe level of radon exposure, the EPA Action Level for indoor radon is 4.0 Pci/L. The first step to understanding the radon level inside your own home is to test–this is something you can include with your home inspections when buying a home, or anytime for your current home. Even if you already have a radon mitigation system, the EPA recommends that you test your home every two years–many changes to your home can change the amount of radon trapped inside the living area, including new windows, siding, or roof.

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Uranium emitting alpha particles in a cloud chamber

What is radon gas?

Radon is an odorless, colorless, tasteless, radioactive gas. Radon comes from the decay of radioactive uranium that can be found in small amounts in rocks and soil throughout nature. In areas with disturbed earth, and loose fill, like when a home is built, radon escapes from the soil.

Radon gas exposure is the number one cause of cancer for non-smokers, even greater than second-hand smoke. Most people are exposed to radon gas inside their own homes, and this is their greatest exposure to natural ionizing radiation.

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All radon inspectors who enter your home wear face coverings and use hand sanitizer.

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Radon Done is committed to the safety of your family and our own employees. During this pandemic, it is critical that we all observe safety protocols that minimize the risk of disease transmission.

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Radon Done radon test in progress door hanger. Homes undergoing radon testing must have all windows and doors closed for the duration of the test

Radon gas in Ohio

Central Ohio has relatively high natural concentrations of uranium from glacial deposits and shale, which during radioactive decay, produces radium and radon.

The EPA’s current radon action level is four picocuries of radon per liter of air (4 pCi/L). Most counties in central Ohio have high potential for radon, with predicted average indoor greater than the EPA action level. According to one study cited by Ohio Department of Natural Resources Department of Geological Survey, 38% of Ohio’s 88 counties had average indoor radon levels above 4.0 pCi/L, but Licking County’s average was above 8.0 pCi/L. Seven Ohio counties—Carroll, Fairfield, Franklin, Harrison, Knox, Pickaway, and Ross—had average indoor Radon concentrations between 6 and 8 pCi/L.

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