Information Homeowners Should Know About Radon and Their Kitchen Counters

Construction & Contractors Blog

Have you recently moved into a new home or renovated an older home? Did you know that your beautiful granite kitchen counters could be dangerous? You may have been attracted to granite counters in your kitchen because of their beauty, but not all granite is the same. Some granite can release high levels of radon gas. Here are some things you should know and what to do about it:

Radon is dangerous: The EPA estimates that radon-related lung cancer kills more people per year than either home fires or drunk driving. Just like carbon monoxide, radon is both invisible and odorless. This means that you could be breathing relatively high levels of radon gas and not even realize it. The greater the amount of radon that you breath, the higher your risk for lung cancer and other illnesses. 

You can't tell if a counter is safe by looking at it: While other kitchens and your kitchen may appear to have identical granite counters, this may not be the case. Your counters could be emitting dangerous radon, even if the other counters are in the clear. While you may be tempted to breathe a sigh of relief if radon tests for your mother's counters come back clear, you shouldn't do so. The only way to tell if your kitchen has potentially dangerous levels of radon is to test it. 

Radon can be anywhere: Your beautiful granite counters aren't the only potential source of hazardous radon in your home. Radon may also be found in heavy concentrations in your basement, if you have one. While you may be familiar with carbon monoxide detectors, you may not be aware that there are radon detectors with a similar function. These detectors should be installed throughout your home, to alert you to the presence of potentially hazardous levels of radon gas.

Radon removal is an option: If you've tested your granite counters or your basement and found heavy levels of radon gas, you may be tempted to take drastic measures. Your first instinct may be to completely rip out your lovely kitchen counters and replace them with something else. Fortunately, there are other options. Contact a local contractor to find out about radon reduction systems. Depending on the source of radon in your home, even very high levels of radon may be almost completely eliminated by these systems. As a result, you'll be able to enjoy your granite counters without having to worry about potential health effects.

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17 February 2015

Home Repair Tips for the Novice

When I bought my first home, I was terribly inexperienced when it came to maintaining it. It seemed as if something was always broken. After spending a weekend battling with my oven, I decided that I enough was enough. I started reading everything I could about things related to the home. By the end of my research, I still could not fix my plumbing, but I could look knowledgeable as the plumber explained what was wrong. In an effort to help others avoid the tedious task of reading book after book about plumbing and appliance repairs, I started this blog. Hopefully, this information will save someone from a weekend spent wrestling with their own appliances.