Many people may believe that home inspection contractors are professionals chosen to analyze energy efficient homes and conduct mold inspection tests, and this is true. A home inspection can help to reduce your utility bills by improving your home's insulation and, consequently, its energy use. Inspectors can also find areas of your property afflicted by mold, which can prove to be a serious health hazard if left unattended for too long. But another function of home inspection testers – that is just as important, if not more so, than the aforementioned – is that they can also check your home for radon gas levels.
As defined by the National Cancer Institute, radon is a radioactive gas that emanates from soil rich in elements like uranium or thorium that decay and subsequently release the gas. Some homes may be built on soil like this. In that event, the radon can seep into a house up from the earth through cracks in the floors, walls or foundation. It is an invisible, odorless and tasteless gas, so there's no discernible way of checking for yourself as to whether or not radon is present in your home. Even more alarming is that radon gas – because it damages cells along the lining of the lungs – is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. The National Cancer Institute reports that radon contributes to between 15,000 and 22,000 lung cancer deaths per year.
It is imperative that Virginia and Maryland homeowners make an appointment for radon testing at home to check for potentially harmful levels in their house. If radon is discovered, home inspectors can work to quickly and effectively clean out the toxic gas.