Radon is a colorless, tasteless, and odorless radioactive gas that’s virtually impossible to detect without a specific test. It occurs naturally when construction materials, soil, and rock decay. Radon exists in many homes and apartment buildings, and even though residents may not know about it.
What is most worrying is that while you can’t see radon, it can cause devastating damage, even causing lung cancer in some cases. In fact, research suggests radon causes 21,000 fatalities linked to lung cancer every year across the country.
In Florida, about one in five homes have radon, and unless homeowners or tenants test they may not know it. To protect yourself from radon exposure, there are a few things you can do:
1) Get your home tested
Certified radon testing professionals can come to your home and test for radon. You can also buy radon testing kits at your local hardware or home improvement stores. If it has been several years since you’ve tested, test again. Keep in mind radon levels can increase over time, so the levels in your home can change.
2) If you’re constructing a new home, make sure it has radon resistant features
The construction company or company designing your new property can help you find out about to these features and can help you implement them into your home construction plan. It is especially important to include radon resistant features in areas where radon is common across multiple neighborhoods or multiple homes.
Some features which could help you avoid radon exposure in the future include:
- Gravel under the home’s foundation. This helps radon remain under the home rather than moving into living spaces. The gravel can be even more efficient if heavy sheeting is laid down over it, adding another barrier to prevent gases from entering the home.
- Sealing. Using sealant along the walls and foundation floor can prevent radon from seeping into the home.
- A radon vent. A pipe can be used to safely vent radon from under the home’s foundation up through the home and through the roof.
3) If testing shows elevated levels of radon, get professional assistance
You will need to act quickly to reduce high levels of radon and protect your family.
Do I have a claim if my home shows high levels of radon?
If testing shows high levels of radon, you may have a claim if the radon was caused by someone’s negligence. For example, if you have built a new home with radon resistant features but these features were not installed as promised or were not correctly installed, you may have a claim against the construction company. If you rent your home or have recently bought your home and the landlord or previous homeowner knew about radon but did not disclose this information, you may have a claim.
Although radon is naturally occurring, if someone is negligent or tries to cover up the presence of radon on your property, you may have a personal injury claim in Hollywood or your community. To find out whether you have legal options, contact Flaxman Law Group for a free consultation.