Can you have radon without a basement?
Because radon comes up out of the ground and enters the home through its foundation, which every home has, each house is susceptible to radon gas. It makes no difference if the building is old, new, insulated, or drafty. All types of homes are at risk of radon whether or not they have a basement.
Place a radon detector in the breathing zone, 2-6 feet above the floor, and away from drafts, exterior walls, sumps, drains, windows or doors. Radon may enter a building through cracks in the foundation or through sumps or drains and will usually be higher near these entry points.
radon gas infiltration
The main source of indoor radon is radon gas infiltration from soil into buildings. Rock and soil produce radon gas. Building materials, the water supply, and natural gas can all be sources of radon in the home.
Ventilation, ventilation, ventilation The second-best way to reduce your radon level, after a mitigation system, is airing out the home. Ventilate the lowest level of the house, whether that be a crawlspace, basement, or if you have a slab foundation, the living area.
Radon moves up through the soil and into the crawl space air. Crawl space encapsulation can reduce radon levels and prevent moisture damage.. Radon is an invisible, odorless radioactive gas that comes from the decay of uranium in the soil.
It is important to note that when testing a home for radon, the home must stay closed up. If any doors or windows to the outside are open, the test will be invalid.
Opening windows improves air circulation and ventilation, helping move radon out of the house and mixing radon-free outside air with indoor air. Make sure all your basement windows are open. Opening basement windows helps reduce negative air pressure, diluting radon with clean outdoor air.
Radon and other gases rise through the soil and get trapped under the building. The trapped gases build up pressure. Air pressure inside homes is usually lower than the pressure in the soil. Therefore, the higher pressure under the building forces gases though floors and walls and into the building.
Radon comes from the natural decay of uranium and radium found in nearly all rocks and soils. Radon moves up from the ground and into buildings through the openings that exist in floors or walls (see figure below). You can learn more about radium and radon in water on the EPA’s Radon in Drinking Water webpage.
The short answer is yes. If radon is coming up through your crawl space, it won’t just stay in your crawl space beneath your home but will find a way to travel up to the rest of your living space. This is why you need to test the livable space ABOVE the crawl space rather than inside of it.
Radon is known to be a heavy gas. Please understand that the radon level can be significantly higher on an upper floor. Even if the radon level is lower on the first floor than say a basement radon level, it could be higher on the second floor. The only way to know is if you test.
Any home can have a radon problem. This means new and old homes, well- sealed and drafty homes, and homes with or without basements. In fact, you and your family are most likely to get your greatest radiation exposure at home. Elevated levels of radon gas have been found in homes in your state.