There are several advantages to living in an underground
home. The heating and cooling bill is less than what the
above ground houses are, and the property tax in most
places is lower as well. The upkeep of the exterior walls
of an underground home is basically nonexistent. But one
of the disadvantages is that underground homes are prone
to radon gas.
How Radon Enters a Typical Home
Radon is an odorless, tasteless noble gas represented
by Rn86 on the periodic table. Radon is radioactive and
is formed by the decay of uranium and thorium in the soil.
So, testing for radon with an earth berm or underground
house is advisable. Since Radon has no odor and no color,
this means that without testing for radon we are not going
to know if it is in the home or not.
It is important to do radon testing in above ground homes
as well as for underground dwellings because radon has
been placed in the category of being a carcinogen, and
since it is a gas it can cause huge respiratory conditions.
All the rooms in a home should be tested because there
will be different levels in each room if it is found.
Radon testing for underground houses is especially important
because radon gas is in the ground naturally from radioactive
decay and when it is released in the ground it is unnoticed.
Since an underground home is just that, underground, radon
can be all around the dwelling.
Radon Testing Kit
Since radon is a gas it can enter the home through several
different methods. It can come in through cracks in the
floor and walls. It can also find its way in through the
gaps in pipes that enter the home as well as through water
pipes. Radon needs very little space to move through these
little openings or flaws and may not even be noticeable
When Radon starts to pool and then becomes trapped in
a building it becomes more concentrated. As the concentration
increases so do the potential health problems.
Testing for radon before construction has started and
after the location has been prepared are the first steps
to becoming aware of its presence. If it is detected in
the beginning protective measures can be taken to control
where the gas will go before it gets into the future underground
There are systems that can be used to vent out radon
that use suction, vent pipes and fans to move it away
and keep it from building up and concentrating in the
home. If radon is found in your underground home and removal
methods have been installed it is still a good idea to
recheck for it periodically.
by Kevin Knatloa
First Published on January 20, 2014