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Do high winds affect radon levels?

Saturday, January 25, 2020

High winds can either raise or lower the flow of underground radon gas into a home, depending on the direction of the wind and the shape of the home, although they are more likely to raise the radon level. To understand why, it helps to know about the “stack effect” that occurs in all homes, which is a natural suction that occurs because the air pressure in a house is usually lower that in the outside air and soil. The pressure difference acts like a vacuum, pulling  in air, radon and other soil gases up through cracks in the foundation or floor slab. Also, warm air rises, and the warmer air near the ceiling will leak out through any openings in the upper part of the home when the interior air is warmer than outdoors. 

    High winds mess with the normal stack effect by creating high pressure on the windward side of the home, low pressure on the leeward side, and a change in pressure over the roof surface. Gable and hip roofs acts like a airplane wing and create low pressure under them. 

    So it is certain that high winds will affect a short-term radon test for a real estate transaction, although not easy to determine which way it will skew the results. Testing during high winds does not give a good representation of the average radon levels within a home and should not be done.

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Here’s links to a collection of our blog posts about “RADON":

 Is a radon mitigation fan required to be on a dedicated circuit breaker/fuse in the electric panel?

What happens to a radon test result if the windows were opened, the test device moved, or there was any other evidence of tampering during the test? 

Where do I find the Florida laws regarding radon?

Can I test vacant land for radon before building a house? 

Is radon mitigation possible for a condominium?

Do radon mitigation systems require maintenance?

What is the average life expectancy of a radon mitigation system?  

Do older houses have higher radon levels than new houses? 

Can the seller tamper with a homebuyer's radon test to change the results?

How long does it take to get the results of a radon test? 

Will opening the windows reduce the radon level in a house?

How was it determined that between 15,000 and 22,000 lung cancer deaths each year are caused by radon?

Can a homebuyer do their own radon test for a real estate transaction with a self-test kit?

What is the danger of radon in well water?

What are the symptoms of radon poisoning? 

Does Florida have radon?

Where does radon come from? 

For how many years does an old radon test result remain valid?

Should homeowners get a pre-listing radon test before selling their home?

What are a homebuyer's options when the radon test comes back high (4.0 pico-curies/liter or more)? 

Do granite countertops emit radon?

How can I tell if a house has a radon mitigation system? 

Can a mobile/manufactured home have a high radon problem?

Do I need to test for radon when buying a condominium? 

What does a radon mitigation contractor do to lower the radon level in a home?

How can not testing for radon be an expensive mistake for homebuyers? 

Will the radon test come back sky-high in a house that has been empty and closed-up for months? 

What is radon? Should I be concerned about it?

Should I buy a house with a high radon level? 

What is the average radon level of indoor and outdoor air in America?

What is the operating cost of a radon mitigation system? 

• Should I buy a house with a radon mitigation system?

• Does the buyer or seller of a home pay for radon mitigation when the radon test comes back high? 

• What is the probability of having high radon in a Florida house?

• How quickly do I need to reduce a high radon level in my house? 

Does a home inspector check for radon?

What are the problems with underground return air ducts? 

• What is the probability of having high radon in a Florida house?

• What factors can change radon test levels up or down?

    Visit our RADON page for other related blog posts on this subject, or go to the INDEX for a complete listing of all our articles.

Stack effect graphic - US EPA

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