No Basement, No Radon, No Worries, Right? VERY WRONG!
Let’s clarify the basement situation regarding radon straight away. Radon is the natural breakdown of uranium in rock and soil. That being said, a home with a full basement vs a home built slab on grade will BOTH have a concern with radon until tested to identify the radon concentrations.
A basement, finished or not, is the floor of the home that is either fully or partially below grade or ground level. A basement can also act as a partial buffer zone for the upper floors where radon levels are reduced the higher the level you go up in a home. It has been found each level you go above a full basement foundation, the radon concentrations will be 25-50% lower than the floor below. For example, the first floor radon concentrations will 25-50% lower than the basement and the second floor will be 25-50% lower than the first floor. There will not be this same reduction in a home built slab on grade from the basement to the first floor.
Slab on grade construction means there is no basement. A slab of concrete is formed using a mold. The concrete is poured directly into the mold with no space between the ground and the slab. This means the slab is sitting directly on the ground with no basement buffer for radon to enter the house. Some homes with this type of construction may have a small crawl space which should always be tested for radon.
Because radon enters a home through cracks and fissures in the foundation and other openings, if a slab on grade home’s foundation slab is not intact, radon gas can enter the home directly from the ground into living space on the first floor. It is imperative that testing be performed to make sure the living space is safe. If a slab on grade home has a crawl space, the crawl space and the first floor should be tested.
Test Your Home…Protect Your family!