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Radon Mitigation – Fixing a Radon Problem the Right Way

What needs to be done?

If a home’s radon level is 4 picocuries per liter or more, the EPA recommends a radon mitigation system (sometimes called radon remediation) to be installed.

A common method utilized to reduce the radon level is “sub slab depressurization”.  In this case, a suction point or points are determined and a pipe is inserted through the concrete slab floor.  This pipe is connected to other PVC piping and a fan is positioned on the pipe outside the living area. The fan then draws the radon gas from beneath the home and vents it to the outside.  A radon mitigation system can cost between $900-$2500. 

Choosing a Mitigation Company

A qualified mitigation company is your best choice for installation of a radon mitigation system.

In many states, these companies or individuals are certified by a state regulatory agency such as the DEP (Department of Environmental Protection).  If this is not true in your state, then you should look for a qualified mitigator who is NEHA (National Environmental Health Association) certified.  When choosing a radon mitigation company, you should ask for their state or NEHA certification number, if they offer free estimates, and a warranty on the system.

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Typically, the mitigation company will visit the home to determine the best configuration of the system and the size of the fan for the type of foundation the house is built on.  An estimate of cost for a system can then be determined.  After choosing the contractor, plan on 1-2 days for installation. 

As always, beware of the lowest bidder.  Check for references, job examples, and the amount of time the contractor has been in business.

Life After Radon Mitigation

It is recommended that a radon mitigation system be tested after installation. A test may be performed after the system has been operational for 24 hours or more.  A short-term test is usually used for the initial test. In some cases, the estimate given by the contractor may include the retest by a professional company or radon test kits.

A follow-up test is suggested every year to monitor the system’s continued effectiveness.

Arick Amspacker is a certified radon technician and home inspector. Over the years he has taught continuing education courses for Realtors and many first time home buyers seminars, as well as a Community College course on inspections and radon. His website http://www.homeradontest.com sells various types of inexpensive, easy to use radon testing devices, and http://www.radonreporter.com offers a resource for radon information.

Author: Arick Amspacker
Article Source: EzineArticles.com

Planning For Radon Mitigation in Your New Home

The prevalence of Radon Gas in the soils in areas around the United States is an issue of growing concern. Radon has been deemed the number 1 cause of lung cancer in non-smokers in a study done at the University of Iowa.

If your planned home is in an area of higher risk, you should plan early on to install a Radon Mitigation System. In many areas now, a test is required with each real-estate transaction regarding residential properties and this will probably expand to include most of the higher risk areas. In any event, your health is well worth the small investment to install such a system.

Installing the basics of the system in a Basement or Slab-On-Grade Foundation consists of inserting a perforated pipe below the slab in crushed rock and stubbing up a connector into the basement. Venting this pipe to the exterior (away from any windows in your house or your neighbors, preferably up through the roof), constitutes what is known as a Passive Radon Mitigation System. If , after your house is complete, a test determines that levels are still too high, you may have to convert to an Active Radon Mitigation System by installing a fan than runs continuously which creates low pressure under the slab and increases the rate of gas evacuation. So you will want to have the slab penetration in an area that is readily accessible and has electric available to power the fan.

Radon gas is found in varying levels in almost all regions of the country. Visit the EPA’s Radon Map Zone at the following link.

Radon Map Zone Areas in Pink pose the highest risk followed by Orange and Yellow. Click here to check the specific risk level in your county.

Many times the fan is located in the attic, particularly if your foundation is slab-on-grade or crawl space. Also remember that you will want to make sure that the vent through the roof does not allow water to fall down the pipe to the slab below, this would not be a good thing for several reasons.

Designing and installing the infrastructure for a passive system can be accomplished for about $150 to $300. this will save you 150-300% of the cost of retrofitting. An Active systems will add $ 250-$550 depending on the size of your home. Download Build Radon Out.  Your radon system is a simple task but it does require planning to complete the installation in your new home without incurring significantly higher costs.

Author: Randy Covington
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
Provided by: Guest blogger

Radon – A Faceless Killer

Did you know that radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer? Following closely behind cigarette smoking, radon is responsible for about 21,000 deaths per year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. In fact, it could be lurking, undetectable, in your home right now. The EPA estimates that 1 in every 15 homes has elevated levels of radon. It is found in every area of every state and can even reside in your house but not the house next door.

Radon is a naturally occurring gas caused by the decay of uranium and radium, radioactive earth metals often found in rock and soil, and sometimes in well water. The dangers of radon were discovered in the 1950s in uranium mines, which hold high concentrations of radon, but it wasn’t until the 1980s when an employee at a nuclear power plant set off the radiation contamination alarms on his way into work that it became apparent that it might be a household threat.

Radon is not visible, has no odor, and by the time the effects manifest themselves in a person it is likely that significant lung damage has already occurred. Radon permeates into buildings from the ground. As warm air rises, it creates a vacuum causing continuous intake of the gases it contains. It wafts in through the tiniest of spaces and could seep through small cracks in the foundation, around pipes, sump pumps and drains, and even through walls and floorboards. Radon is a faceless enemy that subtly penetrates and slowly kills.

ARE YOU CONTAMINATED?

Detecting radon contamination is easy and could save your family’s lives. Though only some areas require mandatory radon testing when selling a house, it is a good idea to test your home regardless of whether you have just moved in, are planning to sell, or have been living there for years. In addition, it is recommended that a test be done before purchasing a home, and it is becoming common practice to do so.

There are several ways to test for elevated levels of radon in your home. There are two kinds of tests, passive and active, and both are easy enough to do yourself. The first, and quickest, is with a passive test. These are generally short-term and most commonly consist of placing canisters filled with charcoal in the location you’d like to test and leaving them for a period of time (usually from 3-7 days). If radon exists it will cause chemical changes in the item in the canister that, when sent to the laboratory in the pre-paid mailer included with the product, can then be analyzed. However, because radon levels can change from day to day or season to season, the EPA recommends doing two back-to-back short-term tests to maximize your chances of more accurately assessing your situation.

A second type of short-term test is called an alpha track detector and contains a piece of foil, film, or plastic that is used to count the particles thrown off by the radon gas decaying. Each particle leaves a tiny dent in the surface and the marks are then counted in the laboratory so that a figure proportional to how much radon is in the space can then be calculated.

The active test is long-term and requires the use of electricity. These are more accurate than the short-term tests, remaining in the home for 90 days or more, and are more likely to give you an overall year-round average radon reading than a short-term test. These are continuous monitors that record data at least once an hour, in addition to monitoring its own operation. Some even record temperature, humidity, air pressure, and other variances in the locale. Though there are some long-term tests that are relatively inexpensive, the better ones cost more than short-term testing, with some kits costing up to $400, and many are best administered by a professional.

FIXING THE PROBLEM

Now that you know how to test for radon in your home, what do you do if you find that you have elevated radon levels? Though the initial thought of having such a deadly gas amongst your family can at first seem daunting, realize that hundreds of thousands of homeowners have been in your shoes and have already made their homes safe.

There are several options that can prevent radon from entering your home. If you find a definitive place of entry, such as a sump pump, around a pipe, or through a crack in your foundation, you can simply block its path. This is a low-cost solution, but may not provide complete protection, as it may be only one of many sources of entry. The EPA does not consider sealing to be a primary reduction technique.

A second option is to create a sort of fresh air bubble under the building, which pushes the radon gas away from the home. An average cost is around $600 but, while this can be effective, it is unpredictable and needs loose soil and careful sealing.

Most mitigation techniques will involve some sort of fan that will draw air from below the basement floor and exhaust it above the roof, thus drawing the danger out and around the home instead of allowing it to rise through it. This can be done for under $2000. If you have a crawl space under your home you can also add a layer of special plastic, which will be sealed to the perimeter walls, under which the exhaust pipe will lie further minimizing the possibility of exposure.

Regardless of your method of detection, identifying radon in your home and fixing the problem ensures that the home you live in remains safe and comfortable. Don’t fear if you discover radon in preparation for selling your home. Take measures to prevent its entry and it can be used as a selling point, not a deterrent. No matter if you’re buying, selling, or have owned your home for many years, testing for radon is a wise and health-saving option.

Olympian Civil Home and Building Inspections (866) 476-2056 Copyright 2008 Olympian Civil Home and Building Inspectors, 2008 All Rights Reserved

Please visit my inspection mega-site for more information about my full service home inspection and environmental testing company. We service Brooklyn, Queens, New York, Manhattan, Staten Island, Nassau County, Yonkers and the Bronx. You may also wish to visit my learning library which is packed with great tips and advice for buyers, sellers and homeowners alike. Lastly, you can also take advantage of my VIP referrals for vendors in over 50 home related trades, where your satisfaction is assured and the inspection of vendors completed workmanship or products is conducted on your behalf for free; visit my site for more details or call toll free 866-476-2056.

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Author: Dennis Kanakis
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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Health Risks of Radon and Ways to Reduce the Threat

Cancer is hitting a little closer to home these days. The American Cancer Society’s Cancer Facts & Figures for 2010 says about 569,490 Americans are expected to die of cancer this year. That is more than 1,500 people a day. In the U.S., cancer accounts for nearly 1 of every 4 deaths.

According to the American Cancer Society, lung cancer accounts for more deaths than any other cancer in both men and women. Smoking, second hand smoke and radon are the leading causes of lung cancer. Radon, a colorless, odorless, radioactive gas, is responsible for about 21,000 lung cancer deaths every year. About 2,900 of these deaths occur among people who have never smoked.

Radon forms from the decay of naturally occurring uranium, which is found in soil and rock throughout the world. It typically enters the home through cracks in the foundation wall or floors, gaps in suspended floors, around pipes or construction joints, as well as through cavities inside the walls. It can also enter through the water supply, although the EPA says in most cases the radon entering the home through water is a small risk compared with radon entering your home from the soil.

The EPA’s booklet “A Citizen’s Guide to Radon,” says nearly 1 out of every 15 homes in the U.S. is estimated to have elevated radon levels. And radon has been detected in every state. The only way to know if your home has dangerous levels of radon is to test it. The amount of radon in the air is measured in “Pico curies per liter of air,” or “pCi/L.” There are low-cost “do-it-yourself” radon test kits available through the mail and in hardware stores and other retail outlets. However, you can also hire a qualified radon tester to do the testing for you.

If you find you have radon in your home, it is possible to reduce radon levels.

Some techniques prevent radon from entering your home while others reduce radon levels after it has entered. EPA generally recommends methods which prevent the entry of radon. Soil suction, for example, prevents radon from entering your home by drawing the radon from below the home and venting it through a pipe, or pipes, to the air above the home where it is quickly diluted.

An effective method to reduce radon levels in homes with crawlspaces involves covering the earth floor with a high-density plastic sheet. A vent pipe and fan are used to draw the radon from under the sheet and vent it to the outdoors.

Sealing cracks and other openings in the foundation is a basic part of most approaches to radon reduction. Sealing the cracks limits the flow of radon into your home, thereby making other radon reduction techniques more effective and cost-efficient.

U.S. Surgeon General Health Advisory Richard Carmona said it best in 2005 when he issued a National Health Advisory on Radon. “Indoor radon is the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the United States and breathing it over prolonged periods can present a significant health risk to families all over the country,” he said. “It’s important to know that this threat is completely preventable. Radon can be detected with a simple test and fixed through well-established venting techniques.”

While we are not yet able to cure cancer, we can do what we can to eliminate carcinogens in our homes.

Lou Cole is the president and owner of Emecole, Inc., a leading supplier in crawl space sealing and insulation materials for contractors throughout the United States and Canada. For more information about Emecole’s basement waterproofing and indoor air quality control line of products, visit http://www.emecole.com or write to 50 E. Montrose Dr. P.O. Box 7486, Romeoville, IL 60446.

Author: Louis Cole
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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Radon Danger in Your Home – Know the Facts

Knowing about radon is more important than ever before, as new facts emerge about its deadly consequences. The United States Surgeon General re-emphasized to the nation in January of 2010 the fact that radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer behind smoking in the U.S. If you smoke AND the radon levels in your home are high, you will have a very high risk for lung cancer. What can you do? Plenty! And it’s easy.

First, what is radon? Radon comes from the natural radioactive breakdown of uranium in soil, rock, and water, and ends up in the air we breathe. Radon is colorless, odorless, and tasteless. Although radon is found in all types of buildings, we get most of our exposure when we’re at home. Radon can exist in the air, and in our water source. Although radon levels vary throughout the United States, radon has been found in every state. You can see the average levels of radon by pulling up the maps on the internet by typing in radon maps.

What levels of radon are ok? Radon in the air is measured in “picocuries per liter of air”, or “pCi/L”. Generally speaking, levels less than 4 pCi/L are considered safe, although if you can reduce the levels further it’s a good idea. The really good news in all of this is that you can TEST for radon, and you can put systems in the home to lower radon levels. The systems for lowering the levels are relatively inexpensive. If you have a reading of just over 4pCi/L, you may be able to do some simple sealing of leaks around the crawlspace, foundation, or basement of your home to lower the levels in the home itself.

How should I get my home tested? Who should install a mitigation system if I need one? Good news here too. Testing your home is easy. The first way is to do it yourself by going to a home improvement store and buying a test kit. Follow the directions carefully to ensure the most accurate results. The second way to test your home is to call a professional radon tester. These individuals are trained and certified to administer and interpret the test and can advise you on what to do if your levels are high. The cost to get a professional to test your home is low – usually $125-$200. They will come to your home and leave several test canisters open to the air. They will give you specific instructions for the 2 days the canisters are active. They will then return and send the canister media to a certified, registered laboratory that will have the analysis within one or two days. You can contact your state radon office for a list of professionals who have registered with them, or you can call a local home inspector who routinely performs radon testing as part of the home sale. If you discover through testing that you need a radon reduction system, you should ask your professional tester for referrals or check with the state radon office. The person or company you choose should be a qualified, licensed contractor, preferably certified in radon mitigation, and you should get more than one estimate.

The last piece of good news is if you do need to reduce the levels of radon in your home, it is not expensive to do. A vent and fan system is usually the first line of defense, and will lower the radon to acceptable levels over 85% of the time. NOTE: If you do your own test and the reading comes out over 4pCi/L, I recommend that you call a professional for another test of your home to confirm your own reading.

There is a lot more that you can learn about radon by going to the Environmental Protection Agency’s web site (www.epa.gov) and by going to http://www.radon.com.

Get a copy of the free A Citizen’s Guide to Radon from the EPA site or from our company site: http://www.YourInspectionExpert.com.

About the Author: Lisa P. Turner is a certified home inspector, radon tester, and licensed general contractor. Her company, Your Inspection Expert, Inc., inspects homes for safety and functionality for home buyers, sellers, owners, mortgage companies, and construction companies. Visit http://www.YourInspectionExpert.com for information and more tips to maximize the value of your home.

Author: Lisa P. Turner
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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Radon Health Dangers

Radon is a colorless, tasteless naturally occurring radioactive gas that comes from uranium deposits in the ground. Radon enters the home through the home’s foundation or well water. Although naturally occurring, the indoor levels of radon vary widely across the United States and from house to house. Studies show that any level of radon over 0.4 pCi/L increases the risk for lung cancer. People who have smoked are at an even higher risk. Some homes have extremely high levels of radon when a house next door may not have any. Because radon dissipates quickly concentrations of radon gas outdoors are negligible.

People who are exposed to high levels of radon over a prolonged period of time often develop lung cancer. Early symptoms of radon exposure are coughing, wheezing, heavy breathing, and infections like pneumonia and bronchitis. Symptoms of radon gas exposure are often not recognized until a serious condition has been diagnosed.

Testing is an important instrument used to determine radon gas levels. Using a reputable and experienced test facility is important. Look for a facility that has been approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA.) Also, taking at least two tests in different parts of the house gives a more accurate reading. One of the test sites should be the master bedroom since so many people spend the majority of their time at home sleeping. Doing the tests midsummer and midwinter will give you a good average of levels in your home. Also, don’t forget to send in a water sample if your water comes from a source other than a public water service.

If your test results come back with higher than normal levels of radon there is no reason to panic. It is easy to lower levels of radon gas with proper ventilation and water filtration. Setting up fans and circulating air will lower levels quickly. Certain parts of your house will be more prone to have higher levels. Basements are more likely to have higher level due to their proximity to the ground.

Do not use basements as living space unless correct ventilation is installed. Sealing any cracks or openings in the basement is especially important. If you have high levels of radon in your water a charcoal filtration system along with proper aeration will dispel any gas in the water. High priced radon mitigation companies will try and sell you all sort of gadgets but the average consumer can lower radon levels with a few common sense techniques.

Bryan Sims writes about various topics including health issues and product information for the online audience. Find information about the newest website at http://www.wallmountforlcdtv.net/ which helps people find super saver deals on Peerless TV mounts and more information about various types of wall mounts for televisions.

Author: Bryan Sims
Article Source: EzineArticles.com

Whole House Air Purifiers And Radon Gas – Are Air Purifiers Effective At Getting The Gas Out

Radon gas can seep in through your crawl space or basement. Unfortunately, you can’t tell if it is in your home without a test because it is odorless and invisible. It is found naturally in soil and rock in many areas of the country, and many people are being slowly poisoned by it without even knowing. To be safe, you should contact your local government agency and ask for a testing kit. Most states have them and give them away for free. If the test comes back positive, it is crucial that you buy an air purifier. A whole house air purifier is one of the best defenses in the battle against radon.

If you discover a radon gas problem in your home, a whole house air purifier is the way to go. They’re located in your basement or crawlspace, away from the main living areas of the home. A fan vents the radon-rich air out from the basement before it can seep into the rest of the house. Metal ducts pump the air from the fan of the air purifier to the outside of your home. An extra, useful step is to seal up any cracks and gaps where air can get in. By combining a good air purifier system with some diligent sealing, you’ll practically eliminate any radon threat.

An added benefit to a whole house unit being in the basement is the fact that you won’t hear it running. They do tend to be loud, so this is a great advantage many people don’t even think about when they’re considering buying one.

Whole house air purifiers have extra benefits beyond venting out radon gas. They can remove many other troubling issues as well. With the use of optional filters such as heap or carbon, mold spores, dust, pet dander, smoke fumes and pollen can all be captured and eliminated too. If you are prone to allergies, have pets, or just want to breath cleaner air, buying a whole house air purifier will be a decision well made.

Whole house air purifiers vs. room units

But what about smaller, less expensive models? Granted, the price of whole house air purifiers can be two to three times the cost (or more) of single room air purifiers. The problem however, is if you’ve got air quality problems in your home, cleaning the air in one room will rarely solve the issue. So you wind up having to purchase several individual purifiers to do the job of one whole house unit. Now the cost issue becomes a moot point.

On top of that, a whole house purifier moves the air with metal ducting, so you really don’t see it. Stand-alone purifiers are often ugly and don’t blend well with your rooms décor. So unless you live in a really small space, a whole house purifier is really the way to go.

So if you’ve got radon problems or even something less serious, take a genuine look at a whole house air purifier system. They can be purchased and installed for around $1000.00 in most markets and they represent money well spent.

Ryan MacPhee is a professional contractor, real estate investor and part time writer with over twenty years of experience. You can read more about his experience with air purifier systems here [http://www.myairpurifier.net%20]. Check out some of his mortgage financing tips and techniques here [http://www.allaboutmortgagecalculators.com/Mortgage_Calculator_Confusion.html]. Have a look here if you’re interested in home remodeling ideas [http://www.home-remodeling-tips-and-tricks.com/What_Are_The_Costs_Of_Remodeling_A_Home.html].

Author: Ryan MacPhee
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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Get to Know the Radon in Your Home

Radon isn’t exactly a criminal, but it is estimated to have been the cause of 20,000 deaths a year. Although radon is a gas, it is a convicted killer, it enters your home unexpectedly during the day or night, and like a thief it steals what is most precious: our lives.

Why would anyone want to live with radon? How could someone just allow it to fester inside a home?

Radon is sneaky, like a burglar, it will find the best way to enter your home without you knowing. So, just like a burglar stalks the home for an open window or unlocked door, radon does the same. In fact, radon is the scariest kind of burglar: it’s invisible, odorless, and tasteless. You will never know it’s there until you’re in the hospital.

How Radon Enters

Are you wondering how exactly radon can enter into your house, it’s easier than you might think. A new home is not automatically radon-proof. Although homeowners want to think that new is better, there is also a blinding effect of purchasing new items. It’s almost instinct for someone to assume that nothing could be wrong or go wrong with a brand new product. But, it happens.

Within our homes there are cracks, bumps, and bruises that contractors have attempted to cover up in one way or another. Unfortunately, radon will find a way.

Here are some of the ways radon can meander its way into your home:

Pores and cracks in concrete
Joints: floor-wall, mortar
Openings in block walls
Water from wells
Spaces between walls and hollow foundation

How to Get Rid of the Unfriendly Guest

First of all it is important to note that not every home will have unhealthy amounts of radon gas. But, every homeowner needs to have his/her home tested because that’s the only way to detect radon.

Once a professional radon specialist has indicated that your home has unhealthy levels of radon and needs some mitigation, then it is time to understand the mitigation process.

Every home is different, which means the solution to each home’s radon problems will be unique to every home. The mitigation system will be customized to meet your home’s needs, and is dependent upon the foundation design– basement, crawl space or slab.

The actual mitigation procedures are not very complex, but they are necessary to ridding your home of its unhealthy radon level.

Depressurize Soil to Redirect the Radon

To reverse the stack effect, your radon specialist will depressurize your soil. Through the stack effect, radon gas is taken from the air in your basement and transported throughout the rest of your home. Your radon expert can redirect this air by suctioning the radon from the earth and transferring it through a PVC pipe. This pipe can go through or outside your home. The best way to get rid of the gas is by connecting the end of the pipe to an attic fan or the top of your home. This way, the pipe will be running from the basement to the outside of the top of your home.

All cracks or other problem areas will be sealed with a urethane caulking compound; this prevents radon from re-entering your home.

The best way to end such a project is by completing a checklist. This is simply done to make sure the system meets the US Environmental protection Agency Radon Mitigation Standards. All products that have been installed or labeled will be checked for accuracy and efficiency.

In about 30 days you should expect your radon specialist to perform a retesting of the installation system to assure you that your home is healthy and your system is working properly.
Finding a Radon Mitigator Near You

Samantha Walton currently works as a web content writer for home improvement sites. She’s a college graduate with a B.A. in communication and a concentration in public relations. She’s aspiring to one day further her education with a seminary degree. Her experience ranges from internships in marketing and public relations, content writing for local television broadcasts, to writing and editing newsletters, fliers, and other content for her local church.

When your health is on the line you want to seek the assistance from professionals you can trust. With National Radon Defense you can expect professional and friendly support. NRD knows the severe effects of radon in a home, and understands the fear and unrest it may cause. They want to deliver you with the answers to your questions and solutions to your home’s radon issues. Expect more when you contact NRD. For radon testing in your area, contact them today.

Author: Samantha Walton
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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Radon and Your Health

These days, radon is a very talked about subject, but there are homeowners and renters who remain unaware of radon and the serious effects it can have on their health.

Radon is an invisible, silent, hazardous, and odorless radioactive gas that silently enters into your home. Radon is a direct result of the decaying of a small amount of uranium found in the earth’s crust. Radon tends to enter through small holes and cracks in the walls and floors of your foundation, or through utility lines openings, drains, sump openings. Radon spreads rather quickly. Once radon enters your basement it can quickly spread to the above levels and living spaces of your home. Once radon enters your home it can put you and your family, as well as your health in danger of poisoning.

Why is radon so dangerous?

Radon is a very dangerous and hazardous gas because it breaks down quickly and instantly spreads throughout the air. Because radon has the tendency to break down at a rapid speed, larger amounts of radon can be dangerous to you and your health. Radon poisoning can occur without your knowledge and within a short amount of time. As quickly as the gas spreads in your home, you and your family are at immediate risk of radon poisoning.

How can radon be found?

Radon in the largest sources is located in the soil around and under homes, but radon can also be in the water you drink, the building materials in your home, or in the air you breathe.

Can radon levels elevate?

Since radon comes directly from the soil under and around your home, any home is placed at risk, especially those that have a dirt crawl space. Basements that only have a dirt crawl space are at risk to being exposed to maximum levels of radon.

Can my home be exposed to radon if I have a concrete basement?

Even if your basement has a concrete floor it is also at risk of hosting maximum levels of radon.
How is radon measured?

There are radon detectors that can be installed and monitored by professionals. By having the radon in your home under a constant careful eye allows the levels of radon to be continuously measured. This will also protect you and your family from radon poisoning exposure.

If you are on a tight budget, here are inexpensive to moderately priced devices and special detection equipment on the market. These devices and special detection equipment is available in most hardware stores and home building centers around the country.

These devices and special detection equipment is placed in your home for several days. After several days, the detection system is removed and sent to a processing center or lab where tests are performed to determine if radon is in your home, if you and your family have been exposed, as well as the level of radon. Once all the tests have been processed, a report will be sent to you to confirm if you do or do not have radon in your home.

Can radon put me and my family at risk of serious health issues?

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, over 20,000 people die in the United States each year due to from radon related lung cancer. Men and women who smoke and have been exposed to the radioactive gas have a greater chance of developing lung cancer than those who do not smoke or use tobacco based products.

Studies have also shown, non-tobacco users and young children have a much higher chance of developing lung cancer when they have been exposed to the radioactive gas than those who have not been exposed, but young children tend to be more at risk of being exposed.

What is radon poisoning?

Since radon is the source of a decaying process, tiny radioactive particles are slowly and silently released into the air. Radon poisoning occurs when you inhale large mounts of high levels of the radioactive gas into your lungs. By breathing radon into your lungs it can cause moderate to severe damage to the lungs, resulting in lung cancer.

Why does radon poisoning occur?

Radon poisoning has a tendency to occur when crawl spaces, basements or mines are poorly encapsulated.

What are the signs of radon poisoning?

The Environmental Protection Agency has spent endless hours and money researching the symptoms and effects of this radioactive gas. There are indications to look for to tell if you and our family have been exposed to radon poisoning. Those symptoms are a persistent dry cough, hoarseness, respiratory infections, and respiratory issues.

What is the best way to confirm if I have been exposed to radon?

If you believe you or your family have been exposed to radon or if you are experiencing symptoms that you believe are from radon poisoning, it is best to seek medical attention. A physician will give you a complete check up, and run the appropriate tests to determine if you have been exposed to the radioactive gas, and what treatment will suit your specific needs.

How can I protect myself and my family from radon poisoning?

The United States Surgeon General’s office recommends all homeowners and landlords have their homes and rental properties tested for radon.

Solution

If you believe you and your family may have been exposed to radon it is best to contact a professional who can evaluate and properly test your home for radon. This will assure you and your family are safe from this radioactive gas.

Contact the radon experts at Interior Basement Systems for radon testing in Kelowna!

Author: Donna Kshir
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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Radon Mitigation – How to Find Radon Gas and Get it Out of Your Home

If your home tests positive for radon gas, radon mitigation is critical to removing the gas and protecting the health of your family. Radon gas is a natural phenomenon and common around the country, but it can cause lung cancer if it remains trapped in a living space. Radon mitigation is the process needed to vent radon gas from the home, before the radon has a chance to build up to harmful levels.

Home construction techniques of the last 20 years have led to tighter, more energy-efficient homes. Unfortunately, these tighter homes also have the ability to hold more radon gas indoors. Therefore, it’s important to find out if you have radon in your home and if so, install a radon mitigation system to have it safely removed.

What is Radon?

Radon is a colorless, odorless gas that occurs naturally when radium decays in the soil. From there, the gas can move up through the ground and into your home via cracks and holes in its foundation, collecting in enclosed spaces like basements or ground-floor living areas. Without radon testing and proper radon mitigation, radon exposure is extremely dangerous, and the EPA estimates radon gas to be the number-one cause of lung cancer among non-smokers and second leading cause of lung cancer overall.

The good news is that radon testing and radon mitigation are possible to accomplish without a lot of expense. A properly designed and installed system can bring down very high levels of radon gas just as soon as the system is turned on for the very first time.

Radon Testing

There are simple, affordable radon testing methods available for your home that will determine whether radon mitigation is necessary. Basic radon testing involves a charcoal adsorption canister, which is placed in the basement or lowest living area of your home for two to seven days. This canister adsorbs the radon gas and is sent to a radon lab for processing, with the results mailed back to you. A do-it-yourself test kit costs around $15 or you can have the radon test performed by a pro for about $100. Either way, plan on doing the test at a time when your whole home will remain closed except for standard exits and entries, as air circulation and escape will impact the accuracy of your test results.

Once the radon testing period is over and the adsorption canister sent to a lab for evaluation, the lab’s report will dictate the actual radon gas level found in your home. The results are reported in picoCuries per liter of air (pCi/L), and if your result is 4 pCi/L or above, you’ll need to have a radon mitigation system installed.

Radon Mitigation Systems

A soil suction system is the most common solution. This type of system involves installation of a vent pipe under the lowest level floor (typically a concrete basement floor). Then a specially designed fan works to pull the radon gas from the soil beneath the house and vent it safely to the outside, usually above the roof where it can’t reenter the structure. Sealing cracks in your homes foundation will make the system even more efficient. For best results, radon mitigation should be done only by a certified contractor who is insured and licensed, where required, by your county or state health department.

Most importantly, after the system is installed, it’s very important to get a second radon gas test done. Only by testing after the system is installed, can you be sure the system was properly designed and installed.

For more information on radon mitigation and health threats associated with radon gas, visit the EPA. For system images, visit the University of Illinois Extension web site on radon mitigation.

Tom Kraeutler is the Host, Founder and Chief Home Improvement Evangelist of The Money Pit. He is a hands-on home improvement broadcast journalist and the kind of guy homeowners want to call at midnight when their basement floods. He first earned his home improvement stripes as a professional home inspector, amassing over 20 years experience learning how houses are put together, and how they fall apart!

Author: Tom Kraeutler
Article Source: EzineArticles.com