Category Archives: About Radon

what is radon? how was it discovered? how it effects your health? … and more

An HVAC Service Can Be a Life-Saver

When some people hear the words HVAC service, they automatically think of the heating and cooling aspects of the system and rightfully so. Both of these aspects are extremely important. Being in the middle of a snow storm in December, without a properly functioning heating unit can be miserable. The same can be said for the warmer months. Without direct access to an air conditioning unit during the hot summer months can be unbearable and even dangerous. Although these are both vital aspects that an HVAC service provides, there is another feature that shouldn’t be overlooked. That is the ventilation feature.

Proper ventilation may not necessarily bring comfort during extremely cold or hot months, but it still plays a vital role in people’s homes; or in any building for that matter. In every home, there are things that emit gases that can be harmful to those inside. For instance, radon gases and carbon monoxide can seep out from under the floorboards. Some of the symptoms of radon gas inhalation are chest pain, wheezing and a bad cough. This gas is even believed to be the number one cause of lung cancer in those that don’t even smoke. So, not only can it cause annoying symptoms, it can even lead to death. Carbon Monoxide is another toxic gas that can cause symptoms such as nausea, dizziness and a bad headache. Most of all, it can lead to death, similar to prolonged exposure to radon gases.

Without the adequate amount of ventilation that an HVAC service professional can provide, homeowners are left to deal with the consequences of these dangerous chemicals.

Paint is another thing that can cause issues in a home that is not properly ventilated. The dangers aren’t necessarily prevalent after the paint has dried. However, if someone is in the process of painting the walls in their home, proper ventilation is a must. It’s not that the fumes are as dangerous as carbon monoxide and radon gases. However, it can still cause symptoms such as memory loss, dizziness and respiratory irritation.

One of the worse things about fumes and toxic gases is the fact that they tend to be odorless, colorless and invisible. So, homeowners would never know if they are in their homes until it’s too late or they have a professional come out and run tests.

So, an HVAC service does more than just provide heat in the winter and cold air during the summer. However, they provide a form of ventilation that keeps everyone in the home safe from toxic chemicals. Without proper ventilation, a homeowner is putting everyone who lives in their home at risk of respiratory issues and even premature death.

For top-notch HVAC service bay area  residents have an experienced company to call. Find the technicians who can help you:  http://www.qualtechhvac.com.

Author: Antoinette Ayana
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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Pros & Cons of Various House Foundations

Slab, Crawlspace or Basement? When building a new home, which foundation is the best choice? I offer the pros & cons of the typical three choices.

Slab:

Pros:
– Least expensive to build
– No moisture/humidity to deal with under sub-floor
– Easy access for handicapped or senior persons, since very close to ground level

Cons:
– Hard surface, takes a toll on your body/joints
– Difficult to run additional wires/pipes
– HVAC typically located in the attic (unconditioned space)
– A leak in a water supply line in the slab is very expensive to fix
– Entrance at ground level, not as eye appealing
– High likelihood of radon issue (can be easily mitigated)
– More prone to wood destroying insect issues, since close to ground

Crawlspace:

Pros:
– Able to install additional wires/piping easily if needed
– Wood floor structure is softer than concrete
– Entrance higher off ground, more eye appealing
– Easy access for repairs
– Less likely to have a radon issue (on ventilated crawlspaces)

Cons:
– Moisture issues (water & humidity) are a major issues, creates fungus growth & rot
– Easy access for unwanted pests
– HVAC in unconditioned space

Basement:

Pros:
– Able to install additional wires/piping easily if needed
– Wood floor structure is softer than concrete
– Easy access for repairs
– Entrance higher off ground, more eye appealing
– HVAC is located in conditioned space (more energy efficient)
– Additional storage/workshop
– Inexpensive additional square footage, can be finished at a later time
– Increased re-sale value of home & increased buyer appeal
– You can build on a sloping grade
– Provides shelter during extreme weather (tornado’s, hurricane’s, etc)

Cons:
– Most expensive to build (compared to a slab or crawlspace)
– Need a sloping lot to build a walkout basement
– Higher likelihood of radon issue (can be easily mitigated)

Mac has remodeled many old homes, been employed in several different construction trades & is a major do-it-yourselfer. He currently owns a home inspection company and has been inspecting homes for many years which is where my experience is most relevant to the proper way to build a home. To learn more about building your dream home, visit my website, http://www.house-building-tips.net

Author: Mac Barlow
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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Strategies to Sell Your House Yourself – Pay Close Attention to Experts & Ignore Them at Your Peril!

When you are trying to sell your house yourself, you may have dispensed the services of an agent, but you should heed the advice given by other professionals. Prior to putting your home on the market, you will need the services of a professional inspector. Get your inspector to thoroughly examine your home and pick up valuable tips that could mean the difference between success and failure.

One of the major things to be aware of when selling your house yourself is the property’s electrical wiring. The last thing you want is for all your sale profits to go towards the cost of a lawyer because faulty wiring caused serious damage to your home.

All experts will mention the radon test to you. If your home has high levels of radon, this can be easily fixed. Plus this is a huge plus point for potential buyers. For the most accurate results, you should have a thorough radon test and then do a retest afterward. Mention this to buyers when they visit.


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Do you desperately need to know How To Sell Your House Yourself?

To learn exactly what others are doing in your situation then Click Here and grab your Free Report.

Author: Sam Renstaff
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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Be Confident in the Safety of Your Home With the Help of Professional Radon Testing

Instances of radon gas in homes are serious health and safety issues. Professional radon contractors can accurately detect radon levels in your home and, if they find a problem, can implement a radon mitigation solution appropriate to the situation.

Radon is a heavy gas created by the breakdown of uranium and is present in homes throughout the United States. Most of us have heard about radon gas and the danger it poses, but few people take appropriate steps to accurately evaluate or address the issue. This is largely because radon is not visible or tangible-it’s easy to ignore that there might be a problem. Nonetheless, radon is a serious danger, especially in parts of the country designated as “red zones” by the EPA. The only way to truly know if radon is an issue in your home is to employ a professional to thoroughly test the property. If they do find elevated radon levels, these experts will be able to work with you to design a radon mitigation system specifically for your home, dissipating the gas and making your home safe in the long term.

The presence of radon gas in your home should be serious safety concern. Radon usually seeps into buildings through the ground. A low level of radon is harmless, but if the radon gets trapped inside, the level becomes more concentrated and can contribute to the development of lung cancer, as well as cause harm to childrens’ developing lungs. There are a number of DIY radon detection kits on the market, but these products can be difficult to use effectively and are unlikely to provide complete detection service. If you are serious about doing radon testing, you should locate a radon contractor in your area. These professionals have the tools, experience, and expertise to evaluate your entire home with appropriate detection equipment. Not only will they be able to find out if radon is an issue, but they will also be able to accurately tell you in what concentration it is present.

If you find out that your home does contain dangerous levels of radon, your local radon contractors will also be able to safely and effectively address the problem. Each home and each radon occurrence is different, so it is essential that your radon mitigation plan is tailored to your specific situation. With hands-on knowledge and experience at their disposal, radon experts will be able to design a radon abatement program that targets the exact problem present in your home. The primary component of most radon mitigation systems involves locating the entry point for the radon (often at the basement level). The radon contractors then create a seal between the ground and your home and install a pump to vent the radon out into the atmosphere where it can dissipate. Radon experts will be able to perform such services completely and effectively, insuring long-term protection for you and your family.

Nothing is worse than knowing that there is a potential danger in your home, like radon gas, that you can’t see and can’t fix. Call on professional radon contractors to ease this worry. They will be able to perform the necessary radon test to find out if radon levels are dangerous in your house. If there is a problem, they’ll be able to eradicate it and make your home a safe haven once again.

Rebecca Paul is a homeowner and an Internet marketer for Prospect Genius, a leader in online local advertising.

Author: Rebecca Paul
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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How to Reduce the Risk of Radon Exposure in Your Home

Radon is an odorless and tasteless radioactive gas that all too often goes untested in homes. Elevated levels of radon pose serious health risks and have become responsible for an estimated 20,000 lung cancer deaths each year. In fact, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that radon exposure is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers in the United States. To reduce your risk of radon exposure, it’s important to understand the causes of high radon levels as well as effective ways to maintain a safe radon level in your home.

What is Radon?

Radon is produced when uranium breaks down in rock, soil, and water. Though rock and water can emit small amounts of radon, soil is the primary source of elevated radon levels in U.S. homes. If the soil around your home has elevated levels, the radioactive gas can enter your home through cracks or other openings along the foundation, polluting the air you breathe. This gas can also enter your home through water, particularly through ground water sources or well system.

Testing for Radon

The only way to determine if your home has dangerous levels of radon is to administer a radon test. You can either hire a certified, independent contractor to test your home’s level, or you can use a Do-It-Yourself radon test kit. Either method is affordable and easily administered.

Studies show that the average level of radon in U.S. homes is 1.3 picocuries per liter (pCi/L). This is wonderful considering the action level indicated by the EPA rests at 4.0 pCi/L. If your home shows a radon level of 4.0 pCi/L or higher, you could be at risk. Keep in mind that if you smoke and your home has an elevated radon level, you are at an even higher risk for contracting lung cancer and other harmful conditions.

How to Reduce Radon in Your Home

There are several steps you can take to reduce the radon level in your home, however, be sure to measure the radon levels first and implement a way to get the current radon out of your home. Otherwise, you might trap the radon and prevent it from exiting your home-quite counterproductive!

  • Seal cracks and/or openings along your home’s foundation to limit radon from entering. Focus on the lower levels of your home, such as the basement or garage. If your home has a crawlspace foundation, cover the ground with a high-density plastic sheet.
  • Prevent radon from entering your home with a heat recovery ventilator (HRV). An HRV improves a home’s air quality by increasing ventilation and reducing radon levels. HRVs can ventilate your entire home or just a particular area that is susceptible to radon, such as the basement. Be sure to regularly change your HRV’s filter to ensure optimal results.
  • Pressurization is an effective radon reduction technique designed to increase the pressure in a home’s basement, where radon typically enters from the soil. This increase in pressure prevents radon from entering the home through its lower levels.
  • For temporary radon reduction, open windows, doors, and lower-level vents to let in outdoor air and increase natural ventilation.

Testing your home for radon is easy and inexpensive, and can drastically reduce your risk of lung cancer. You can perform a radon test yourself or hire a professional. So don’t wait — take the necessary steps to reduce the risk of radon exposure in your home today!

Contact the experts at Advanced Basement Systems for radon mitigation in Ontario and all surrounding areas.

Author: Taylor Harvel
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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Proper Home Ventilation to Improve Air Quality at Home and Avoid Health Risks

Home ventilation is crucial to maintain the high air quality at home. There are so many pollutants nowadays that are dangerous to all of us, including carbon monoxide, mold and radon, that one cannot be too careful in avoiding such pollution every day. There are many sources of indoor pollution, including pressed wood products that make the home furniture, various air sprays and fresheners, damp carpets and various pesticides.

Some of the best ways to determine whether various pollutants entered the home are either by experiencing sudden physical symptoms such as headaches, sudden dizziness, or by noticing various signs in the house. Particularly important is strong condensation on the windows and interior walls which point to improper ventilation. Of course maybe the easiest way to notice this is by feeling the stuffy air at home and by smelling weird and out of place odors. All these can raise a red flag in your mind as to having a possible indoor pollution problem.

Another way to test for wrong air quality is by using the radon test. This particular test is quite cheap and it tells you whether radon (a radioactive gas) is present in the house. Sometimes a very low level of radon is no problem for health, so the test will tell you whether the levels are ok or are too high and can cause health hazards.

These days smoking of cigarettes has been banned in all public places in most western countries and with good reason. Tobacco smoke is quite dangerous to all of us and is a serious carcinogen. If there is somebody smoking in your home, now it is the time to do something about it. Follow the lead of the government and ban indoor smoking. Your kids might just thank you for it a few years down the road.

An area that can be particularly hazardous to health if not properly ventilated is the bathroom. Mold and unhealthy steam can occur very easily after taking showers and hot baths and they not only damage your health (mold is considered a carcinogen as well) but also tend to destroy your wooden doors, cabinets and your walls in the long run. Statistics show that bathrooms that have no proper ventilation need to be remodeled much faster than those with good air flow at all times.

One of the best ventilation fans for the bathroom are the Panasonic ventilation fans. Visit my website at bathroom ventilation fans to learn more about them and their ventilation benefit for your home.

Author: Zoltan Zongora
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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The Dangers of Natural and Man Made Radiation

Radiation has been a concern of individuals and governments since the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in World War 2, and there have been many safety measures taken to prevent it from killing people. Despite their concern, nuclear radiation is only one part of the problem. It is not the only form of radiation that you need to be concerned about.

Natural Sources of Radiation

Aside from the man made causes of radiation, there are a number of natural causes of radiation that can be a serious threat. Radon is one of the main forms of natural radiation, and it is considered second only to smoking as a main cause of lung cancer. Radon is normally found in soil, but it can be found nearly everywhere. There are a number of radioactive elements in the ground beneath our feet and homes, and the radioactive elements decay and turn into radon gas. This radon gas tends to seep through the ground and into homes, and they can be a serious health concern for many people.

There is a good deal of radiation in outer space, such as gamma rays and charged particles. The atmosphere around earth filters out most of the radiation, but there is still a good amount that makes it through. The altitude of a region determines how much cosmic radiation affects the residents. For instance, you are exposed to cosmic radiation when you fly.

Man made Radiation

Man has learned how to harness the power of electricity, X-rays, and a number of other forms of energy, including atomic energy. Many of these forms of energy are known to produce radiation, radiation that can do serious harm to the human body if exposed for too long. While not all of the following forms of man made radiation will be harmful in small quantities, it is important that you are made aware in order to avoid as much as you can.

Medical Radiation

A study in 2009 was published and revealed that 50% of the radiation that most Americans are exposed to comes from medical equipment. This medical equipment includes CT-scans, X-rays, and mammogram tests. All of these tests use specific forms of radiation to perform a diagnostic of the human body. It’s ironic and outrageous that the equipment used to diagnose diseases may be causing some of it. The amount of radiation that the body is exposed to depends entirely on the type and frequency of the procedure, but more and more people are being exposed to radiation unnecessarily.

Thermography is a much safer option as opposed to mammography because it is non invasive, emits no radiation, costs less and is better at detecting problems.

Airport Body Scanners

Many scientists and doctors are expressing their concerns over full body scanners used at airports that take images of your naked body. Not only are they a violation of your constitutional rights but they can also harm your body. There have been no scientific studies done by an independent panel of unbiased scientists to prove these machines are safe. These devices concentrate radiation on the skin and the underlying tissue and is not evenly distributed throughout the body. Basically, many doctors and scientists agree that there is a high risk of cancers and other problems as a result of using these scanners.

Microwaves

Microwaves have been proven to be one of the most common sources of radiation in the world, due to the fact that a large number of households in the world own and operate a microwave. Microwaves use heat to increase the internal temperature of food by causing the water molecules in the food to vibrate and turn to steam. This heats the food, but it also heats the plastic or aluminum container in which the food is placed. This heating can cause serious poisoning to the human body, and the toxins in these various man made containers can be incredibly harmful.

The amount of energy that is able to leak through the front panel of the microwave is insignificant, according to the FDA. The farther away you are from the panel, the less energy you are exposed to. However, despite the many precautions taken to prevent radiation from escaping the inside of a microwave, there is still significantly more radiation in a kitchen where a microwave is operated than in a kitchen without. Microwaves can even travel through walls, which is why it is important to determine if the levels of radiation coming from your microwave oven are harmful or not. It is easy to purchase a radiation tester to determine how much radiation is present in your home.

The reason that microwaves can be so harmful is that they are simply a type of electromagnetic radiation. The magnetic and electrical energy that move together to make microwaves are nearly as low as radio waves, and these radio waves cause the water molecules in food to vibrate rapidly. Microwaves are designed to break cells apart, and the radiation caused by microwave ovens can make the cells in the human body more susceptible to microorganisms like fungi and viruses.

Cell Phones

Cell phones are used by a large number of people in the world, but what most people don’t know is that they are exposed to radiation every time they use their cell phone. The reason for this is that the radio waves used to transmit cell phone signal are electromagnetic waves similar to microwaves, and these waves have a direct effect on the parotid gland.

The parotid gland is similar to the salivary glands, and it is located directly next to the spot where most people hold their cell phone. A surprising increase in parotid gland cancer has been linked to the use of cellular phones, as there was no increase in cancer in either the sublingual and submandibular salivary glands. These two glands are far enough away from the cell phone that it has little effect on them, but the parotid gland is close enough that the electromagnetic waves of the cellular phone can have a negative effect on them.

The number of cases of parotid gland cancer went up between 1970 and 2006, increasing 400% in the years that cell phones were becoming increasingly popular. A recent study has shown that 20% of the people who suffer from salivary gland tumors are those who are younger than 20, the ones who use their phones the most.

In 2008 a United States Senate report stated:

Your risk increases by 34% if you have been a regular cell phone user for more than 5 years

Your risk increases by 58% if you have made or received more than 5,500 calls total in your lifetime

Your risk increases 49% if you have talked on your cell phone for over 266.3 hours total in your life

Most people don’t know how real the threat of cancer due to radiation exposure from cell phones is, and it is important to realize that the threat of cancer is a real one. It is recommended that you hold your phone away from your head, and most cell phone manufacturers specify a minimum distance of 1 inch in order to avoid radiation poisoning from your cell phone. It’s best to keep your conversations short and use a land line whenever possible.

Be careful of your surroundings and what you are exposing your body to. You should be informed of the risks and then make decisions as you see fit.

Nate Curtis has written dozens of health articles and is the author of the Amazingly Informative and Extremely Entertaining Free Special Health Report “It’s Your Body, You Can Die If You Want To!” Check it out now at http://www.youcandieifyouwantto.com

Author: N. Curtis
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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Strategies to Sell Your House Yourself – Pay Close Attention to Experts & Ignore Them at Your Peril!

When you are trying to sell your house yourself, you may have dispensed the services of an agent, but you should heed the advice given by other professionals. Prior to putting your home on the market, you will need the services of a professional inspector. Get your inspector to thoroughly examine your home and pick up valuable tips that could mean the difference between success and failure.

One of the major things to be aware of when selling your house yourself is the property’s electrical wiring. The last thing you want is for all your sale profits to go towards the cost of a lawyer because faulty wiring caused serious damage to your home.

All experts will mention the radon test to you. If your home has high levels of radon, this can be easily fixed. Plus this is a huge plus point for potential buyers. For the most accurate results, you should have a thorough radon test and then do a retest afterward. Mention this to buyers when they visit.

Always check that the inspection company will provide a detailed written report. You can get these fill-in-the-blanks type of reports, but an extensive, professionally written report will be far more favourable in any prospective buyer’s eyes.

Make sure your house inspector checks your septic tank, if you have one, with a percolation test, . Something as simple as a bad smell can send buyer’s packing in their droves, even if there is nothing else wrong with your home! Carry out any necessary repairs or be honest and upfront with your buyer’s if repairs are required.

You should always make sure that you disclose every fact about repairs and discrepancies straight away. Perhaps even point out the specifics from your written report. Your honesty should allow you a quicker sale when selling your house yourself. If your buyers start to notice things that you hadn’t previously disclosed, this can spell nothing but trouble!

Do you desperately need to know How To Sell Your House Yourself?

To learn exactly what others are doing in your situation then Click Here and grab your Free Report.

Author: Sam Renstaff
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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Pros & Cons of Various House Foundations

Slab, Crawlspace or Basement? When building a new home, which foundation is the best choice? I offer the pros & cons of the typical three choices.

Slab:

Pros:
– Least expensive to build
– No moisture/humidity to deal with under sub-floor
– Easy access for handicapped or senior persons, since very close to ground level

Cons:
– Hard surface, takes a toll on your body/joints
– Difficult to run additional wires/pipes
– HVAC typically located in the attic (unconditioned space)
– A leak in a water supply line in the slab is very expensive to fix
– Entrance at ground level, not as eye appealing
– High likelihood of radon issue (can be easily mitigated)
– More prone to wood destroying insect issues, since close to ground

Crawlspace:

Pros:
– Able to install additional wires/piping easily if needed
– Wood floor structure is softer than concrete
– Entrance higher off ground, more eye appealing
– Easy access for repairs
– Less likely to have a radon issue (on ventilated crawlspaces)

Cons:
– Moisture issues (water & humidity) are a major issues, creates fungus growth & rot
– Easy access for unwanted pests
– HVAC in unconditioned space

Basement:

Pros:
– Able to install additional wires/piping easily if needed
– Wood floor structure is softer than concrete
– Easy access for repairs
– Entrance higher off ground, more eye appealing
– HVAC is located in conditioned space (more energy efficient)
– Additional storage/workshop
– Inexpensive additional square footage, can be finished at a later time
– Increased re-sale value of home & increased buyer appeal
– You can build on a sloping grade
– Provides shelter during extreme weather (tornado’s, hurricane’s, etc)

Cons:
– Most expensive to build (compared to a slab or crawlspace)
– Need a sloping lot to build a walkout basement
– Higher likelihood of radon issue (can be easily mitigated)

Mac has remodeled many old homes, been employed in several different construction trades & is a major do-it-yourselfer. He currently owns a home inspection company and has been inspecting homes for many years which is where my experience is most relevant to the proper way to build a home. To learn more about building your dream home, visit my website, http://www.house-building-tips.net

Author: Mac Barlow
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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Strategies to Sell Your House Yourself – Pay Close Attention to Experts & Ignore Them at Your Peril!

When you are trying to sell your house yourself, you may have dispensed the services of an agent, but you should heed the advice given by other professionals. Prior to putting your home on the market, you will need the services of a professional inspector. Get your inspector to thoroughly examine your home and pick up valuable tips that could mean the difference between success and failure.

One of the major things to be aware of when selling your house yourself is the property’s electrical wiring. The last thing you want is for all your sale profits to go towards the cost of a lawyer because faulty wiring caused serious damage to your home.

All experts will mention the radon test to you. If your home has high levels of radon, this can be easily fixed. Plus this is a huge plus point for potential buyers. For the most accurate results, you should have a thorough radon test and then do a retest afterward. Mention this to buyers when they visit.


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Do you desperately need to know How To Sell Your House Yourself?

To learn exactly what others are doing in your situation then Click Here and grab your Free Report.

Author: Sam Renstaff
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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