Category Archives: Radon Mitigation Techniques

Available methods for reducing radon levels in your home or workplace.

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.

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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

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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Safeguard Your Family From Dangerous Radon Gas – Test Your Home For Radon Today

Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that is harmless in low concentrations. Outdoors, as it seeps out of the soil, the radon safely dissipates into the atmosphere. But as radon leeches into your home through the foundation or crawl space, it has nowhere to go-gradually accumulating over time, these high concentrations of radon gas can be extremely dangerous for your family! Keep your family safe: call the professionals today for an accurate radon test.

Why should you care about radon in your home?

In small doses and during short term exposure, radon is generally harmless. But high concentrations of radon gas can be hazardous to your whole family’s health. The number one cause of lung cancer in non-smokers and the number two cause in smokers, radon is a known carcinogen. And, as the American Lung Association estimates, the average American spends between 60% and 90% of the time inside their home. That’s a ton of exposure to this dangerous gas if you have a radon problem in your home!

How do you know if you have a radon problem?

Because radon is both odorless and invisible, radon testing is the only way to gauge whether or not you have a problem in your home. This non-invasive test involves measuring the concentration of radon in your house’s air. While there are do-it-yourself radon test kits available, we strongly suggest using a professional radon contractor for your test. These experts are able to provide the most precise, accurate radon measurements, ensuring you get the correct information you need to know your family is safe!

What should I do if my radon test comes back positive?

If your radon test indicates a high level of the gas inside your house, you need to address the problem immediately. Long-term exposure to elevated radon concentrations is the most dangerous, so eliminating the issue ASAP can help reduce your risks! The answer is radon mitigation. An affordable and relatively easy solution for this health hazard, radon mitigation systems effectively vent radon from inside your home to the air outside, where the gas harmlessly dissipates.

Contact your radon professional today for complete testing and mitigation. Your family could be at risk-accurate testing will put your mind at ease, so call your radon contractor today!

Matt Gallo is a home improvement specialist and the Internet marketing manager for Prospect Genius, bringing local businesses online local advertising.

Author: Matt Gallo
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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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.

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

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 Improves Indoor Air Quality and Radiation Protection

Should you test your home for radon gas? The only answer is YES! Why? Because radon exposure is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers, and reducing your risk is easy.

You cannot see, smell, or taste radon. However, it still may be a problem in your home. The only way to know for sure if you have a problem is if you run a simple radon test in your home. Most radon test kits are performed over a 48 hour time span, and usually up to a week for the results to come back from the lab. There are quicker ways to test your home, such as using and electronic testing device. These methods are more expensive, and provide the same results as the 48 hour canisters do. If you have the extra time it’s advisable to use the simple canister test kits. You can these at your local hardware store.

If you discover that your home does have radon levels of 4 pCi/L (pico curries per liter) or higher, you’ll probably want to take action and have some type of radon remediation done in your home. This sounds more involved than it is, but rest assured you can have this done in one afternoon with results guaranteed below 4pCi/L. This will give you the radiation protection you and your family deserve.

Radon Remediation can be done in a number of different ways. It does depend on the design of your home, the square footage, whether you have drain tile and or a sump pit, or a crawl space etc… These things are commonly dealt with and a qualified radon mitigation technician will be able to tell you exactly what he will need to do to your home to get the lowest radon level possible for your home.

MYTH #1. My home is new so I don’t have a radon problem.

Fact: This is simply not true. New homes can have just as much radon inside as an older home and sometimes even more depending on how tight the house is built.

MYTH #2. My neighbor doesn’t have high radon levels so my house won’t either.

Fact: This is also not true. Your home could have twice as much radon as your neighbors home. This depends on if your house has a crawl space how tight it is, cracks in the floor, open sump lids etc…

MYTH #3. Radon isn’t really harmful, I’ve lived here for 25 years and don’t have any health problems.

Fact: The truth is that radon is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers. Only people that smoke have a higher risk of getting lung cancer. You will reduce the risk of lung cancer when you reduce the radon levels, even if you have lived with an elevated radon level for a long time.

As a home-owner there are many things you can do prior to radon testing that can greatly reduce the levels. If you do these things prior to your radon test, it’s possible you may reduce the levels lower than 4pCi/L. This would put you in the safety zone and give you the option of not having an active system installed.

On the other hand, If you’re handy you could easily install a radon mitigation system in your home yourself with simple guided instructions.

If you’re interested in a step by step guide to install your own radon reduction system, please see the information below.

This guide has been put together from over 10 years of Radon Mitigation Installations.

For More Information Go To… How To Install A Radon Mitigation System

Bob Molton – Radon Mitigation Technician

Author: Bob Molton
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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Radon Mitigation Installation Step by Step – Save Hundreds of Dollars

What should you do if you’ve discovered that you have radon gas in your home. As a licensed radon mitigation technician I can tell you the first thing not to do is panic. There’s no need to be alarmed because this problem can be corrected quick and easy for minimal dollars, considering what an average radon installation would cost from a radon company. There are a few things that you can do immediately to help instantly lower your radon levels.

Before you hire a radon mitigation company to take action with their radon remediation process, consider the things you can do yourself first. You’re guaranteed to save hundreds of dollars if you can lower the levels below 4pCi/L yourself. Below 4pCi/L is considered safe by the EPA. Many times you can get the levels lower that 4pCi/L. This is possible to achieve without installing an active radon mitigation system, depending on how high the levels are, and a few other variables as well.

Let’s take a look at some things that can be done immediately:

  1. Seal your crawl space with 6mil plastic – This is usually a huge source for radon entry into your home, and by putting a barrier down to seal the ground you’ll suppress the gas and achieve lower radon levels.

  2. Seal your sump pit – This is another area of massive radon entry due to the simple fact that it a direct hole into the ground and has perimeter drain tile looping around your entire basement ending inside your sump pit. This allows radon to freely float through the drain tile and into your basement through your sump pit.

  3. Seal all floor cracks – When you have cracks in your concrete floor slab, it allows a path of least resistance to occur. Radon gas can and will easily flow through these cracks. You should seal your expansion joints as well. These are the cuts in the floor that came from the builder. These can also be a source over time.

  4. Seal the floor to wall seam – Some homes will have a gap between the floor to wall seam. This can be another source of radon entry. Even if it appears that there’s no gap, it’s still a good idea to seal it anyway because radon can and will still come through.

  5. Seal any plumbing rough in – Many times a plumbing rough in is cut into the floor for the homeowner to utilize when they install a bathroom or shower etc… The cut is usually all the way through the slab and filled in with pea gravel. This will also nee a temporary seal on it until you use it.

  6. Seal Penetrating floor Pipes – Seal around all penetrating floor pipes. many time they have open nooks and cranny that easily allow radon gas to penetrate.

There are more things that can be done yourself, but if you start with these things you’ll have a huge jump-start on reducing the radon levels. You’ll need to perform a post radon test in your home after you perform these passive radon reduction techniques. Believe me, you’ll save hundreds and hundreds of dollars if you can get the levels down yourself, without hiring a radon mitigation company.

If you’re interested in learning step by step, click below… Learn how to install your own radon mitigation system, step by step in one afternoon. Save money and time with results. Being a licensed radon mitigation technician, I provide you with the exact installation instructions that I use daily in my work. Get Your FREE Video explaining Garage Attic Installations… Learn exactly how to install a radon system in your home today!

Get Your Step by Step Instructions HERE… Install Your Radon Mitigation System

Bob Molton – Certified Radon Mitigation Technician FREE Video for Garage Attic installation

Author: Bob Molton
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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Home Safety – Radon Detection

What is radon?

Radon is a radioactive gas released from the normal decay of uranium in rocks and soil. It is an invisible, odorless, tasteless gas. Radon Gas seeps up through the ground and spreads in every direction as it enters the atmosphere. Radon can be dissolved in water and released into the atmosphere when the water is used. Fortunately, Radon gas is minimal outdoors. However, in areas without adequate ventilation, such as crawlspaces and basements, radon can accumulate to levels that substantially increase the risk of lung cancer.

How can you be exposed to radon?

Radon is a part of the air you breathe. Low levels of radon in the air that you breathe are normal. If you breathe higher levels of radon you could be at risk of developing lung cancer.

Radon enters your home through cracks in floors, walls, or foundations, and collects indoors. Building materials such as granite or water from wells can increase radon levels in your home. It can also be released from building materials, or from water obtained from wells that contain radon. If your home is well insulated and tightly constructed you could have higher levels of radon. In addition, if your home is built on uranium rich soil you could have higher levels of radon. Radon levels are typically higher in basements and first floors..

How may radon cause you to get cancer?

Radon like uranium decays giving off tiny radioactive particles. Damage to the cells that lines your lungs can occur when tiny radioactive particles are inhaled. If you breathe radon that may be trapped in your home for a long enough time you may develop lung cancer. Thus far, lung cancer is the only form of cancer caused by radon and it maybe the second leading cause of lung cancer in this country.

Will you be one of many people to develop lung cancer because of radon exposure?

We certainly hope not! According to the cancer.gov the most common cause of lung cancer is caused by smoking. Again radon appears to be the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. It is estimated that 15,000 to 20,000 deaths from lung cancer per year are related to radon according to cancer.gov.

The majority of deaths is related to a combination of both cigarette smoking and radon gas. This number is greater than those that are exposed to just higher levels of radon that don’t smoke. There fore, smoking increases your risk of developing lung cancer when exposed to elevated radon levels.

How did scientists figure out the role radon plays in causing you lung cancer?

It became notable because underground miners died at substantially higher rates than other groups from lung cancer. Further studies seem to confirm that animals that are exposed to radon develop higher rates of tumor growth.

What was learned about lung cancer and radon gas?

There is a general consensus that radon causes cancer in humans. Recent research of people with lung cancer shows more people are ill from homes that higher levels of radon. It is safely concluded, you are more at risk of getting lung cancer if your home has higher levels of radon.

822 people in Georgia may die of cancer on average each year according to an article in the AJC dated Feb. 26th 2010. The article later stated, “The EPA has drawn a red splash on its Georgia radon map, showing that homes, schools and businesses in the metro area’s four core counties – DeKalb, Fulton, Gwinnett and Cobb – are at highest risk for elevated radon levels.”

There have been studies conducted all over the world about people perhaps just like you having higher radon levels in their home and getting lung cancer. There are inconsistencies between studies. Partly due to small sizes of some studies, different levels of radon in homes and determining exposure levels over time.

Studies here in the United States combined with our Canadian neighbors gives our researchers’ better analysis. As a result, thousands of people were analyzed. It was determined to be a slight increase in the risk of getting lung cancer due to exposure to household radon. The studies on underground miners and household radon levels were consistent.

How can you know if your home has elevated level of radon?

You must test your home to determine if it has higher levels of radon. Definitely, test a home for radon before you buy. There are many factors like soil conditions, how radon enters the house and other factors that make each house unique. Just because your neighbor’s home tested fine does not mean your home does not have higher levels of radon. Environmental factors such as precipitation, pressure and other factors can very radon levels from month to month and day to day. There are short term and long term kits available.

We recommend you use a short term kit before buying your next home for a general idea. A long term kit is a better choice in determining your unique risk factor. Short term kits generally run between 2 and 4 days. Long term kits on the other hand runs over 90 days. Contacting a local Home Inspector that test for radon can help you in determining what’s best for your unique situation.

It is recommended by the EPA that any radon levels above 4 picocuries per liter (pCi/L) action should be taken. Using the EPA estimates, and a formula of the total number of homes by the average number of homes with elevated radon, there are over 12,000 homes in Atlanta alone that has elevated radon. There maybe over 215,000 homes in Georgia that could have elevated radon levels. An estimated 5,000 deaths per year can be eliminated by reducing radon levels in homes that exceed the EPA’s action level of 4.0.

Contact a home inspector today and have your home tested for radon. Radon mitigation can be performed. Radon mitigation maybe costly; averaging around $800.00 to $2,500.00 according to cancer.gov, that’s an average cost of $1,200.00. The cost of dying by cancer is your other alternative.

Accurate Home Inspections provides answers to health and safety. They have articles and videos from sources like the EPA, CDC and more. Protecting your health should be your number one priority. Learn More About Radon From Accurate Home Inspections

Author: Jack Manns
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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Radon – The Invisible Killer

Radon is a colorless, tasteless, naturally occurring radioactive gas found in soil and rock that is a by-product of decaying uranium. You might be thinking, I’ve heard of uranium, don’t they make bombs from that? Well, yes they do, but uranium occurs naturally in rocks all around the globe. Some areas have a natural propensity to have higher concentrations of uranium than others.

Why radon is dangerous

We are all walking around with a bit of radiation in our bodies, and radon is by far the largest contributor to a person’s overall amount of radiation they are carrying around. Breathing high doses of radon has been scientifically proven to cause lung cancer. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, radon could be the second most frequent cause of lung cancer, after cigarette smoking causing 21,000 lung cancer deaths per year in the United States. Radon-induced lung cancer ranks as the 6th leading cause of cancer deaths overall. Other forms of cancer may be related to radon exposure. Studies are underway to see if there exists a relationship between radon exposure and leukemia.

Where radon is

Remember radon gas is formed as a by-product of soil containing granite or shale (the two of which carry larger than average amounts of uranium). But we’re talking very small amounts. On average, every square mile of surface soil, to a depth of 6 inches, contains only 1 gram of radium which is responsible for releasing radon into the atmosphere. Worldwide, the amount of radon varies greatly and is variable within a given region and even from room to room in a house.

Is radon in my home?

Radon exits the ground and can seep into your home through cracks and holes in the foundation. Radon gas can also contaminate well water. We know that radon concentrations are usually higher in areas near major fault lines so in Southern California we should be aware and take the proper precautions.

Knowing the characteristics of radon gas should help protect you and your family from exposure. First, radon gas being heavier than air tends to settle in low lying areas. With adequate ventilation, radon gas cannot become concentrated to a level to cause harm. On the other hand, in enclosed areas such as inside buildings, basements and crawl spaces, radon gas levels can become harmful. Second, if you smoke, stop! The effects of radon exposure in people that smoke is synergistic; i.e. the effect of smoking coupled with higher than average levels of radon exposure is greater than the sum of the two parts measured separately.

The EPA claims that 1 in 15 U.S. homes has radon levels above the recommended guideline. Their guideline of what is acceptable is roughly equivalent to receiving 200 chest x-rays over one’s lifetime. Their current recommendation (and that of the US Surgeon General) is that all homes be monitored for radon levels.

How to test for radon

Home kits are available in most home centers but it is claimed that their results might not be reliable. A better option would be to hire a professional home inspector with experience in radon testing. Professional tests are reliable in determining if your home has areas in it where radon levels are above the threshold set forth by the EPA. The tests are non-invasive and begin by placing a measurement device near the floor on the lower level of the home. Additional tests may be recommended by the inspector if you have any granite surfaces in your home, like a kitchen countertop. Other than placing the collection devices where recommended, nothing is done. There are some specific instructions that you must follow regarding the testing site(s) like keeping the windows and doors shut as much as possible. Testing may have to be postponed if your area is experiencing high winds or a pending storm, or if humidity levels are high (all of which may adversely affect the test results).

The inspector will return in 2-7 days to collect the devices after which time they are sent to a lab for analysis. Results are usually available shortly thereafter.

How to remove radon

The EPA recommends you use mitigation (control) techniques to reduce indoor radon if levels in your home are above the recommended threshold. Mitigation methods include adding positive pressure ventilation in your home which effectively creates a pressure differential (higher pressure in your home, gas cannot flow in). Sealing all floor penetrations to help prevent the gas from seeping into your home from below is also a good idea. Be advised that ventilating your basement or crawl space IS NOT RECOMMENDED as some people suggest. This flawed mitigation technique practiced by many companies could have the adverse effect of bringing more radon gas in which naturally exists outside the footprint of your home’s foundation.

Homebuyers: be sure to read this

If you are in the process of purchasing a home ask your Realtor to include a radon contingency in your offer to purchase. This clause states the maximum level of radon that is acceptable to you and your family. Afterwards, hire a company to survey the home for radon gas levels. Radon testing is offered by most professional home inspection companies so be sure to ask this question when interviewing home inspectors in your area. If radon levels are found to be above the levels set by you in your contingency, this clause will afford you the right to back out of the contract without penalty.

Facts to remember about radon gas

  • Just because your next door neighbor’s house has tested high for radon gas does not mean your home is at risk.
  • Houses with basements are not at a higher risk for radon than houses without basements.
  • Radon levels vary region to region, and even from house to house on the same street.

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Darin Redding is owner of Housecall Property Inspections, a professional San Diego Home Inspection company. Original Article Source: Radon San Diego

Author: Darin Redding
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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