Thursday, April 11th, 2013
Radon can pose a risk to anyone living in a home where the gas is present.
Radon gas is a known cancer causing radioactive element. It is found in ground soil and the gas can seep through cracks in a foundation of a home or through the frame of a home and enter into and accumulate in the air we breath everyday while inside. Radon gas can be present in new homes just as much as older ones and no part of the country is safe from its danger. Although radon gas can get trapped in a home, removing it requires more than just opening a window. But removing radon is a process that can be looked at as a simple home maintenance issue, affordable and most certainly, fixable.
The Five Steps of Radon Removal
1. Perform a radon test - The only way to know if your home has radon is to perform a radon test. These radon tests are very inexpensive and available at most home and hardware retailers. Close windows and doors and turn off exhaust fans for an accurate radon reading. Hang the test as instructed, wait a few days and submit your results to the designated lab for results. To find a radon kit, visit: http://www.epa.gov/radon/radontest.html
2. Retest for radon - The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) suggests a second radon test after the first. This will give you a better overall understanding of your home's radon level since weather conditions can affect radon readings.
If your house tests near or above 4 pCi/L for radon, you should consult a radon mitigation specialist to discuss the radon mitigation options for your particular situation.
3. Consult a professional if your home tests above the safe range for radon - If the average of both radon tests is 4 pCi/L or higher, the EPA considers this to be unhealthy radon levels and poses a greater cancer risk than lower levels. Reducing the radon to acceptable levels is not a do-it-yourself project because it simply won't be effective at getting rid of the radon. Vent systems need to be installed properly by a qualified contractor. Experienced radon remediation professionals can give you options for what is the best solution to your home's specific radon problem.
The most frequently used radon mitigation / radon reduction system is called the soil suction system, which doesn't require any significant alterations to your home
4. Have a radon mitigation system installed - There are several effective radon mitigation options for reducing a home's radon levels. Some are more involved than others, however radon reduction is comparable in cost to other home repair projects. The most frequently used radon reduction system is called the soil suction radon reduction system. It uses a vent pipe system with a fan to draw the radon gas from under the home and out to the exterior before the radon gas can seep into the home. This radon reduction system doesn't require any significant alterations to your home, it simply gets installed and the radon gets removed. Sealing cracks in the foundation can also help, but this is just a secondary step to radon reduction, NOT a solution. To help find the right system, visit the EPA's consumer guide to radon reduction here:http://www.epa.gov/radon/pubs/consguid.html
5. Re-test for Radon - After installing a radon mitigation system, it's best to re-test your home to ensure the radon levels have dropped and your home is at a safe radon level.
Builders, homeowners and renters seeking more information on Radon Testing and Radon Mitigation should contact a certified radon specialist. Next Step Environmental Services LLC is an excellent resource for self-testing materials, professional inspections and effective and economical remediation.