RADON SERVICES

What is Radon?

Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that is created through the breakdown of underground radioactive metals. Radon gas is always escaping from soil or water and entering our atmosphere, but the gas only becomes dangerous when it escapes into a poorly ventilated indoor space. Additionally, the concentrations of radon gas are determined by the amount of radioactive materials underneath the ground soil.

Unfortunately, radon is a colorless, odorless and tasteless gas; so there are no telltale signs that your home may have a radon problem. Also, symptoms of radon poisoning typically don’t appear for 5 – 25 years after prolonged exposure.

Why is it dangerous?

Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that is created through the breakdown of underground radioactive metals. Radon gas is always escaping from soil or water and entering our atmosphere, but the gas only becomes dangerous when it escapes into a poorly ventilated indoor space. Additionally, the concentrations of radon gas are determined by the amount of radioactive materials underneath the ground soil.

Unfortunately, radon is a colorless, odorless and tasteless gas; so there are no telltale signs that your home may have a radon problem. Also, symptoms of radon poisoning typically don’t appear for 5 – 25 years after prolonged exposure.

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What are the typical problem areas?

Radon concentrations are typically the highest at the lowest point of your home. For many, that area will be the basement or crawlspace. In basements, radon levels will be higher if the area is poorly ventilated, contains an uncovered sump pump or there are cracks in the foundation wall. In crawlspaces, uncovered ground soil is the leading cause of elevated radon levels in the home

While state and national radon maps are useful for seeing regional concentrations of radon, they should never be used to determine whether your house has a radon problem. It’s important to note that radon levels can vary from house to house within a neighborhood. Even next door neighbors could have very different levels of radon. Never assume that your home is safe because surrounding homes don’t have radon issues.

The only way to know for certain if your home has radon problems is with a radon test conducted by a state licensed professional.

Do I need a radon inspection?

Realistically, every homeowner should have their home tested for radon, if only to give them peace of mind. Remember, there’s no way to detect radon without testing equipment and also that symptoms of lung cancer can take up to 25 years to appear.

Typically, a lower cost short-term radon test can be conducted to determine if there are elevated radon levels in the home. Depending on the results of the short term test (3-4 days), additional long-term testing can be conducted or a plan for radon mitigation can be created.

What do the results mean?

According to the EPA, a result of 4 PicoCuries/Liter (pCi/L) or higher is considered dangerous enough to need corrective action. If the results are slightly below or above 4 pCi/L and you want to get a more accurate reading, many homeowners will order a long-term (up to 90 days) follow up test to better understand their radon situation.

If your short term results are double the 4 pCi/L action level or higher, the EPA recommends immediate mitigation. If you want more information before committing to a mitigation system, some homeowners will have another short-term test conducted just to verify the elevated results of the first test. If the results are confirmed, then a mitigation system should be installed in the home.

What are the types of radon mitigation?

The type of mitigation system used depends on whether your home features a basement or a crawlspace. In a basement, a hole is bored through the concrete slab and a PVC pipe system with a fan is installed to vent the gas from under the slab away from the home. In a crawlspace, the same type of pipe and vent system is installed into the ground soil, but the entire crawlspace will need to be encapsulated with plastic sheeting. Also, if your home has an existing sump pump installed, it can be used in conjunction with a pipe system to mitigate radon from your home.

For both systems, the pipe system has to vent out from the highest point of the home. The pipe system can be installed along the exterior of the home like a gutter system, or the pipe can be routed through the interior of the home and out through the roof – the determining factor here being the amount the homeowner is willing to spend.

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“We contacted Roland about possible moisture/mold issues in our home. He promptly arranged to inspect and found some serious issues that needed to be addressed and corrected. Novos is the best company we have ever worked with. Prompt, professional, trustworthy and great at communication. All issues were documented by photograph and sent to us, together with progress photos and detailed plans to fix any further issues. Not only did they correct the moisture and mold issues, but they also corrected structural and foundation issues to ensure our home is safe from mold and moisture in the future. We got our home back thanks to this company. I highly recommend InspectRite and Novos.”

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