Radon mitigation refers to any of the many processes that are used to lower the concentration of radon in areas that are used by the public. Radon reduction is an important environmental subject as studies have shown that there are no safe levels of radon. Radon abatement is often used in public buildings but there are also ways that you can practice radon gas removal from your home. In the United States, methods of radon remediation have been practiced in every state in order to comply with health and safety standards.
Radon removal is particularly important due to modern construction methods. Newer homes should aim for radon reduction because the homes are built to be nearly air tight. This can increase the danger when there is a radon gas source and pathway into the home. Taking an active role in radon abatement in these types of homes is important because the radon will become trapped in the home and accumulate due to the nature of the construction of the home.
Radon remediation can be achieved through a variety of methods. One method of radon abatement is to install a radon ventilation system in the home. Radon mitigation can be more effective if cracks in the floors and walls are well sealed. These methods of reducing radon levels are known as "passive" techniques.
Sub-slab depressurization are the most effective techniques for mitigating radon. The good news is that this type of radon mitigation will not require any major overhauls in the structure of your home. This radon reduction method is effective because it draws the radon from the ground underneath your concrete floor and then ventilates it out through the roof through the use of pipes and fans or ventilation systems. Radon gas removal can also be achieved with similar methods in homes that have been built with either attics or crawl spaces. The Environmental Protection Agency has many tips on radon remediation for homeowners in their guidebook entitled, Consumers Guide to Radon Reduction.
Radon abatement costs will depend on the structure of your home and the levels of radon gas that is present in the ground beneath your home. The good news is that radon remediation costs are on par with other major home repairs such as having your house painted or remodeled by a professional contractor. There are many experts in radon mitigation, so be certain to check credentials, licensing, and references when hiring a radon mitigation company.
Be certain that the contractor you select is well versed in radon abatement. Radon reduction specialists will often have environmental certifications that they can show you in order to prove that they will be able to engage in radon gas removal in a safe and effective manner. If you know other homeowners who have dealt with radon mitigation, you may want to speak with them about their radon remediation experience so that you will know what to expect. They may also be able to provide you with references as to the best radon abatement specialist in your area. It is best to treat the hiring of a radon remediation contractor the same as you would the hiring of any other contractor. Shop around for quotes and speak with the individual contractors about their experience in the field of radon mitigation.
Radon reduction should be a top priority because of the number of health risks that are involved with exposure to the gas. The gas itself breaks down into very small particles that can become lodged in the lungs. These particles are radioactive and they can lead to lung cancer if radon gas removal is not a top priority. The necessity of radon abatement for a particular homeowner will depend on how much radon is present in the home. Homeowners who spend a lot of time in their home will also want to consider radon mitigation. Smokers past and present should also strongly consider radon remediation as smoking can increase the chances of developing lung cancer.
Of course, not every individual who is exposed to the gas will develop a disease such as lung cancer. Some studies have demonstrated that children face an increased threat level due to the fact that they are still developing. Keep in mind that any disease that results from exposure to the gas can take years or even decades to develop. This is why it is important to consider radon reduction as soon as you move into a new home.
Keep in mind that there is still some debate as to the exact number of Americans who die each year from exposure to radon gas. While the EPA has created guidelines, there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to the need for radon mitigation. Some studies rate the magnitude of the problem as very great, while others seek to prove that this is not an environmental concern in some areas of the country. Currently, most major health organizations including the National Cancer Institute, Centers for Disease Control, and American Lung Association all agree that radon gas one of the most significant causes of lung cancer deaths.
One thing that scientists are sure of is that smoking will undoubtedly increase your risks of developing a disease such as lung cancer when combined with exposure to radon. Smoking and exposure to the gas creates the perfect storm for lung cancer to develop in individual humans. This is why scientists recommend quitting smoking in conjunction with radon reduction to minimize the risk of acquiring lung cancer. It is also important to refrain from smoking if you are involved in a career such as mining. Miners are at increased risk of developing many different types of lung diseases. Exposure to radon gas is only one of the many environmental hazards that professional miners are exposed to on a daily basis. While radon gas removal may not be practical in the mining industry, avoiding smoking will help reduce the risk.
Radon gas can enter a home via well water supply. Waterborne radon levels are not as much of a concern for those who have their water pumped in from a treated water facility. The risk of radon coming into the home through water is of far lower risk than that of the gas entering the home through the soil beneath the home. If you feel that you may need to practice radon reduction in your drinking water, then you should purchase a testing kit. Radon gas removal can occur through point of entry treatment methods that will help remove the gas before it enters the home. Point of entry radon abatement methods are safer than other methods because it prevents exposure to the gas. When you use a point of use radon mitigation method, such as a water filter at the tap, you will not be eliminating your risk of exposure through inhalation. The choice of radon remediation methods is up to the consumer but it is plain to see which methods are more effective when it comes to radon gas removal.
Whether you are purchasing a home or selling a home, you may want to consider different radon reduction methods. When you are purchasing a home, it is recommended that you test for radon in the lowest level of the home. This is because you may wish to live in a lower part of the home such as the basement. Radon remediation should be a priority to those who live in basement apartments or those who seek to rent basement apartments in their home. Radon mitigation should also be of primary importance if you plan on fixing up a basement as a playroom for children.
If you plan on selling your home then you should provide a radon testing report completed within the last two years. If your home has never been tested then you should have a test performed. Keep in mind that you should test in the lowest level of the home that could be used as a living space. You must realize that the new owner may plan on living in a lower part of the home than you currently occupy. If there is no lower part that can be lived in without major renovations, then you can simply test your regular living space. This test will let you know if radon gas mitigation is necessary.
Test before you place your home on the market if radon mitigation costs could affect the sale of the home. Some states place the burden of radon remediation costs on the seller while other states place the burden of radon reduction costs on the buyer. Check with your local real estate laws to determine which party is responsible for radon abatement costs in your area.
The buyer of the home may request the radon testing results from the home seller in order to determine if radon remediation is necessary. The buyer can accept the results of the test or may request that they perform their own test. As radon mitigation can be costly, you may wish to draw up a contract that clearly defines who is responsible for what when it comes to radon reduction in the home. The cost of the test should also be determined and who will pay for it in addition to any radon gas removal services that may be necessary. Following these steps is the simplest way to ensure that radon abatement does not interfere with the sale of your home.
If you would like to avoid having to engage in radon gas removal then you may want to consider the purchase of a radon resistant home. These homes can be worth any added costs as radon remediation services can be expensive. The techniques that are used in these constructions are quite effective when it comes to radon reduction. Radon abatement is accomplished through construction methods that are aimed at radon gas removal before it can enter the home.
Building a radon resistant home will not only eliminate the need for radon mitigation later on, but can also help you to save on energy costs. In addition, the cost of including radon abatement techniques in the original construction will be less than the cost of dealing with radon reduction if a problem were to arise later. Radon remediation specialists may charge less to build a home with a radon abatement feature than they will to add the radon mitigation feature to an already existing home.
Radon gas removal techniques can be built into a home in a variety of different ways. Most of these techniques help with radon abatement in a passive manner such as ventilation. It is important to communicate with your home builder about which radon reduction features that you would like to have built into your new home before construction begins. This is because these radon remediation methods may involve the very foundation of the home. They can involve the way the foundation is poured or built and they can involved the materials that the foundation is made from. By advising your builder in advance, you will avoid costly repairs and time wasting when it comes to radon mitigation methods of construction.
One of the main features of a house that was built with radon remediation in mind is a gas permeable layer that is constructed beneath the flooring system. This layer helps with radon gas removal by allowing the gas within the soil to freely move beneath the home. The most common material for this layer is gravel. This radon mitigation construction method can only be used on homes that are being built with a slab on grade foundation or basement. This radon remediation construction method cannot be employed on homes that are being built atop of crawlspace foundations. This is because the crawlspace will create a pocket of air that the radon can move into and then build up over time. This difference is an example of why it is best to discuss these ideas with your builder in advance of the ground breaking for your new home.
Sometimes plastic sheeting will be used as this have proven to be an effective and inexpensive radon reduction method. This sheeting is placed above the permeable layer and prevents the radon gas from rising up into the home. This radon abatement method can be employed on homes with a crawlspace by having the sheet placed over the floor with the seams tightly sealed. If the sealed plastic barrier alone does not mitigate the radon, an active (fan-driven) system can be added to move the radon out from beneath the membrane and discharge it outdoors. This method is known is "sub-membrane depressurization."
A vent pipe can also be installed in order to perform radon gas removal. These pipes will normally be manufactured from PVC and will usually be about 3-4 inches in diameter. The purpose of this pipe is to allow the gas to travel from the soil and then safely through the home by way of the pipe. The gas is then vented through the roof by way of a ventilation system or fan system. This type of pipe system can also help to eliminate other gases from the soil that may be harmful to human health in addition to radon.
Another tool of radon mitigation in home construction is the use of junction boxes. These boxes are installed in the attic in order to make the installation of a fan far easier. These junction boxes can be equipped with an alarm system that will allow you to know when the ventilation system is not working properly.
The above discussion should clearly demonstrate that the need for radon gas removal is essential when purchasing, selling or constructing a home. Radon remediation methods can help to save lives by protecting dwellers from the diseases that can develop from exposure to radon gas such as lung cancer and other ailments. When building a home, it is a good idea to discuss any radon abatement methods with your home builder before construction has begun. By outlining the radon reduction methods that you are interested in having built into your home, you will avoid costly repairs at a later date. Be certain to ensure that you select a contractor that is well trained and specializes in these types of radon reducing practices. Any costs that you may incur will be far less than the costs of later retrofitting and they will also add value to your home. Consumers are becoming increasingly concerned about the dangers of radon gas to human health, so it is a good idea to address these concerns if you ever plan on selling the home.