Why is a Radon Mitigation System Installed in a Home?
Having their own home is everyone’s dream, but even that can be easily a reason for harm due to radon gas exposure.
Radon is a naturally-occurring radioactive gas that can cause lung cancer. Radon gas is inert, colorless, and odorless, which makes it harder to detect without a system installed within your home. Because radon disperses rapidly outdoors, it is not a health issue. However, most radon gas exposure happens in a home, school, or workplace. It traps the radon gas after it enters the buildings through cracks and becomes harmful once it elevates.
Where does Radon Gas come from?
Radon comes from the breakdown of naturally-occurring radioactive elements (such as uranium and thorium) in soils and rocks. As part of the radioactive decay process, radon gas is produced. The gas moves up through the soil to the surface, where it can enter homes, schools, and the workplace through cracks and other holes in the foundation. In some cases, radon can enter buildings through well water and come from building materials. Any home can have a radon problem – old or new homes, well-sealed or drafty homes, and homes with or without basements.
What are the effects of Radon Gas?
Radon gas leaves the soil and becomes part of the air and water. It can be in the air around you, but it’s usually in very small amounts that aren’t harmful.
Large amounts of radon cause health problems. Even though it’s a natural gas that comes from the earth, it can be toxic if you breathe in a lot of it over a long time. But there are some reliable ways you can keep your exposure low.
When you breathe in radon, it gets into the lining of your lungs and gives off radiation. Over a long time, that can damage the cells there. Once you keep breathing radon gas, you increase the risk of lung cancer. Radon gas has been the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. The experts estimate that about 21,000 people die each year from radon-related lung cancer.
Indoor radon can be controlled and managed with proven, cost-effective techniques. You can take steps to reduce and control the amount of radon in your home. Testing is the only way to determine radon levels. Have your home tested, either by a professional or with a do-it-yourself home test kit. If radon levels are high, contact a certified radon service professional to fix your home.
How Does a Radon Mitigation System Works?
To understand how the system works, you have to understand what Radon Mitigation System first.
Radon Mitigation System is a process any process used to reduce radon concentrations in buildings, especially in your homes. The goal of the radon mitigation system is to reduce the indoor radon level as low as reasonably achievable. All systems should reduce radon below the EPA action level of 4 pCi/L (picocuries of radon per liter of air). A quality radon mitigation system may reduce year-round levels to below 2 pCi/L.
A home’s foundation type helps determine the radon mitigation system that will work best. A licensed radon mitigation professional should determine the type of mitigation system to install and may conduct some diagnostic testing to help guide where to place the mitigation system.
So how does this system works?
Radon mitigation systems use a fan to continuously pull air from the soil and vent it outdoors through a pipe that ends above the edge of the roof. The pipe can either run inside or outside the home and vents outside, away from windows and openings. In addition, cracks and openings in the foundation are sealed. Sealing limits the flow of radon and makes the radon mitigation system more efficient.
How Common Is Radon Gas in Colorado?
Five out of ten homes in Colorado homes have the potential for radon concentrations exceeding the EPA guidelines of 4 pCi/L, according to the survey conducted by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. This is the reason why the number of people testing their homes is gradually increasing. This is not only for the homes but also other building, such as schools and workplaces.
Do’s and Don’t When Buying a Home That Has a Radon Mitigation System Installed
Now that we have known what radon gas is and how it affects us, what are our do’s and don’t when buying a home? Here are the lists of do’s and don’t which can help you in buying your dream home with the radon gas exposure in mind:
1. Negotiate a credit for a Radon Mitigation System to be Installed.
Radon is a commonplace in US and so will be the qualified professionals that can help you. In Colorado, the average cost of a radon mitigation system is $1,200 (more or less). Just like with a broken window or home appliance, you can use this problem as a bargaining chip. It should not be an insurmountable problem at all.
2. Use a Licensed Professional
There are no radon training requirements in the majority of US states; so, you cannot let any kind of electrician work on your home’s radon problem. There are only two most common and most rigorous radon licensing bodies, namely National Radon Proficiency Program (NRPP) and National Radon Safety Board (NRSB). You can ask for your contractor’s credentials before signing off on any radon orders.
3. Build a Radon-ready home
If you are planning to build your own home and not buy, you can check if there is radon in your area. If you found there is, simply plan ahead and build a radon-ready home. Since there are too many airflow dynamics at play, there is no reliable way to know whether or not you will have a high radon levels.
Radon-ready homes have all the system components “pre-plumbed”, which allows for a quieter, less energy intensive radon fan to be installed should high levels be found.
4. Inspect existing systems
There is no guarantee if your newly-bought home will have a low radon levels, even if it has a radon system. You have to perform a radon test first. After that, you can take a look at the red flags. If any are present, you can call a licensed mitigator for their system services.
5. Perform another radon test
The EPA recommends performing a radon test every two years, whether you have a system or not. You can use an inexpensive charcoal canister to test your own home to be sure that your family is safe.
1. Let elevated radon levels stop you from buying a home
Since radon problems are very common in the US, the average radon system is cheaper to fix than most of the household problems. Radon mitigation is cheap and easy. You just have to find the right contractor that does it correctly!
Should I Buy a Home With a Pre-Installed Radon Mitigation System Here in Colorado?
Having a pre-installed radon mitigation system in a home you are going to buy is a plus. But not all homes in Colorado has a pre-intalled system to reduce the radon exposure in your dream home.
Instead, you can test your dream home with a radon kit and send it to the lab or have a professional to test it for you. If the house is exposed to an elevated radon gas, they will be able to make some arrangements to install the system for you.
Radon gas exposure is dangerous but of all problems that a house may have, elevated radon exposure is one of the easiest to fix. You just have to consider taking a reasoned approach that will confirm levels and reduce the radon.
So, you don’t have to worry about not getting a professional to help you with this. Radon is a commonplace and so is the licensed professionals