Archive for the ‘Radon Mitigation’ Category
What is Radon Gas and what is the Source of High Radon Levels?
You may know that inhaling excessive levels of radon gas is unsafe, but you may not realize that the gas is around you every day. In the open air, it is not harmful, but when it accumulates indoors, it can be very dangerous.
Radon is a gas that is created from decomposing uranium in the soil. Areas that are rich with naturally occurring deposits of uranium normally would not have any health repercussions from the uranium itself. When it starts to break down in the soil, however, it releases a gas that seeps into the air and causes widespread health problems for all living things that inhale too much of it.
What are the Health Impacts of High Radon Levels?
One of the primary effects of inhaling high radon levels is an increased risk of contracting lung cancer. It is also believed that if you smoke, the chemicals in the cigarettes mix with the radon gas in a way that multiplies your chances of lung cancer even further. This can be a deadly combination if you are a smoker. Regardless, elevated radon levels in your home mean that your entire family is put at risk even when they sleep. Studies show that your risk for lung cancer rises by about 16 percent for every 2.7 pCi/L of radon gas you are exposed to. This means to protect your family you either have to eliminate or severely reduce the amount inside your home if radon gas has become a problem.
Dealing with High Radon Levels
The ideal goal of course, is to have all radon gas removed from your home, but small traces are not dangerous. The national average for home interiors is around 0.75 pCi/L so this is a good base line to go off of for your own home. This is only slightly higher than the average radon levels outdoors of about 0.4 pCi/L.
The average radon levels in Rochester, Minnesota are among the highest in the nation, even clocking in at around 4.0 pCi/L — the concentration at which the gas becomes truly dangerous. Therefore, you should have SWAT Environmental perform a professional test to ensure that your home’s radon levels are not too high. If they are, there is always a way to reduce it. SWAT’s specialists can install a custom radon reduction system. Usually a radon reduction system consists of a fan and other components designed to pull the radon gas out of your house and prevent it from returning. Often, the overall mitigation system will require several different components along with a preventative inspection and sealing of all radon gas entry points. SWAT Environmental’s specialists can ensure that this process is as efficient and unobtrusive as possible — and most importantly, can ensure that your family will be kept safe from high radon levels.
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Radon Gas Dangers in Rochester Solved with Radon Mitigation
If you are a resident of Rochester, Minnesota, you should be aware of the potential negative effects of concentrated radon gas within your home. The substance is a dangerous vapor that rises out of the earth’s crust. In some cases, the gas levels build inside an enclosed space, possibly causing lung cancer and other health problems in the home’s occupants. In fact, radon is now the second largest lung cancer causing agent within the United States.
Radon gas is a substance that you cannot see, smell or taste. It is created as a byproduct of decomposing uranium in the earth’s soil. Unfortunately, the dangerous vapor often manages to find its way from the ground into a building through cracks in its basement or foundation. The Environmental Protection Agency has determined safe levels of radon gas; you can have experts from SWAT Environmental test your home or office to check how much radon its air contains. If this test should confirm that gas levels are too high, then radon mitigation should begin immediately.
The home version of a radon gas test consists of an envelope that you must suspend in the lowest level of your home. The envelope should remain hanging for five day; at the end of that time, you must mail the test to the laboratory address listed on the envelope. The test results will be sent back to you several weeks later. Of course, this is not an entirely reliable testing method. For a significant improvement in both the accuracy of your test and the speed of its results, you should have it performed by radon gas test professionals from SWAT Environmental. These experts will bring a specialized meter into your home and provide you with immediate results. This test will let you know whether your home contains sufficient levels of gas to require radon mitigation.
SWAT Environmental Radon Mitigation Rochester, MN
Radon mitigation is actually a two-fold process that involves both active and passive prevention techniques. During passive mitigation, areas in the home that may be letting gas inside are sealed. For example, a basement’s cement flooring and walls can often develop tiny cracks, allowing gas to trickle inside from the ground. On the other hand, active mitigation involves a system like sub-slab ventilation, which is designed to discharge the radon outside of the home through a network of pipes hooked up to a fan. SWAT Environmental’s mitigation experts will drill a hole into the lower level of your home — generally in its basement or crawlspace. A pipe will then be fastened to the hole and routed to the outside of the home. Finally, a specialized fan is installed on the end of the pipe to pull the radon gas out of your house.
A radon mitigation system will allow you to feel safe in your own home. Moreover, working with the certified experts in radon mitigation from SWAT Environmental will add an extra level of security.
Radon Gas Testing for Rochester Residents
Radon gas is gaining notoriety as residents of the United States become aware of the role it plays in lung cancer deaths each year. According to the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) more than 20,000 people are expected to die this year due to lung cancer caused by radon exposure. This is serious, especially if you live in one of the areas known for high levels of radon, including Rochester, Minnesota. Residents should arrange to have radon gas testing to identify their actual risk and to incorporate radon gas mitigation if necessary.
What is Radon Gas?
Radon gas is formed when uranium goes through the natural breakdown process in the ground. This carcinogenic gas builds up until it must search for a way to escape the small confines it finds itself trapped in. As it does so, radon snakes its way through the ground until it finds an opening that allows it to escape into the air or into a building. If radon escapes into your Rochester home, then it places your family at risk of developing non-small cell lung cancer. If you smoke and radon is present in your home, then your chances of developing lung cancer are even greater.
While radon can enter your home through cracks, holes, and openings in the walls and floors of your home, it can also enter through your water supply. You cannot see or smell this noxious carcinogen. You cannot taste it either. The only way to identify its presence is to arrange for radon gas testing to assess just how much contamination you are being exposed to each day.
Radon Testing Minnesota
Since radon levels fluctuate depending on the time of year as well as weather conditions, it is important to implement radon gas testing each year. In fact, it is highly recommended that each Minnesota resident test for radon contamination at least twice a year in order to determine whether or not this type of pollution has occurred. Each radon gas test kit is accompanied with specific instructions detailing how to use it properly. Failing to follow these instructions in their entirety could result in false test results, placing your family at risk of radon contamination.
Radon Gas Detectors
Choosing a radon gas detector is a simple matter of deciding whether you want to use a short-term device that assesses your level of contamination in a couple of days or a long-term device that takes several months to assess radon levels but provides a more accurate picture. Passive radon gas devices (do not require power to function) include alpha-track detectors, charcoal canisters, and charcoal liquid scintillation devices. Active radon gas detectors (do require power to function) are commonly used by home inspectors, radon gas professionals, and air quality technicians. Typically, active radon gas detectors are in place for several months as they determine the home’s radon levels.
Is Your Rochester, Minnesota Home Safe From Radon? It’s Radon Action Month
January is National Radon Action Month. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is on a mission to make residents throughout the country aware of the continuing danger that radon poses for many areas including Rochester. Current statistics show that as many as 20,000 individuals died from lung cancer caused by radon exposure in 2009. That number is expected to continue unless public awareness of this problem is created. Both the EPA and the U.S. Surgeon General want to make Rochester area residents aware of the steps they need to take now to protect the lives of their loved ones from this cancer-causing gas.
Formed when uranium breaks down underneath the surface of the earth, radon is a radioactive gas. You cannot see it, taste it, or smell it. It is silent, but it is deadly. How does it enter your home? When radon is formed, it fills up any cracks or openings in the ground. Eventually, it runs out of room and must find another place to go. As it travels through the ground, it follows along the path of least resistance. Your Rochester home acts like a vacuum drawing the radon directly to it. This happens because the pressure between your home and the ground are so different.
As the radon enters your home, it continues to build up, becoming trapped in corners, closets, and crawl spaces. Over months or even years, this radon gas begins to break down, forming smaller particulates known as radon daughters. The radon daughters enter your airway via the dust particulates they cling to, latching onto your lungs for dear life. Unfortunately, it is your life they are strangling.
What Rochester Area Residents Need to Know about Radon
Unfortunately, as winter closes in, many Rochester residents are going to walk into their homes, close the door, and become exposed to radon. It is leading cause of lung cancer in non-smoking residents living in the United States. Unfortunately, Rochester area residents are living in an area of the country that is known for having a higher incidence of radon intrusion.
Having your home tested for radon allows you to find out whether or not the levels that exist are safe. Levels under 4.0 pci/L are designated as safe, but anything above that requires radon mitigation to dispel radon vapors from your Rochester area home.
Take Action During Radon Action Month and Have Your Rochester Area Home Tested for Radon
The biggest radon gas mitigator in the nation, SWAT staffs a greater number of certified technicians than other mitigation companies in the country. Offering price discounts for their radon mitigation services throughout the entire month of January in recognition of National Radon Action Month, SWAT is trying to make it easier for Rochester residents to implement radon mitigation strategies and take care of their families and homes.
Test Your Rochester, Minnesota Home for Radon and Vapor Intrusion Today
If you live in Rochester, Minnesota, then you may want to consider having your home tested for vapor intrusion. This area of the country has a higher incidence of radon contamination due to vapor intrusion. Since radon is a known carcinogenic, you are placing yourself and everyone who lives with you at risk of developing lung cancer. Your best course of action is to have your property tested for this known carcinogen and to take the appropriate actions if it is discovered that your levels of vapor intrusion are too high.
You may be wondering just exactly what vapor intrusion is and what you can do about it. Vapor intrusion occurs when radon vapors enter a building through the cracks and fissures that have developed in its foundation and basement walls. It can even enter your home through windows that are located at ground level. Unless you have installed a radon mitigation system to handle this vapor intrusion, it continues to build up, affecting the health of everyone who lives in the home.
Where does the radon come from? Radon forms when uranium breaks down. Uranium is found beneath the earth’s surface in many areas of the country, including Rochester, Minnesota. As it builds up, this radioactive gas searches for an escape route. It follows through the cracks in the earth’s structure until it finds a way out of the ground. Unfortunately for homeowners in Rochester, Minnesota, it often finds its way right into your basement, from which this noxious gas spreads to the rest of your home.
Undergoing Radon Vapor Intrusion Mitigation in Rochester, Minnesota
According to the EPA, the Environmental Protection Agency, a safe level of radon vapor intrusion falls below to a level of 4 pCI/L or picocuries per liter. Anything above that and it is highly recommended that you bring in a professional to implement radon mitigation procedures to reduce the levels. Vapor intrusion has been called a silent killer. It can’t be seen, tasted, or smelled, so it could be affecting you every day of your life if it exists in your home.
What options for you have for dealing with vapor intrusion? Well, your radon mitigation specialists will discuss this with you, taking into consideration the construction of your Rochester, Minnesota home as well as the level of contamination that you have. In general, though, the best method of radon mitigation is the active soil depressurization strategy. It deals with vapor intrusion quite effectively since it eliminates the conditions that draws the vapor intrusion into your home.
If you suspect that your Rochester, Minnesota property has vapor intrusion, bring in a radon mitigation specialist to test your home for current levels of this deadly gas. Discuss all of your available options and make sure that the radon vapor intrusion company that you are talking with is prepared to complete the radon mitigation work themselves.
Have Your Home Tested for High Levels of Radon
If you live in the Rochester, Minnesota area and have not yet had your home tested for radon, you should make an appointment with a certified testing company as soon as you can. And if you have already had your Rochester, Minnesota area home tested and found higher radon levels than normal, you need to develop a plan to deal with the problem as soon as you can. After all, radon problems in the Rochester, Minnesota area are cumulative, and every day you delay could be putting your health, and the health of your family, at risk.
Fortunately there are some strategies you can use to deal with a radon problem in your Rochester, Minnesota area home. If you have high levels of radon in your Rochester, Minnesota area home, you first need to start interviewing radon mitigation companies and contractors. When you do those interviews, you want to establish a few important things, like the amount of experience the contractor has working with Rochester, Minnesota area homeowners. You also want to make sure the company you hire to fix your Rochester, Minnesota area home has specific training and expertise in getting rid of radon at the source.
S.W.A.T Environmental Radon Mitigation
For instance, our company has a great deal of experience dealing with radon problems in the Rochester, Minnesota area. That regional experience is important, since radon problems are different in every part of the country. When you hire our company to deal with your radon problem, we will work with you to determine the exact source of the problem. Once we have a thorough understanding of where that radon is coming from, our company will work with you to develop a strategy to deal with the problem and get rid of it for good.
Our company representatives will explain to you exactly where the radon is coming from, and how we propose to get rid of it. We will explain the type of radon mitigation system we plan to install, and how we plan to use it to get rid of radon in your Rochester, Minnesota area home. We will also explain what you need to do to monitor the system we install in your Rochester, Minnesota area home, since that is the best way to ensure that your radon problem does not come back.
High Levels of Radon Puts You and Your Family At Risk
If you’ve discovered that your Rochester home has abnormally high levels of radon, reducing the amount of the gas in the air is vital to protecting the health of your family. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends that Rochester homeowners use mitigation systems that prevent radon from ever entering their homes.
How to Reduce Radon Levels
The most common method for radon mitigation in Rochester is the soil suction technique. This method is effective because much of the radon in the Rochester area is due to the breakdown of uranium in the ground. The soil suction technique uses a vent fan to pull the radon downward under the house. The radon then travels through one or more pipes until it reaches the open air above your home, where it mixes with the atmosphere and no longer poses a threat.
Several systems are available for soil suction radon mitigation. The type that is right for your Rochester home depends mainly upon its foundation type. In addition, the presence of a sump pump can also influence the placement of the components for soil suction mitigation devices in houses located in Rochester.
The benefit of soil suction radon mitigation systems is that they require only minimal modifications to your existing home. An efficient system can have a profound effect upon radon levels in Rochester homes. In fact, the Minnesota Department of Health reports that many systems can reduce radon levels to 2.0 pico Curies per Liter. This represents a significant reduction as the EPA uses 4.0 pico Curies as the guideline for when radon mitigation typically becomes necessary.
Cracks in concrete blocks and foundations also contribute to the presence of radon in homes and occur primarily due to moisture and temperature changes. Unfortunately, Rochester’s humid continental climate makes cracks common; the city receives an average of 30 inches of rainfall and 48 inches of snowfall per year with average high temperatures of 21 degrees Fahrenheit in January and 82 degrees Fahrenheit in July.
Repairing cracks in concrete, spaces in brick veneers and loose pipe fittings all contribute to mitigating the amount of radon in Rochester homes; however, the EPA does not recommend these home repairs as the sole method of radon mitigation. Rather, Rochester homeowners should make these home improvements to complement soil suction systems or other radon mitigation techniques.
Similarly, opening windows and doors to ventilate a home is not adequate to reduce radon levels inside. Although allowing fresh air to enter the home dilutes the amount of radon present in the air you breathe, studies show that this only temporarily improves air quality. Radon levels typically return to their former levels within 12 hours of the house being closed up.
Because many factors contribute to the best design for a radon mitigation system in your Rochester home, you should enlist the help of a professional. A qualified radon contractor can help you determine what method of radon mitigation is ideal for your home.