What is Radon?
You may remember the "Periodic charts" in science classes in school. Radon is an invisible, naturally-
, "radioactive" gas produced by the breakdown of uranium in the ground. As Uranium, (U), (a solid), decays it forms "Radium". Radium, (Ra), further decays and forms a radioactive "gas" called "Radon", (Rn), Radon has always been EVERYWHERE! (all around the world!). It is most found in bedrock "granite" and "shale" and "
" geologic formations. How much of a problem it can become depends on it's "strength of concentration" deep in the ground. Radon gas is actually "heavier" than air! To become a problem it has to be "drawn to the surface". This is actually happens due to the "natural vacuum" that "Mother Nature" (i.e. the Earth's atmosphere) places on the surrounding ground.
How does Radon become a problem in a building?
Radon emanates "everywhere" and becomes so diluted once in outside air that it is not a health concern. However, where structures are built OVER it, it becomes "trapped". Due to the "negative pressure" that typically exists in most houses (because of the "slight vacuum" created by the HVAC system when it is running), radon is "drawn inside" through cracks in the slab foundation, through cinder block walls, through floors over crawl spaces, through wall cavities and floor drains. Once inside, it can collect to levels that the EPA has determined to be a serious health concern. You basically need three things to have a problem with radon:
1) A source 2) A pathway for it to enter 3) A mechanism that draws it inside.
Since the 80's there has been an emphasis on better "energy efficiency". Consequently, homes have been "insulated" much better. However, the "tighter" you make a home to keep "heat" and "air conditioning" from escaping, the more likely they will better retain "anything else" which enters (like radon). The "strength" of the radon source in the ground is based on the surrounding geology. Some parts of the country have geologic formations in which uranium, (and consequently "radon"), are known to reside in higher concentrations. But each house is different and the levels encountered can sometimes vary considerably in houses on the same street! That's why its critical that EVERY homeowner test their house and pinpoint "what level of radon" THEIR specific house has! Repeat...."EVERY house has "some level of radon!" The question is simply "how much"? Take action to protect your family and get your home tested TODAY!
Why is Radon such a concern?
Exposure to elevated levels of radon gas is a documented health concern. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, (EPA), says long term exposure to elevated levels of radon is the 2nd leading cause of lung cancer and the FIRST among "non-smokers". The higher the radon level, the higher the associated risk. That is why its CRITICAL to follow the Surgeon General's recommendation to get your home tested! If you smoke your risks are multiplied between 5-10 times greater because the smoke particles give something else for the radon particles to attach itself to and get a "taxi cab ride" into your lungs!
Radon Mitigation Standards (RMS):
The EPA set up a series of standards and protocols to ensure every home is effectively and safely mitigated. The radon contractor you choose should agree to follow these recommendations and be able to explain these standards to you during your consultation. This will ensure you have a legal basis for resolving improper installation techniques. Radon Solutions follows the EPA’s radon mitigation guidelines. Your home is our #1 priority!
If everyone follows the Radon Mitigation Standards, then shouldn’t "price" be my only consideration?
No! If you are concerned about an effective, properly installed, durable, and aesthetically pleasing installation, then price shouldn’t be your foremost concern. One contractor may cut corners in materials and routing to "get in and out fast". This is in contrast to what a more conscientious contractor, (who has YOUR best interest at heart), might do. Some companies, you won’t see again after the installation. Make sure you choose a company with a long, proven track record and glowing references.
Radon Solutions is proud to be a company that truly is concerned with the health of your family. The principal of our company grew up in Greenville but lost a family member to lung cancer and desires that no one else should have to go through that experience given the "opportunity" to take steps to minimize its possibility. That’s why we provide public awareness education, conduct Realtor education meetings, and more importantly, we are there for your post mitigation needs and questions. We often are called to repair/replace or upgrade systems that other companies installed. We'd be "privileged" to have an opportunity to assist YOUR family in addressing radon in your home!