Know the Risks of High Radon Exposure
What is radon?
Radon is an odorless, tasteless gas which cannot be seen. Uranium in soils decays creating a radioactive gas – radon – that is said to cause over 20,000 deaths per year (according to the EPA). Radon gas is noxious throughout the U.S.A.
How does radon get into a home?
Your home acts as a trap for radon gas, allowing it to build up and preventing it from dissipating into the air naturally. Radon can enter through unsealed crawl spaces, cracks in floors and foundation, and the water supply.
I have a brand-new house, can I still have elevated radon levels?
Yes. No matter the age of your home, you can have high radon levels. “This means new and old homes, well-sealed and drafty homes, and homes with or without basements [are at risk for elevated radon levels].” – EPA “A Citizens Guide to Radon.”
Is radon really that serious of an issue?
Yes. Radon is responsible for about 21,000 lung cancer deaths every year. About 2,900 of these deaths occur among people who have never smoked.
The Surgeon General Health Advisory in 2005 says: “Indoor radon is the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the United States and breathing it over prolonged periods can present a significant health risk to families all over the country. It’s important to know that this threat is completely preventable. Radon can be detected with a simple test and fixed through well-established venting techniques.”
Are my children at risk?
There is no conclusive data on this matter, but children have been said to be more susceptible to certain types of cancer. If you don’t test your home, you could be putting your children’s safety and life at risk.
What are my chances of getting lung cancer?
The chances of you getting lung cancer from radon worsen the higher the levels in your home are, when you spend more time in your home (e.g., if you work from home), and when you are a smoker or have ever smoked.
How do I know if my radon levels are high?
The only way to know is to test. Even when you have a system, it is recommended by the EPA that you test every 2 years to ensure your system is properly working.
Axium offers NRPP certified radon testing utilizing third-party machines for a better price than our competitor’s. Visit our pricing page or call us at 720-597-7778.
What does a radon mitigation system do?
Radon mitigation or abatement systems are vent pip systems with a fan. This type of system sucks the radon from underneath your home and discharges it outside. When crawl-spaces are present, they must be sealed with a vapor-barrier to ensure that radon levels are brought down as much as possible.
Do I need both the fan system and the vapor barrier?
Some companies will install only “passive” systems – meaning they only seal the crawl-space with a vapor-barrier. This helps bring down the levels caused by the exposed dirt, which is a large factor in the radon in your home. However, there is no guarantee that this will reduce your level below 4.0pCi/L.
Axium suggests that you install both components of the system, though we will do a two-phase install first if you prefer.
What is a manometer?
A manometer is a U-shaped tube filled with either mercury or liquid used to measure the pressure difference between the atmosphere and radon. The long sides of the tube have a measuring scale marked off in millimeters. When a gas line is connected to one side of the manometer it shifts and the difference in the height of the liquid in each side is used to calculate the pressure of the gas line. As long as the liquid levels are a skew, the radon fan is working.
How often should I have my home tested for Radon?
It is recommended to have your home tested for radon every 2 years.
How Does It Work?
Colorado Radon Mitigations
STEP ONE - Create a Suction Point
Radon that finds its way into the home has seeped in through the soil. The key to any radon reduction system is to intercept the radon before it enters your home and vent it into the outdoor air where it can dissipate. For our Colorado radon mitigations, there are three basic ways to do this: 1) through a crawl space; 2) through a sump pump/pit; or 3) through the property’s foundation. Any system will start with a suction point on the lowest level of the home, usually the basement or crawl space. If the home has a sump pump/pit, the suction point can be placed in the pit and sealed off with a clear lid. Another alternative is to place a vapor barrier (a thin, tarp-like material) across the floor of a crawl space. A 4inch perforated pipe is then placed under the vapor barrier which creates a vacuum drawing the radon gas to the pipe. If neither a sump pump or crawl space is an option then the suction point will be through the foundation of the basement floor. This is done by drilling a 5-inch hole in the foundation and removing 10 gallons of dirt from the hole. A 4-inch pipe is then placed in the hole and sealed. Once the fan is hooked up and turned on the fan will draw the radon out of the soil and discharge it safely outside the home through the piping system.
If There Is A Crawl-Space: Install Vapor Barrier.
We use only the best material for our vapor barriers. All accessible crawl spaces will be lined with 6 MIL DURA SKRIM RETARDER, which consists of two sheets of high strength polyethylene film laminated together with a third layer of molten polyethylene with diamond reinforced scrim in between sheets. The sheets will be secured and sealed to walls and penetrations with either Eternabond Double Stick Adhesive or butyl sealant.
STEP TWO: Construct the Discharge Pipe System
Once the suction point has been put in place the radon enters the system’s pipes. Our Colorado radon mitigations’ pipe systems will carry the radon gas out of the house. We will always get approval from the home owner for the placement of the pipes before installing the system. Usually it is possible to locate these pipes in out-of-the-way places so they do not interfere with the use of the home.
STEP THREE: Install the Fan System
A fan is installed on the outside of the home then draws the radon out of the soil and through the system. It can usually be placed in an inconspicuous place and only uses about as much electricity as a light bulb and should last for years. We offer a 5-year warranty on the fan and will replace it free of charge if it stops working within that time. We offer a lifetime warranty on our Colorado radon mitigations.
STEP FOUR: Build an Aesthetically Pleasing Discharge Pipe
The radon will then travel through a 4-inch down spout, up the outside of the house. Though it is considerably more expensive, we use only 4-inch down spout material. This makes for a more effective radon removal system compared to a similar system that uses standard 3-inch down spout material. For a small charge, Axium will also paint the material in the color you select so that it can blend in with the other down spouts on your property. Few of our competitors go to the extra expense of installing 4-inch material, and fewer still offer to paint your system to match your house. These are just two small examples of how Axium Radon Mitigations goes the extra mile to provide the highest quality radon system possible.