Radon Gas Blog

Three things you need to know about radon in winter.

Posted by Travis Jewell on Thu, Jan 05, 2017 @ 05:52 PM

 I am not a big fan of the cold weather it reminds me of the winter days working outdoors, installing radon mitigation systems in Chicago years ago. I will never forget the infamous winter of “Chiberia.”  But also, as I now reside in Salt Lake City, I do love to see the beautiful sight of some fresh Utah ski powder, except for when it’s time to shovel the driveway. Luckily, this winter I scored a snowblower from my father. Now some people are connoisseurs of food, or fine wine; my father on the other hand, he is a connoisseur of snowblowers! At any given point in time, he may have 3-5 of these machines in his garage ready to battle the forces of nature in his suburban tundra.  In the heat of the summer, you may find him at your yard sale ready to purchase the next in his collection. Whether it’s a 2 stage, 3 stage, 4 stroke, or electric, my dad likes them all. When he generously gifted me one out of his collection the other night, he meticulously showed me how to close the choke, prime the bulb, and fire up the engine. He showed me how to engage the auger, and cut a perfectly straight line down the driveway. As I loaded it in my truck and was about to pull away, he reminded me not to forget how to mix the oil and gas for the two stroke engine.

I woke up this morning to a fresh blanket of snow. I got dressed and prepped the new toy to take care of the driveway. As I mixed the 50:1 ratio of oil and gas, I couldn't help but divert my attention again to another gas, like I always do, I start thinking about radon gas. I thought to myself; it’s time to write another article about how the cold weather has an impact on radon gas.

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Tags: Radon Gas, radon system, radon entry behavior, Radon Testing, radon mitigation cost, radon health, radon basement

Radon - A hidden danger of exercising in the basement

Posted by Travis Jewell on Wed, Mar 02, 2016 @ 07:30 AM


Do you exercise in your basement? I do. I have been using a video workout series for the past 90 days. I have to keep in top radon technician shape. While working out in my basement every morning, I can’t help but to think of radon gas while I breathe heavily. I wonder how many people who exercise in their basements are being counterproductive to their health by exposing themselves to dangerous levels of radon?

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Tags: Radon Gas, Radon Lung Cancer, Radon fix, Radon gas basement, effects of radon, radon test, radon entry behavior, Radon Testing, radon measurement, radon mitigation cost, radon system price, radon health, lung cancer

Where does radon come from?

Posted by Travis Jewell on Fri, Feb 12, 2016 @ 11:27 AM


Many people tell me that they never have heard about radon until recently. “No one talked about this years ago,” they say. “My real estate agent never told me that it might be a problem when I purchased my house!” So where did radon come from? Why is it all of the sudden a problem?

 

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Tags: Radon Gas, Radon Lung Cancer, Radon fix, Radon gas basement, effects of radon, radon test, radon entry behavior, Radon Testing, radon measurement, radon health

Radon levels during the winter, a potentially dangerous situation.

Posted by Travis Jewell on Mon, Nov 28, 2011 @ 04:05 PM

 

Old man winter is knocking at the door and he might be bringing radon with him. In homes that are located in cold weather environments, radon levels can be a greatly increased during colder months. This often-overlooked issue with radon gas is potentially one of radon’s greatest threats.

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Tags: Radon Gas, Radon Mitigation, Radon fix, Radon Illinois, Radon Utah, RadoVent, Radon gas basement, radon test, radon entry behavior, radon contractor, Radon Crawlspace, Radon Testing, radon measurement, Radon and real estate

Scary moments doing radon mitigation work.

Posted by Travis Jewell on Fri, Oct 28, 2011 @ 01:19 PM

Has something scary occurred to you while on the job? With Halloween around the corner, I thought it would be fun to discuss scary moments on the job.


Some of us believe in the supernatural and others do not. Some have elaborate stories about ghostly encounters or others have just had to deal with an unusual client that gives them the creeps. In the radon mitigation business, we have seen many unusual situations. Radon mitigation system installers are in hundreds or even thousands of homes every year. Some homes are new and some are very old, some homes are in suburban neighborhoods and some are at the end of a long dirt road. For a radon mitigation technician, the consensus probably is that crawlspaces are the scariest places for us to work in.

Some homes are built above dirt or gravel crawlspaces. Many people live in their homes without ever even entering these dark caverns that exist below the floor. Many crawlspaces are confined spaces that you have to crawl on your belly to navigate. Most have little or no lighting and all are just a slight bit scary for even the toughest among us.

In radon mitigation, we block cancer causing radon gas from seeping through the crawlspace to the livable areas of the home. We seal the crawlspace with a thick layer of plastic to create an airtight seal. After the plastic crawlspace membrane is in place, we install the radon mitigation pipes and fan to depressurize the soil below this membrane. When working on a crawlspace job, a radon mitigation system installer can spend up to two days crawling around in these dark spaces. For me, one of my scariest on the job moments happened while working in a dark, musty crawlspace with no light except for the headlamp around my head.

It was a cold November morning outside of Chicago, IL. A fellow radon mitigation technician and myself were installing a radon mitigation system in a standard two-story house with a partial basement. We walked down to the basement and you could smell the musty odor emanating from the two-foot doorway that lead to the crawlspace below half of the house. The hinges of the small door let out a bloodcurdling squeak as we slowly opened it to see the unknown. As we shined our flashlight into the dark abyss, the wall of cobwebs was so thick that the light could barely penetrate. This was going to be one of those crawlspaces that us radon mitigators dread. This is an important part of the job so we proceeded to seal the crawlspace as we do with every radon system install of this kind. After several hours of placing a layer of plastic and sealing it to the wall I felt a tickle on the back of my head. I scratched my head thinking that it was just another wire or something dangling from the floor joists above me. I continued sealing the plastic to the foundation wall of the crawlspace when suddenly the headlamp that I was wearing ran out of batteries. This is not a good thing when it’s pitch black and you’re a five minute belly crawl to the crawlspace doorway! I yelled out to my fellow radon technician, who was working about forty feet away from me on the other side of the crawl. I knew it would take him about ten minutes to navigate the crawlspace to get me a set of batteries for my lamp so I sat there and waited in the dark. Not a minute goes by and I feel that tickle on my head again. I scratch it again assuming it was a cobweb or something. I continue to wait dark. Finally I see a flash of light, my co-worker was on his way with the batteries! He makes it about half way and I tossed him my headlamp to get it working again. He lights it up and tosses it back to me. I shined the light his way and he is looking at me. His face is pale and he looks like a deer in headlights! I look behind me, there wasn’t a ghost or anything so I look back and ask him what’s up? He immediately replies, “there’s a tarantula in your hair!!” I immediately flail around, brushing my hair with my hands. I could feel the weight of the thing as I flicked it off of my head. I shine the light down on the crawlspace plastic to be certain that it wasn’t going to crawl back and climb up my pant leg or something. I watch as the the giant spider scurries away! Who knows where it went but I'm sure it sat a watched me as I finished working the rest of the day.


Now this crawlspace hitchhiker wasn’t actually a tarantula but it was a massive spider! To this day, I do not enter a crawlspace without thinking about what might be living down there. I continue to itch, even as I type this blog, from the thought of that spider sitting in my hair while working on that crawlspace radon mitigation project.

What are some scary things that have happened to you at work? Do you have a job that is just plain scary? Comment about them, we would like to hear your scary stories.

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Tags: Radon Gas, Radon Mitigation, Radon Lung Cancer, Radon fix, Radon Illinois, Radon Utah, effects of radon, radon entry behavior, radon contractor, Radon Crawlspace

Rental Properties and Radon Gas. Protect your Tenants.

Posted by Travis Jewell on Wed, Aug 17, 2011 @ 03:38 PM

Radon is not just a homowner's issue.

I have been away from my radon blog for the last few weeks as I have been working in the field on a large radon mitigation project. This project is a townhouse style, low-income apartment complex. While working on this project I spent some time thinking about how great it is that the management company who hired us is taking action to protect their tenants from the dangers of radon gas.

I don’t know the details of why they decided to test for radon gas. The laws do not require landlords to test their properties for
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Tags: Radon Gas, Radon Mitigation, Radon fix, Radon Illinois, Radon Utah, RadoVent, Radon gas basement, effects of radon, radon system, radon vent, radon entry behavior, Radon Testing

Mesothelioma v Radon gas induced lung cancer

Posted by Travis Jewell on Mon, Jul 11, 2011 @ 05:08 PM

It’s Monday night and you just got home from work. You enjoy a nice meal with your family and step down to the basement to watch your favorite TV show or sporting event. The show breaks for commercial and you notice an advertisement asking: Have you have ever been exposed to asbestos in the work place? Do you know anyone who has died from or is suffering from mesothelioma? If so you may have a personal injury case, call the mesothelioma experts at…. Now you probably don’t take much notice after that, you work and have always worked in clean modern buildings and to your knowledge you have never been exposed to asbestos. So you and your family continue on with your evening in the basement TV room, watching your favorite programs. What you may not know is that your basement TV room may be far more deadly than mesothelioma and unfortunately there aren’t many TV commercials educating you about radon gas and its risks. 

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Tags: Radon Gas, Radon Mitigation, Radon Lung Cancer, RadoVent, Radon gas basement, effects of radon, radon system, radon entry behavior, Radon Testing