This time of year, many of us are focused on resolutions:
With new years, come new goals, resolutions and changes. Many of us choose to improve our health during the new year. We may set challenging weight loss and fitness goals. We may change our diet by decreasing junk food and eating more fruits/vegetables. During the turn of the year, the population of your local gym may double for a few months. Some of us may jog on the treadmill for so many miles that our lungs just cant take it anymore! Speaking of lungs, and speaking of health, it's time that more people think about reducing radon exposure.
Did you know that it's simple to reduce radon exposure? Just follow these steps.
- Learn about the dangers of radon gas:
- It is invisible and odorless. You do not know if it's there unless you test for it.
- The gas is radioactive! Its alpha radiation damages lunch tissue and causes cancer.
- Radon is the number one reason for lung cancer in non-smokers!
- Homes, apartments, office buildings and schools can be at risk for radon.
- Basements, crawlspaces and slabs all can have radon problems.
- Certain parts of the country have higher levels than others but no area is "clear."
- Radon exposure can be higher during winter.
- Go buy a radon test kit and check your home:
- Radon test kits online.
- In local big box hardware stores.
- Local health departments sometimes offer free radon test kits in January.
- Get your home Professionally tested by certified measurement providers.
- If it measures low, remember:
- Retest for radon every 2 years and in different seasons.
- Radon can be higher or lower during different times of the year.
- Consider following up with a long-term radon test kit.
- If radon tests are high, contact a certified radon mitigation company:
- Make sure the company offers you an on-site estimate and not just a phone quote.
- Choose a good radon contractor.
- Read their reviews on accredited review sites.
- Make sure that they are licensed and insured for your area.
- Make sure they have a real local office. Do a web search of their address, is it real?
- Read the radon quote. Make sure the price is firm.
- Read the radon reduction warranty. Make sure to check the fine print.
- Prepare your home for the best radon system install:
- Identify and remove stored items from cracks in the concrete floors for sealing.
- If you have an older sump pump, consider replacing it with a newer model before the radon technician seals it with a sump lid.
- Identify and crawlspace areas and make sure the company will be sealing the crawlspace to mitigate radon gas.
- Re-test for radon after the system is installed:
- Don't assume that the radon system is working. The only way to know, is to do routine radon follow-up tests to check its performance.
- If the radon level is high after the system is installed, call the contractor to have them return to fix it. This is when it becomes important that you chose a good radon company. Make sure they don't just get paid and disappear.
- The lower the radon level, the safer you are. Some radon systems are able to get radon levels down to near zero, like that of outdoor air.
- Maintain your radon system:
- Make a habit to check your radon system vacuum gauge often.
- Identify and seal any new cracks in your concrete floors.
- Maintain a proper seal over your sump.
- Inspect your crawlspace membrane (if applicable) for rips and tears.
- Breathe easier knowing that you have reduced your radon exposure.
RISK TO YOUR HEALTH FROM RADON DOES NOT HAVE TO BE A PROBLEM:
Yes, radon is extremely dangerous. Yes, the EPA, CDC, WHO and other organizations talk about how dangerous it is. But, its only dangerous if you are breathing it. Luckily, if it is present in your home, radon mitigation systems do an excellent job of reducing your exposure to it. If you think you have high levels of radon gas, want to buy a test kit or just have questions about it. Please feel free to contact us.