Category: Blog

homebuyer tips radon mitigation systems

If you’re in the process of searching the market for a home, there are a number of things you may see during a tour or inspection of a given home. How should you be proceeding if one such thing you find in a home you may consider purchasing is an existing radon mitigation system?

At Absolute Radon Safety, we’re here to help clients with every part of the realm of radon testing and radon mitigation for clients throughout Colorado. We even offer radon testing for real estate agents, as we know limiting the risks of radon is often a vital area of consideration for those looking to purchase a home. Here’s a rundown of what you should be thinking about if a home you’re considering already has a radon mitigation system, and how this may impact (or not impact) your decision to move forward.

It’s Not a Bad Thing

First and foremost, we wanted to get this out there up front: Finding a radon mitigation system active in a home you’re considering is not a negative thing. In fact, it can actually be seen as an indicator that homeowners in the past have taken steps to limit their risks surrounding radon and mitigate the risks of exposure to it.

That said, you do need to remember that the mitigation system may not have been installed very recently. Depending on when the home was built, and how frequently the homeowners have been testing and mitigating, there may be a good chance the system is no longer functioning as it should.

Many of our upcoming sections will focus on how to assess and value the radon mitigation system that’s present if you find one.

Qualities of a Properly-Installed Radon Mitigation System

As noted, one of the first things you should be doing upon locating a radon mitigation system in a home you’re considering is confirm its quality, both at installation and moving forward. Here are some signs that you’re in good shape:

  • Fan on the attic, roof or other exterior location: One important sign that a radon mitigation system is properly installed is the presence of an exhaust fan on the attic, roof or other exterior location. This is vital to making sure the system can remove radon from beneath the home and mitigate risks accordingly. This fan should never be located in a crawlspace, mechanical room or any other area that is only accessed during an inspection.
  • Noise levels: If a radon system is operating properly, there should be very little to virtually no noise present. While functioning, the fan should be running at a very low speed and may produce some noise, but this should not be a loud or obnoxious level of sound.
  • Airflow gauge: On the pipes inside the home, there should be an airflow gauge installed. This will help you confirm that the system is pulling the appropriate amount of air through to work as intended, and can also help you troubleshoot any potential issues with it down the road.
  • Hidden where possible: While certain visible pipes must be present in the home, both the mitigation system and its piping should be hidden from sight as much as possible. This will help limit the risk of damage, and also give you a sense of whether or not the system is in good shape moving forward.
  • Installer information: Maybe most importantly, you want to take note of who installed the radon mitigation system and make a point to ask about that company’s reputation. If you’re able to review past work or speak with the installer, it will help give you confidence in their abilities moving forward.

Even if you find a radon mitigation system active in a home you’re considering purchasing, it should not dissuade you from moving forward. But it’s vital to know what to look for and how these systems can operate, so that you know whether or not the mitigation system is providing enough protection and value in the home.

As always, we encourage all interested parties to consult with professionals like us if they have any questions about radon mitigation systems.

Possible Problem Signs

On the other hand, here are a few possible signs that a radon mitigation system was not properly installed, or has had issues in the time since it was put in place:

  • Fan in wrong location: As we noted before, a major sign of a properly installed system is the presence of an exterior fan. If you find that fan in a crawlspace, mechanical room or any other interior location, it’s a cause for concern and may mean the system isn’t operating as intended.
  • Multiple fans: In some cases, two fans may be present in the home instead of just one. If they are, they should be placed in a balanced location and connected to the same piping, rather than located at opposite ends of the house. If you find multiple fans present in your home, it’s likely there is a problem with this system that you need to bring up before moving forward with the purchase.
  • No installer information: Finally, if you don’t see the information of who installed the system in your home, it’s a concern. An installer will be able to help fix problems with their own work, and should also be able to give you peace of mind moving forward.

Get it Tested

If you have any concerns or doubts about the radon mitigation system in a home you’re considering purchasing, get the home tested on your own. Our team of professionals can conduct a full test of both the home and the existing mitigation system to give you an accurate picture of what’s going on, and what needs to be done to mitigate risks as effectively as possible.

For more on how to approach the situation if a home you’re considering has a radon mitigation system already installed, or to learn about any of our radon testing or mitigation solutions, speak to the staff at Absolute Radon Safety today.

risks DIY radon mitigation

Major Risks of Attempting DIY Radon Mitigation

If radon levels in your home are higher than known safety thresholds, proper mitigation of these levels is of vital importance for the health of anyone who lives or spends time in the structure. Radon is a Class A carcinogen, one that causes some significant health issues in both people and animals, and quality must be ensured when protecting against it — which is why in many cases, DIY efforts down these lines are not recommended.

At Absolute Radon Safety, we’re here to provide the very best radon mitigation systems and equipment, installed by experienced professionals who know precisely how to trap radon at its source and stop it from existing in your air supply at dangerous levels. We strongly recommend leaving radon mitigation installations to our experts, as there are a number of risks you’re exposing both yourself and your structure to if you attempt this sort of thing without specific professional training. Here are some of these risks to keep in mind as reasons why you should call up the pros for this job.

Piercing Pipes

First and foremost, the installation of a radon mitigation system involves working with a lot of piping. Not only will we be installing new piping in your home or building to transport radon away from the structure, we may also be working near or around other pipes or systems.

As professionals, we know how to steer clear of these areas and take care with the installation so that no damage is done. If you’re not a professional, there is a very real risk of piercing or damaging other pipes in your home as you try to install the mitigation system yourself. This could lead to costly repairs down the line and create even more of a hazard from radon gas.

Backdrafting

Another major DIY radon mitigation risk is the possibility of backdrafting, or an issue where the radon system doesn’t only suck in radon, but also carbon monoxide from the furnace and water heater flues. This is a potentially dangerous issue that can cause serious health problems for you and your family.

Professionals know how to avoid this issue by ensuring the radon system is properly vented and doesn’t create a negative pressure in your home. If you’re not experienced in these matters, it’s very easy to create a backdrafting problem that could be hazardous to your health.

Radon Re-Entering

Maybe the single most common error made during DIY radon mitigation efforts: Improper sealing in any of the several areas where radon can enter the home again.

This is an easy mistake to make, but it can have serious consequences. Radon that has been sucked out of your home can easily re-enter if even one seal is not properly in place. This means that all of your mitigation efforts could be for naught, and you and your family could still be exposed to dangerous levels of radon gas.

Condensation

Radon mitigation systems have to deal with air that’s high in humidity on a regular basis, and care is required in their installation to ensure that water and condensation are directed away from the system and don’t cause damage.

If you’re not familiar with how to deal with humidity and moisture, there’s a good chance you’ll accidentally cause damage to your mitigation system through condensation. This could lead to a host of other problems down the road, including the growth of harmful mold in your home and even the potential for major flooding.

Sub-Slab Issues

Radon mitigation systems are known to work best when there’s gravel under the concrete slab at their base, but many homes or buildings have dirt or even clay as the base material. If this is the case in your structure, there’s a good chance that the mitigation system won’t be as effective as it could be, and you may still be exposed to high levels of radon gas.

Only a professional installer who understands the specific needs of your home or building will be able to install a mitigation system here, as this may require a redesign of the sub-slab for your structure. Without this knowledge, you could easily install a mitigation system that doesn’t work as well as it should.

Post-Installation Testing

Another benefit of working with our team of professionals is the range of post-installation testing and inspections that we provide. We want to make sure that the system is working properly and that you and your family are safe from the dangers of radon gas.

If you try to install a mitigation system yourself, you may not be aware of the importance of post-installation testing or even know how to conduct such tests. This could lead to dangerous levels of radon gas going undetected in your home, putting your family’s health at risk.

Warranties

Another major benefit of hiring a professional for your radon mitigation needs is the warranty that comes with the job. Most professional mitigation companies offer a full warranty on their work, meaning that if any issues should arise after the installation is complete, you can count on them to come back and take care of it at no additional cost to you.

When you try to do the job yourself, you’re not likely to get the same level of warranty or protection for your home. If something goes wrong after you’ve installed the mitigation system, you’ll be on your own and will likely have to pay out of pocket to get it fixed.

Future Home Value

Finally, if you plan to sell your home in the future, having a professional-installed radon mitigation system will likely add value to your property. Many potential home buyers will be looking for a home that already has a mitigation system in place, as this is seen as an indication of a proactive approach to health and safety.

When you try to do the job yourself, you may not be able to properly assess the impact that a mitigation system will have on your home’s value. This could lead to you spending money on a mitigation system that doesn’t add any value to your property when it comes time to sell.

For more on why DIY radon mitigation efforts should typically be avoided unless you have specific professional training, or to learn about any of our radon testing or radon mitigation solutions, speak to our team at Absolute Radon Safety today.

basics radon manometers homeowners

If your home or building has high levels of radon that require mitigation through a pipe-based system that removes radon from the space so it cannot be a threat to health, there are a few important components that will often or always be included in this setup. One of these components that’s important for many homeowners who want to be able to monitor their radon levels in the future and ensure nothing goes wrong is known as a radon manometer.

At Absolute Radon Safety, we’re proud to offer the very best radon mitigation systems to clients throughout Aurora and nearby areas, offering the highest-quality radon fans and pipe materials to ensure this harmful substance is not present at high levels in any space we’re working on. Our systems stay out of the way and do not impact your day to day life, another major benefit.

What is a manometer, and what role does it play in a radon mitigation system? Here’s a basic rundown.

Radon Manometer Basics

Some people who have radon mitigation systems in their homes will already be aware of the radon manometer, which refers to the clear curved tube that’s often mounted near the top of the mitigation system’s pipe. The manometer has colored liquid at the bottom, and is attached to the pipe itself.

The purpose of the manometer is to display the level of air suction taking place within the radon mitigation system. The colored liquid represents atmospheric pressure, with the highest level of suction being at the top of the manometer and the lowest level at the bottom.

To be clear, the radon manometer is not reading the radon levels within your home – it’s simply measuring the suction taking place within the system. This information can be useful for homeowners who want to monitor their system and make sure it’s functioning properly, as well as for technicians who are working on a mitigation system to ensure everything is running smoothly.

How to Read and Interpret a Radon Manometer

As one of our installers will explain to any client who is having a radon mitigation system with a manometer installed, the expectation during normal operations is that one side of the colored liquid on the manometer will be much higher than the other. This indicates that suction is taking place and that the system is functioning as it should.

If the two sides of liquid are at the same height, however, this is a sign of a problem with the suction. It indicates that there is a low level of suction within the system, and could mean that the radon fan is not working properly. In this case, our team should be alerted so that they can investigate and take corrective action if necessary.

For homeowners who want to keep an eye on their system, it’s important to remember that a high level of liquid on the manometer doesn’t necessarily mean that the radon levels in their home are high. The manometer is simply measuring the suction taking place within the system – not the levels of radon present.

Manometer is at Zero

Next to the manometer is a number that indicates the level of suction taking place within the pipe — when liquid levels are far apart, as they should be, this number will be relatively high, and well over zero for sure.

When the liquids are even, however, this number will show zero. Here’s what to do if you notice this:

  • Verify tube connection: First and foremost, it’s possible your manometer reading is due to the flexible tube that connects the manometer to the pipe. Before doing anything else, check to see if this is the case, and try to pop the tube back in if possible. If you have a spare tube, try swapping it out and see if the problem goes away.
  • Listen for airflow: Another possible issue here is that the fan in your radon mitigation system has turned off, often due to a short-circuit or power outage. If you’ve ruled out the tube connection and you can’t hear the fan running, it’s likely that there’s a problem with your fan — you may need to reset a circuit breaker, for starters. It’s also possible that the system’s switch has simply been unplugged, so check around your house for anything that may have been accidentally bumped.
  • Low pressure: If the fan is on and you can hear it, but the manometer is still at zero, there may be a low-pressure issue with your system. This could be due to clogs in the pipe, a faulty fan, or other problems. In these cases, it’s time to call your radon mitigation partner for assistance.

Readings Changing With Time

Generally speaking, if your mitigation system and manometer were installed properly, the readings should not change all that much over time (minor alterations are expected). However, if you notice that significant changes keep happening, there are some simple troubleshooting steps to make sure the manometer is working properly:

  • Pull tube out: Pull out the flexible tube from your pipe, meaning the manometer is no longer connected to the pipe.
  • Take reading: At this point, the liquids should be even and your reading should be zero. If this is the case, your manometer is calibrated correctly.
  • If this is not the case, the liquid was likely “bumped” and the manometer may need to be re-mounted. Call our team for assistance here.

However, as we noted above, it’s common for readings to vary slightly through the year. Any changes under 0.4″ on your readings shouldn’t be much of a concern.

For more on radon manometers and how to read and interpret them, or to learn about any of our radon mitigation or radon testing services in Aurora or nearby areas, speak to the team at Absolute Radon Safety today.

effects radon household pets

Effects of Radon on Common Household Pets

There are certain harmful substances that are threats to more than just humans, and may also threaten the health and well-being of pets and various animals in your home. Radon is a good example — not only are its effects potentially harmful to humans, they can also have a severe impact on common household pets.

At Absolute Radon Safety, we’re here to help make sure this isn’t an issue in your home. We offer quality radon testing and radon mitigation services for homeowners throughout Colorado, allowing them to ensure everyone in the home is protected at all times — including pets. What percentage of Americans have pets and may need to consider these themes, and what are the risks of radon to common household pets? Let’s go over these themes, plus some quick words on how to mitigate radon and protect your pets if you’ve discovered that radon is present.

Pet Statistics in Households

According to research from the 2021-22 National Pet Owners Survey, roughly 70% of all US households own some type of pet. That equates to about 90.5 million families who own at least one pet — many own more than one.

This is a significant leap from 1988, the first year when this data began being kept. That year, roughly 56% of US households reported owning some type of household pet. Back in 2019, the number was 67%.

As you can see, this number is consistently rising, as more and more people are finding the love and companionship they need in their pets. Anyone with pets, however, should be cognizant of radon levels in their home, both for the pet and for their own health.

Radon Risks to Dogs

Dogs are the single most common household pet in the US, and radon presents multiple risks to them and their health. Radon gas is associated with heavy levels of radioactive byproducts, such as lead, polonium, and bismuth.

Dogs, being close to the ground, are especially susceptible to the harmful effects of radon gas and its byproducts. Here are some of the key risks they face in any home with high radon levels:

  • Respiratory system concerns: Because radon gas is radioactive, it can cause severe damage to the respiratory system over time. This is especially concerning for dogs, as they inhale a great deal more air than humans each day in comparison to their body weight. Those byproducts we mentioned above? They are known to stick within the lungs and cause long-term damage.
  • Cancer risks: Radon gas is also a known carcinogen, meaning it can cause cancer in dogs over time. Again, this is due to the radioactive particles it emits. Studies have shown that radon exposure can increase the risk of lung cancer in dogs by as much as 22%.
  • Other mutations: Even if radon doesn’t lead to cancer in your dog, it may lead to other mutations. These may include malignant tumors, skin masses, and bone marrow suppression.

Here are some possible signs that your dog may be developing cancer or other lung conditions due to radon exposure, especially if no other explanation can be revealed for these symptoms:

  • Coughing or breathing trouble
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lameness
  • Fever
  • Hacking
  • Abnormal swelling

However, avoiding the major risks of radon before they reach this point is always the best solution.

Radon Risks to Cats

Cats are also susceptible to the harmful effects of radon gas and its radioactive byproducts, but to a lesser extent than dogs. This is due in part to their grooming habits — cats lick their fur more often than dogs, which helps remove any harmful particles from their coat. They’re also even closer to the ground than most dogs, and are smaller, meaning they inhale less air per day.

The primary risk here, like with many dogs, is lung problems and lung cancer. Cats have a significantly higher risk of developing lung cancer when exposed to radon gas over time, as well as a greater risk of other respiratory problems.

Again, though, these aren’t the only issues that may arise. Cats exposed to high levels of radon gas may also experience:

  • Nervous system problems
  • Skin problems
  • Gastrointestinal issues
  • Liver damage
  • Kidney damage

Again, the best way to avoid these risks is to test your home for radon levels and take corrective action if needed. No one wants to see their furry friend suffer from something that could have been prevented.

Proper Radon Testing Frequency

How often you have your home’s radon levels tested will depend on a few things, including:

  • Prior testing results: If you’ve had your home tested for radon in the past and the results were within safe levels, you may not need to test again for a few years.
  • The age of your home: If your home is newer, it’s likely that the construction materials used will help keep radon levels low. As homes age, they become more susceptible to radon gas, so testing more often may be necessary.
  • Radon levels in your area: Your home’s radon levels will vary depending on where you live. If you live in an area with high levels of the gas, you’ll need to test more often than if you live in an area with low levels.

The best way to determine how often you should test your home for radon is to talk to your local radon specialist with Absolute Radon Safety. Not only will we recommend testing frequencies for any client, we’ll also carry out these tests — and also the resulting mitigation needs that may be required.

For more on the impact radon has on the pets in your home and why it should be removed, or to learn about any of our radon testing or mitigation services, speak to the team at Absolute Radon Safety today.

debunking myths radon testing mitigation

While certain myths or bits of misinformation in our world aren’t all that harmful, the realm of radon is not one of these. Misconceptions about radon, which is a harmful gas that causes thousands of deaths annually, can lead to unsafe conditions and other major risks, and it’s important to have the proper information on this substance for any home you live in.

At Absolute Radon Safety, we’re here to not only provide high-quality radon testing and radon mitigation services, but also to ensure our clients are properly informed on this substance at all times. Here are some of the most common myths we’ve heard about radon over the years, plus the correct information in each of these areas.

Myth #1: Scientists Are Still Unsure if Radon is Truly Harmful

We’re truly unsure where this myth even originated from, and it’s one of the most harmful when it comes to radon. The truth is, there is an overwhelming amount of research that proves radon exposure can cause lung cancer, and the gas has been classified as a known human carcinogen by both the US Environmental Protection Agency and the International Agency for Research on Cancer.

If anyone is telling you that scientists are still unsure about the effects of radon exposure, be sure to set them straight and educate them on this harmful gas.

Myth #2: Radon is Only a Problem in Certain Areas of the Country

While it’s true that radon levels can vary depending on your location, this doesn’t mean that it’s not a problem anywhere. In fact, the EPA has estimated that over 20% of homes in the US have elevated radon levels.

No matter where you live, it’s important to get your home tested for radon and take proper mitigation steps if levels are high.

Myth #3: Radon is only a Problem in Old Homes

Not at all. Radon can enter any home, new or old, through cracks and other openings in the foundation. It’s important to test for radon in any home you live in, regardless of its age.

In fact, some of the worst radon issues are found in newer homes whose owners have not tested for the gas. Be sure to always test for radon, and if levels are high, take the necessary mitigation steps.

Myth #4: Radon Testing is Expensive and Time-Consuming

Again, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Radon testing is a quick and easy process that only takes a few minutes, and it’s one of the most important things you can do to protect your family’s health.

If you’re concerned about the cost of testing, many states offer free or discounted test kits through their state radon program. Be sure to check with your state radon office for more information.

Myth #5: You Don’t Need to Test for Radon If You’ve Recently Had Your Home Tested

This is one of the most dangerous myths when it comes to radon, as it can lead to people thinking they’re safe when they’re not. Just because you’ve recently had your home tested for radon doesn’t mean levels haven’t changed since then, or that your home is now safe.

It’s important to test for radon regularly, especially if you’ve recently made any changes to your home that could have affected the levels of the gas. And remember, even if levels are low, it’s still important to take mitigation steps to ensure your family is safe.

At Absolute Radon Safety, we’re dedicated to educating our clients on all things radon. Be sure to check out our website for more information on this harmful gas, and contact us if you have any questions or need help testing or mitigating your home’s radon levels.

Myth #6: Once Radon is Present, It’s Here to Stay

Nope! One of the only misconceptions on our list that’s actually too negative is this one, as there are multiple methods for mitigating high levels of radon in your home. If you find out that your home has high levels of radon, don’t panic! There are many solutions available to you, and Absolute Radon Safety can help you find the best one for your home.

Myth #7: Homeowners Can Mitigate Radon By Themselves

Simply put, no one without extensive training and experience in radon mitigation should attempt to mitigate high levels of the gas in their home. It’s important to have a professional inspect your home and take the necessary steps to reduce levels, as improper mitigation can actually make the problem worse.

Not only this, but attempts to DIY a radon solution can create extreme health and safety risks for you and your family. Leave the mitigation to the professionals at Absolute Radon Safety and rest easy knowing your home is safe from this harmful gas.

Myth #8: Your Neighbor’s Test Works for You, Too

Some people are under the mistaken assumption that if a friendly neighbor has recently had a radon test and is willing to share the results with you, then your home must be safe as long as their levels aren’t too high. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case – in fact, every home should have its own individual test to ensure accurate results.

Even if levels are low in your neighbor’s home, that doesn’t mean yours will be the same. Even within properties that are right next to one another, levels can vary significantly, so it’s always important to test for radon yourself.

For more on the common myths out there surrounding radon and how to get the proper information in any of these areas, or to learn about our radon testing, radon mitigation and other services, speak to the team at Absolute Radon Safety today.

radon smoking lung cancer risk

In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some basics on how radon exposure impacts your risk of lung cancer. Radon exposure is one of several major risk factors for lung cancer, and it becomes even riskier if the person exposed to high quantities of radon is also a smoker.

At Absolute Radon Safety, we’re proud to offer a variety of radon testing and radon mitigation services to clients in Boulder, Denver and surrounding areas, ensuring that you’re not exposed to radon-related risks in any way. While part one of our series went over the general risks of lung cancer and how radon exposure impacts these, today’s part two will dig into how smoking further complicates this puzzle, especially for those who already have high radon exposure levels.

General Risks of Smoking and Lung Cancer

As many are already well aware, smoking is the single leading cause of lung cancer and other serious respiratory illnesses. The carcinogens in cigarette smoke damage the cilia and mucus lining of the bronchi and lungs, leading to a condition known as obstructive airway disease. As this condition worsens, the risk of developing lung cancer increases exponentially.

Smoking causes over 150,000 cancer-related deaths in the US each year, per the American Cancer Society.

Secondhand Smoke and Lung Cancer

In addition to those who smoke themselves, those who are exposed to secondhand smoke also face increased risks. Secondhand smoke is the combination of both sidestream and mainstream smoke, which typically contains many poisonous carcinogens that can lead to an increased risk for lung cancer.

Secondhand smoke exposure causes nearly 34,000 deaths each year in the US per the American Cancer Society. It can also impact children, causing serious respiratory problems including bronchitis, pneumonia, asthma and increased risk of ear infections.

Risks of Lung Cancer Among Smokers With High Radon Exposure

And as you may have guessed if you’ve read to this point, combining the two major risk factors we’ve gone over here can result in serious risks of developing lung cancer. In fact, research has shown that among those exposed to over 20 pCi/L of radon who smoke, over 25% will develop lung cancer — that’s an incredibly high risk!

What’s even more alarming about this research is that if the individual exposed to radon and cigarettes is not a smoker, their risk of developing lung cancer drops considerably. Unfortunately, for those already smoking, it seems that tobacco use “overwhelms” radon-related health risks and greatly increases them.

As we mentioned in part one of our series, unfortunately, the only way to truly know if you’ve been exposed to substantial quantities of radon is by taking advantage of one or more radon testing services. These tests can be used both for homes and businesses, with results provided immediately.

For more on the risks of radon and lung cancer, especially if you’re a smoker, or for information on any of our radon testing and mitigation services to help you avoid these risks, speak to the pros at Absolute Radon Safety today.

national radon action month Colorado

On National Radon Action Month in Colorado

Recently, all Colorado residents and building owners received an important update: The current month of January, 2022 was announced by Gov. Jared Polis as National Radon Action Month. The announcement came in response to high radon levels in nearly half of all Colorado homes, with over 500 deaths among non-smokers traced directly to radon poisoning concerns.

At Absolute Radon Safety, we’re proud to offer a variety of radon testing and radon mitigation services throughout Boulder, Denver and other parts of Colorado. We’re happy to assist clients looking to do their part and keep their homes and buildings safe from radon and its risks, and we fully support Gov. Polis’s initiative to increase awareness on this important subject. Why was the decision made to highlight this issue now, and why is radon such a major concern for many areas in Colorado? Here’s an explainer.

Why Radon is Problematic

First and foremost, for those unaware, there are several major health risks associated with high levels of radon in your structures, including:

  • Higher risk of developing lung cancer
  • Possible connections to other types of cancers, such as colon or pancreatic
  • Other major respiratory issues and health concerns, especially in children and seniors

Radon is the single leading cause of lung cancer deaths among non-smokers in the USA, taking over 20,000 lives each year. But because it’s a naturally occurring gas with no color, taste or odor, many home or building owners are simply unaware that it’s present.

Colorado and Radon

Unfortunately, Colorado has especially prominent radon issues that affect large portions of the state. Here are some of the basic statistics pertaining to its presence and effects:

  • Nearly half of all homes in Colorado have radon levels that are considered high (greater than the EPA recommended action level of 4 PCi/L).
  • All 64 counties in Colorado are rated at high risk for elevated radon.
  • Radon contributes primarily to as many as 500 lung cancer deaths in Colorado each year.

Importance of Radon Testing

As part of the governor’s proclamation, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is highlighting the importance of radon testing for citizens throughout the state. Testing for radon offers several benefits:

  • It’s the only way to know for sure if you have high levels of radon in your home or building.
  • Can help individuals better understand their risk, especially if they are smokers.
  • Helps prepare homeowners and business owners with mitigation strategies.

Not only this, but Colorado residents are encouraged to protect their families from the risks of radon if high levels are found in their homes. There are a few mitigation methods possible for reducing radon levels back to healthy thresholds, both now and in the long-term.

For more on this important month for Colorado residents, or for assistance with any required radon testing or radon mitigation services, speak to the team at Absolute Radon Services today.

radon smoking lung cancer risks

There are many cases where multiple risk factors may combine to create an even greater level of risk for various conditions or situations, and lung cancer is a good example here. Many people are well aware that elevated levels of radon in a home or workplace post greater risks of several forms of cancer, including lung cancer — and it might not surprise you to learn that among those exposed to radon, those who smoke cigarettes are at far higher risk levels than those who don’t.

At Absolute Radon Safety, we’re proud to offer the very best in radon mitigation systems¬†and radon testing throughout Denver and nearby areas, ensuring our clients live and work in locations with radon levels that are well below any risk levels that are harmful to humans. We’re happy to provide these services to anyone, but particularly those with other high levels of risk that may be exacerbated by unsafe radon levels — including lung cancer. This two-part blog series will go over the standard risks of lung cancer for those with high radon exposure, then compare those to the much higher risks among smokers, to show you why both radon mitigation and¬†finding ways to limit or quit smoking are both valuable to your long-term health.

Basic Lung Cancer Risks

Lung cancer is one of the most common forms out there, taking thousands of lives every year in the US alone. And while it has a wide variety of risk factors, the single top areas are those we’re discussing here: Smoking, secondhand smoke, and radon exposure.

And if lung cancer does take place, it’s quite dangerous — it has one of the lowest survival rates of any forms of cancer, and it also has quite a few cases where the treatment itself has worse results than the disease. For instance, lung cancer is often treated with surgery to remove portions of the respiratory system; however, studies have shown that even in carefully chosen patients who get highly respected surgical teams and seem like they’re at low risk for issues, the risks of death are still higher than without treatment. And if someone does live after the surgery, they’re often left with major issues including open wounds, breathing problems that have to be dealt with via facial or hand pumps, or having portions of their jaw removed in order to deal with extra space needed for breathing tubes.

Radon and Lung Cancer

According to EPA estimates, radon is the single top cause of lung cancer among non-smokers, and the second-leading cause overall (behind only smoking). It’s responsible for over 20,000 deaths every year, with an even higher number of cases that result in lung cancer without actually resulting in death.

The risks come from radon’s radioactivity, which breaks down into different particles including alpha and beta particles; the former is considered more dangerous than the latter (though both are known to be potentially deadly), and it can enter deep into the lungs or throat, damaging cells that can cause cancer.

In part two of our series, we’ll discuss smoking’s risk factors for lung cancer, plus secondhand smoke and how these two areas can combine to create even greater risks among those who both smoke and are exposed to high radon levels.

For more on this, or to learn about any of our radon testing or radon mitigation services in Denver, speak to the pros at Absolute Radon Safety today.

radon re-testing frequency recommendations

The threats in your home that you can’t pick up through your normal senses are some of the most dangerous, and radon is a good example. This harmful contaminant can’t be seen or smelled, but high levels can lead to major health risks — and because radon levels can change with time, you should be testing for it on a somewhat regular basis.

At Absolute Radon Safety, we’re proud to offer a variety of high-quality radon testing services, including both short-term and continuous monitoring radon testing. We’re also here to provide expertise, particularly to homeowners who may think they’re permanently in the clear if their radon levels were tested in the past and were low — there are several important reasons why re-testing for radon periodically is important. Let’s dive into what may impact changing radon levels over time, plus how often the EPA recommends you have your radon levels re-tested.

Factors in Changing Radon Levels Over Time

Radon comes from uranium deposits in the ground, seeping into homes through their foundations. There are a few factors that may lead to changing radon levels over time, including:

  • Time of year: Radon levels tend to be higher in the colder months of November through March.
  • Type of construction: Homes with basements are more likely to have elevated radon levels than homes built on a crawl space or a slab.
  • Changes in the home: Sometimes, renovations can impact airflow and ventilation, which could lead to higher radon levels over time. The EPA recommends giving your indoor air quality a check-up after any major renovation work is completed.
  • Foundation changes: One particular type of change that may lead to heightened radon levels is any damage or major changes to your home’s foundation.

EPA Recommended Testing Frequency

Due to the above facts about how radon levels can change in your home, the EPA recommends having your home tested for radon every two years — even if you’ve had your home tested before with negative results. If you’re planning on selling your home, it’s very important to note that most states require an “as is” radon test, meaning your home must be tested even if you don’t plan on making any major changes to the structure.

And even if you aren’t selling, this testing frequency is valuable for maintaining health and comfort. Did you know, for instance, that radon is the top cause of lung cancer outside of cigarette smoking? Over 20,000 people die every year just from the harmful effects of radon — so if you have the ability to protect yourself from this threat, why wouldn’t you take it?

For more on how we’ll help you identify high radon levels and deal with them quickly, or to learn about any of our radon testing or mitigation services, speak to the staff at Absolute Radon Safety today.

steps home protected high radon

For homes or buildings that may have a significant radon presence, this is no small concern. Radon is a harmful element that can have significant health effects on those who are exposed to it — luckily, though, if you’re in this position, there are several solutions available to you.

At Absolute Radon Safety, we offer comprehensive radon mitigation services to help any homeowner remove the harmful levels of radon in their home and keep all occupants safe. Our radon mitigation systems are completely maintenance-free, meaning you won’t even have to think about it once it’s installed in your home — it will simply do the job for you. What are the steps to follow if you’re concerned about the levels of radon in your home, and how can you ensure these high levels are remedied quickly and effectively? Here’s a rundown.

Step 1: Learn Why Radon is Concerning

You can’t identify an issue if you don’t know why it’s a problem, so the first step here is to educate yourself on radon and why you should be concerned about it. The EPA estimates that over 21,000 people die each and every year due to radon, with another 15,000 people being diagnosed with lung cancer. That’s a huge hazard, and it’s one that can be easily managed.

In addition, you might read up on information that may shock you in terms of how common high radon levels are. Depending on your area, it may be something you find in up to 50 percent of the homes. Knowing the risks and reading about how prevalent this problem is, it becomes much more important to address — especially when there are such simple mitigation options like supplying your home with a radon reduction system.

Step 2: Test Your Home For Levels

The next step is to test your home for radon levels, especially if you are in an area where high quantities have been known to exist. This should be done by a professional, though, so it’s best to hire one of our experts to come test your space.

There are various tests that can be run — some are long-term while others will give you quick results right away. The difference between them is that one will give you an initial reading so that you can determine whether your home needs further testing, while the other will provide more in-depth results over a period of time.

In addition, as our team of pros will tell you, the construction of your home will play a significant role in terms of how much radon is coming in. If your home has several cracks, is poorly built, or the ventilation system is insufficient, then you are more likely to have a problem with high levels of this element.

Step 3: Receive and Interpret Your Radon Test Results

For the long-term tests that are sent out to your home, you will need to send them back in so that the second stage of the process can be carried out — this is where our team of experts will use radiation detectors to measure the levels and determine how extensive the problem is. If high levels are found, then it’s time for mitigation (and this is something we’ll get into in just a bit).

What defines “high levels” of radon? Well, radon is measured in picocurries (abbreviated pCi/L) — you may not know exactly what that means, but that’s okay. Generally speaking, if your levels are above 2.7 pCi/L, you have an issue here. At 4 pCi/L it becomes a serious problem, and anything above that requires immediate action due to immediate threats to the health of those in your home.

Step 4: Obtain a Radon Mitigation System Estimate

Now that you’ve confirmed the existence of high radon levels in your home, it’s time to figure out what you need to do to correct the situation. Radon mitigation systems are available, and we offer free estimates.

The very first thing we will want to know is where in your home the levels are highest, so we can determine where we will be installing our system — but don’t worry: This won’t take away from the clean and polished look of your home.

As for the types of systems, our team will walk you through the process and explain each to you in detail so that there are no questions or confusion — you’ll find that these aren’t the cheapest systems around, but they also don’t require much to maintain. Plus, when it comes to your health, investing in radon mitigation is one of the best possible routes you can go, so it’s well worth it.

Step 5: Schedule Radon Mitigation Installation

Despite how complex they can be, you might be surprised how quickly one of our radon mitigation systems can be installed — it’s not long before your family and friends will hardly notice anything has changed. Our team of pros knows exactly what they are doing, so there is little-to-no chance that you’ll have any issues with this process whatsoever. With just a bit of time on the front end to get everything set up, you’ll be on your way to a healthier lifestyle.

From here, while you won’t have to do any maintenance on your system, your installers will instruct you on where to keep an eye out in case your radon ever returns to unsafe levels — unlikely, but it’s always good to be prepared!

If you have a significant amount of radon in your home, it’s time for action — and the best possible solution is going to come from hiring our team of pros. From helping you choose which system works best for your home to providing professional installation, we’ve got everything under control. Contact us today at Absolute Radon Safety to learn more about any of our radon protection solutions.

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Absolute Radon Safety, based in Denver, is a company that specializes in radon mitigation of your home. We specialize in creating a safe environment for your family.

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