Category: Radon Information

issues testing radon yourself

There are certain areas of our lives where do-it-yourself (DIY) approaches are quite effective and viable, but also others where they generally should not be attempted. Others also ride the line here, and a good example is radon testing — while it’s certainly possible to test for radon levels in your home on your own, there are a few important reasons why it’s typically not recommended.

At Absolute Radon Safety, we’re happy to offer the very best radon testing and radon mitigation programs available in Colorado, removing any risks that may be present for those attempting to DIY this important area. While at-home DIY radon tests do exist, here are some of the potential drawbacks that come with utilizing them — and some of the reasons why leaving these tests to the professionals is generally the prudent move.

Improper DIY Test Kit Placement

Most of the DIY radon tests you’ll find on the market require you to place them in a specific location within your home for an extended period of time — typically 2-90 days, depending on the type of test being used. The problem here is that many people do not realize how important proper test kit placement is, and as a result will often put their kits in places where they may not get an accurate reading.

For example, many people will put their test kits in their basements without realizing that the results may not be representative of the rest of the house if radon is only present in certain areas. Other common mistakes include putting the test kit too close to a window or door, where drafts can impact results, or in an area where there is a lot of background radiation (such as near an x-ray machine).

All of these factors can play a role in getting inaccurate results from your test, which in turn can lead to either a false sense of security or undue worry about the radon levels in your home.

DIY Test Kits May Not Meet EPA Standards

In other cases, the problem with DIY radon tests is not necessarily one of placement, but rather that the test kit itself may not meet Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards for accuracy. The EPA has established very specific protocols that must be followed in order to ensure reliable results from a radon test, and many of the DIY kits on the market do not meet these standards.

As a result, these DIY kits may not be able to provide accurate readings of the radon levels in your home, which means you could end up either underestimating or overestimating the risk that’s present.

Impact of AC or Other HVAC

In some situations, especially if your test is placed too close to a vent or other opening, the results of your test may be impacted by your home’s air conditioning or other HVAC system. This is because these systems can circulate air throughout the house, which can in turn impact the concentration of radon present in any given area.

If you’re using a DIY test kit, it’s important to be aware of this potential issue and to take steps to avoid it if possible. One way to do this is to place your test kit in an area that’s as far away from any vents or other openings as possible, but this is often not practical or possible in many homes.

As a result, it’s often best to leave radon testing to the professionals instead.

Waiting for Results

With at-home radon test kits, you generally have to collect your sample, then send the results out to a lab to be analyzed. This process can take a week or more, which means you could be left in limbo for quite some time before you get your results back.

This isn’t necessarily a big issue if you’re just testing for peace of mind, but if you believe that there may be high levels of radon present in your home, waiting for results could put you and your family at unnecessary risk in the meantime.

Simply Less Accurate

And on the simplest level, even if you do everything properly with your at-home test kit, there’s just no getting around the fact that these tests are generally less accurate than ones performed by professionals. This is because professional testers have access to more sophisticated equipment and techniques, which means they can usually get more accurate readings.

Re-Testing May Be Necessary

Finally, it’s important to keep in mind that even if you do get accurate results from your DIY radon test, you may still need to have the property re-tested by a professional later on. This is because radon levels can fluctuate over time, and what may have been a safe level when you tested may no longer be safe a few months or years down the road.

Go With the Pros

For all of the reasons we’ve gone over here, plus for simple peace of mind when it comes to something as important as your family’s health, it’s usually best to leave radon testing to the professionals. These trained experts have the experience and expertise necessary to get accurate readings, which in turn can help you make the best decisions about protecting your family from this invisible killer.

If you’re concerned about radon in your home, contact our team at Absolute Radon Safety today. We’ll immediately help you set up an appointment to test your home for radon and determine if further action is necessary.

questions answers radon mitigation maintenance

Maintenance is a key factor for any kind of mechanical or related system in your home or on your property, and being cognizant of it in several different areas is important. This also goes for any new installations made within your property, and one good example here is a radon mitigation system that may be installed in your home to stop harmful radon gas from creating health risks to you and your family.

At Absolute Radon Safety, we’re happy to offer the very best radon mitigation systems and testing programs in Colorado, ensuring you’re not at-risk of any of radon’s health concerns. We’ll also assist clients with understanding the needs for maintenance of such systems — though as you’ll find out as you read further today, part of the value of our systems is how little upkeep they actually require from homeowners. Here are some of the most common questions we’re asked about radon mitigation system maintenance, plus the simple answers.

Do I Need to Perform any Radon Mitigation System Maintenance?

First and foremost, many clients are simply wondering whether they need to do any kind of upkeep for their radon mitigation system at all. The answer is yes — but in most cases, this maintenance is extremely simple and can be done without the assistance of a professional. In general, you’ll want to check the system’s components (which will all be clearly labelled) every few months to ensure that everything is still firmly in place and functional. If you do notice any issues, give us a call and we’ll be happy to help.

Let’s go over some further detail to help you understand.

What Are the Components of a Radon Mitigation System?

For those looking to fully understand their system and any minor upkeep needs that might be required, knowing about the simple components it uses can go a long way. Here are the basic components of a radon mitigation system and how they work:

  • A radon fan: The key component of most radon mitigation systems is a radon fan unit, which is installed to create depressurization within your home. This lowering of air pressure will stop radon gas from being able to enter through any cracks or gaps in the foundation — and it will eventually be released outside where it can dissipate harmlessly.
  • A PVC pipe: A PVC pipe is then used to transport this gas from beneath your home up to the roof, where the fan will be installed. Once the fan is in place, it will work to expel the gas outside instead of letting it remain trapped beneath your home.
  • A drain tile: In some cases (depending on the soil type beneath your home), a drain tile may also be used as part of the system. This tile is placed around the foundation’s perimeter and will work to collect any radon gas that might have seeped in before it has a chance to rise up through your home.
  • A power supply: In some other cases, a dedicated power supply may need to be installed as part of the system. This will be placed near the fan unit and will work to ensure that it has a consistent power source, no matter what the weather conditions might be outside.
  • Manometer device: Finally, a manometer device may also be installed as part of the system. This is a simple device that helps to measure the air pressure within your home, and it can be used to ensure that the fan unit is working properly.

As you can see, most of these components are quite simple — and they shouldn’t require any complicated maintenance or upkeep on your part.

Checking the Manometer and System

When it comes to system maintenance or upkeep for your radon mitigation system, there often isn’t much to do — as we’ve noted several times here, these systems are mostly self-sufficient, and should not require a ton of regular attention. However, the one area that you will want to check on a semi-regular basis is the manometer, which (as we noted above) helps to measure the air pressure within your home.

Specifically, your radon mitigation system installer will tell you the exact readings you’re looking for from the manometer — and which readings might signal a problem, such as an issue where your fan has stopped working for some reason. Nearly any issue that might arise with your system will show itself through the readings on the manometer, so it’s important to keep an eye on it. If you’re unsure of what to look for or how to interpret these readings, don’t hesitate to give us a call and we’ll be happy to help.

In general, you should only need to check on the system every few months to ensure that everything is still firmly in place and functional. However, if you do notice any issues, give us a call.

Ensure Continuous Power

In cases where your home’s existing power supply is being used to power the fan unit, you’ll also want to make sure that this power source is always working properly. The last thing you want is for your system to suddenly stop working because of an issue with the power — and in some cases, this could mean that harmful radon gas is once again able to enter your home unchecked.

For most people, simply checking on the power source every few months to ensure that it is still in good working condition will be sufficient. However, if you live in an area with particularly severe weather conditions (such as hurricanes or severe thunderstorms), you may want to check on it more frequently to ensure that everything is still in good working order.

For more on the limited areas of radon mitigation system maintenance you should know about, or to learn about any of our radon testing or radon mitigation programs, speak to our team at Absolute Radon Safety today.

symptoms radon gas exposure

Signs and Symptoms of Radon Gas Exposure

There are several simple factors that make radon gas dangerous, and one of these is the difficulty in identifying it. Radon gas is odorless, tasteless and otherwise virtually impossible to detect with normal human senses, making it more troublesome than some other home risks — a key way of identifying it, in fact, is typically due to physical symptoms experienced as a result of radon exposure (in cases where testing has not been done, that is).

At Absolute Radon Safety, we’re here to offer quality radon testing services that allow you to detect radon in your home well before any major physical symptoms of exposure are present. However, if testing has not been done, you might also notice the presence of radon gas based on physical symptoms you or others in your home experience. Here’s a rundown of some of these symptoms and what they might be telling you.

Possible Radon Entry Points

Before we get to the symptoms, it’s important to understand a little more about how radon enters your home in the first place. Radon gas is produced as a result of the natural radioactive decay of uranium found in rocks and soil — it typically enters homes through cracks in walls or foundations, gaps around service pipes, or any other openings that exist between the home’s foundation and the outside air.

Radon is particularly troublesome because it can build up to high concentrations indoors, where it becomes a serious health hazard. In fact, the EPA estimates that radon gas is responsible for 21,000 lung cancer deaths every year in the United States — that’s more than deaths caused by car accidents or alcohol abuse!

Lung Cancer Connection

As we just noted, radon has a direct link to lung cancer, and is responsible for tens of thousands of deaths here each year. And unfortunately, this connection is also present in terms of the common symptoms of radon exposure — many of which will mimic the symptoms that come with lung cancer.

For this reason, most of the symptoms we go over in the rest of this blog will have crossover with those that come with lung cancer.

Persistent Cough and Hoarseness

One of the first and most common symptoms you might experience as a result of radon exposure is a persistent cough that doesn’t seem to go away, no matter what you do. This cough might also be accompanied by hoarseness, and can become more frequent over time as radon exposure continues.

These symptoms are often mistaken for those of a cold or other common illness, but if they persist for weeks or longer without any sign of abating, it could be an indication that radon exposure is to blame.

Wheezing and Shortness of Breath

Radon exposure can also cause wheezing and shortness of breath, as the gas can irritate your lungs and make it difficult to breathe properly. These symptoms might be mild at first, but can become more severe over time as radon exposure continues.

If you experience wheezing or shortness of breath and also have a history of smoking, it’s particularly important to get tested for radon exposure, as your risk of lung cancer will be much higher.

Coughing Up Blood

As we progress into more serious symptoms, coughing up blood is one that should be cause for major concern. If you’re coughing up blood at all, it’s important to see a doctor immediately, but if you’ve been exposed to high levels of radon gas, this could be a sign that the exposure has damaged your lungs.

It’s also possible to experience this symptom without any prior history of smoking, which is another reason why radon testing is so important.

Lung Infections

Radon exposure can also lead to a buildup of fluid in the lungs, which can eventually lead to lung infections. These infections might be accompanied by other symptoms like fever, chest pain, and difficulty breathing.

Pneumonia is one of the most common infections associated with radon exposure, but it’s also possible to develop more serious infections like tuberculosis. If you experience any symptoms of a lung infection, it’s important to see a doctor as soon as possible.

Another common such infection is bronchitis, which is an inflammation of the bronchial tubes. Bronchitis can cause a host of other symptoms like coughing, chest pain, and shortness of breath.

Loss of Appetite

In many cases, people who are suffering from radon exposure will also experience a loss of appetite. This can lead to weight loss, as well as fatigue and weakness. If you’re experiencing a loss of appetite and any of the other symptoms on this list, it’s important to get tested for radon exposure.

Fatigue and Weakness

As we just noted, a loss of appetite can lead to fatigue and weakness, but these symptoms can also be caused by radon exposure itself. If you’re feeling tired all the time, even after getting a full night’s sleep, it could be an indication that you’re being exposed to high levels of radon gas.

Weight Loss

If you’re experiencing weight loss with no other simple explanation, it could be a sign that you’re being exposed to radon gas. This is particularly true if you’re also experiencing other symptoms like fatigue, weakness, and a loss of appetite.

For more on the symptoms that are often caused by radon exposure, or to learn about any of our radon testing or radon mitigation solutions, speak to our team at Absolute Radon Safety today.

opening windows impact radon

If you’ve recently tested your home for the presence of radon gas and have found unsafe levels of it in your structure, you’ll naturally be looking for every possible solution to remedy this problem. The primary such solution will be a radon mitigation system, but some homeowners wonder about other nuanced efforts they can make in this area — and one common such area is the opening of various windows to let radon out.

At Absolute Radon Safety, we’re happy to provide quality radon testing and radon mitigation services to clients in Longmont and several other areas of Colorado. What impact can opening windows have on your home’s radon levels, and is said impact enough to make this a worthwhile practice? Here’s a primer on this area.

Why is Radon a Risk?

Before we move any further, let’s remind ourselves why radon is such a risk in the first place. Radon is a tasteless, odorless, and colorless gas that can cause lung cancer. It’s estimated to be the second-leading cause of this disease in the United States, killing approximately 21,000 people annually.

Radon is dangerous for several reasons, most notably due to its radioactivity. The presence of radon in your home is the result of natural uranium decay, and when you breathe in air that contains it, this gas can damage the DNA in your cells — and over time, this increased cell damage can lead to lung cancer.

Of course, if you live in an area with naturally high radon levels (such as Colorado), or if you have a home that’s particularly susceptible to radon infiltration (such as a home with cracks in its foundation), your risks will be higher.

Opening Windows Works — To an Extent

If you’re looking to aid in the removal of radon from your home once it’s been discovered, opening your windows for ventilation can be effective — but only in a moderate sense. It’s absolutely true that ventilation is a major part of the EPA’s recommended approach to mitigating high radon levels in a home, but opening windows is a relatively crude format for this.

Now, if you’re opening several windows in the area impacted by radon, there’s a chance of this having a non-trivial impact. Radon is, after all, a gas — and as such, it will rise. So if you have high levels of radon near the floor and open a window to let this gas out, there’s a non-zero chance that you’ll be able to somewhat mitigate your risk in this way.

However, there are very few cases of actual radon risk that can be fully mitigated in this manner. Simply put, if you’re dealing with high levels of radon in your home, the best way to mitigate this is going to be through the placement of a radon mitigation system.

Limitations of Opening Windows

Again, it’s not that opening windows is bad for your radon levels — it’s just that it’s a very limited solution, for several reasons.

For one thing, as we noted, radon is a gas — and as such, it will rise. So if you open a window at floor level in the hopes of letting this gas out, what you’ll actually end up doing is circulating it through the rest of your home. In other words, you might be able to let some radon out this way — but you’ll also be increasing your risk in other areas of the house.

Additionally, it’s important to remember that windows are designed to keep air in, not let it out. So while you might be able to open a window and let some radon escape this way, you’ll also be letting other gases and particles into your home in the process. This might not seem like a big deal, but it can actually compound your radon risk — and in some cases, increase your risks of other illnesses, as well.

Finally, it’s worth noting that opening windows for ventilation can actually be counterproductive in some cases. If you live in an area with high humidity, for example, opening your windows is only going to increase the moisture content of your indoor air — and as we’ll discuss in a moment, this can actually lead to increased radon risks.

So if you’re looking to mitigate your home’s radon risk, it’s important to remember that opening windows is only a limited solution — and in some cases, it can actually make your risks worse.

Proper Radon Mitigation

Even if you’ve determined that opening windows is helping to mitigate your home’s radon risk, it’s important to remember that this is only a temporary solution. The best way to reduce your risks in the long term is to install a radon mitigation system — and for this need, it’s always best to consult with a professional.

Radon mitigation systems work by drawing air from your home and venting it to the outside, where the radon gas can dissipate harmlessly. These systems are highly effective, and in most cases, they’re also relatively affordable — so if you’re concerned about radon in your home, they’re definitely worth considering. If you’re not sure where to start, the EPA’s website is a great resource for finding qualified radon mitigation professionals in your area.

For more on the theme of opening windows to help with radon levels, or to learn about any of our radon testing or mitigation services in Longmont or other parts of Colorado, speak to our team at Absolute Radon Safety today.

common questions radon gas

As your go-to radon testing and mitigation specialists in Longmont and other parts of Colorado, our team at Absolute Radon Safety often runs into a familiar situation: Our clients don’t really understand what they’re dealing with if they’ve run into high radon levels. Not to worry — we’re here to help with this as well as all your radon mitigation needs.

You have questions — we have answers! Here are some of the most common queries we get about radon gas, plus the answers to help you understand why this gas is harmful, how it’s detected, and how to get rid of it.

What is Radon Gas? Where Does it Originate From?

Many people are unaware of exactly what radon gas is. Radon is a natural, colorless, and odorless gas that’s produced by the breakdown of uranium in rocks and soil. Outdoors, radon is diluted and isn’t harmful. The problem arises when this gas accumulates indoors in high concentrations — and that’s where it can pose a serious health risk.

Radon can be present in both solid and liquid form, and it can enter your home in a few different ways:

  • Through cracks and openings in the foundation
  • Through gaps around service pipes
  • Through well water
  • Through building materials that contain radon

It’s most commonly found in low areas like basements and crawl spaces.

What Are Some Radon Exposure Signs?

As we noted above, radon can be extremely dangerous when it’s exposed to humans or animals for long periods of time. For this reason, being able to spot some of the most common symptoms of exposure is crucial. Here are a few to keep an eye out for:

  • Breathing problems
  • Frequent headaches
  • Persistent coughing
  • Wheezing and shortness of breath
  • Lung infections

Radon poisoning can also lead to lung cancer, so it’s important to get tested if you think you may have been exposed. Many of the basic symptoms of radon exposure also mimic those of lung cancer.

Some will naturally dismiss these symptoms as a common cold or the flu, but if you experience any of them frequently or they don’t seem to go away, it’s important to get tested for radon as soon as possible.

How Deadly is Radon?

Simply put, radon is likely far more deadly than you were aware of if you didn’t know much about it before reading. Radon has radioactive particles in it that can easily be trapped by the lungs, and issues ranging from lung cancer to others may follow. The EPA has estimated that as many as 20,000 lung cancer deaths per year in the U.S. can be linked back to radon exposure.

This makes radon the second-largest individual cause of lung cancer deaths, trailing only cigarette smoking — which, in addition, is a risk factor that greatly increases your chances of suffering from lung cancer if you’re exposed to high levels of radon.

Fortunately, there are ways to mitigate the risk: having your home professionally tested for radon and taking the necessary steps to remove it if need be.

How Does Radon Enter the Home?

As we mentioned earlier, radon forms in the ground. It can move through dirt, rocks, air, water, and even concrete to make its way into your home. Once inside, radon can become trapped and can quickly build up to high levels.

Some of the most common areas for radon entry include cracks, foundation problems, floor joints, gaps around service pipes, and well water. It’s important to test your home for radon regularly to ensure that the levels are safe.

What is a Safe Level of Radon?

To be clear, the only truly safe level of radon in your home is zero. Even tiny amounts of radon can pose risks here.

That said, there are some general thresholds that are typically aimed for when it comes to radon mitigation. For starters, any home or building with radon levels at or above 4.0 pCi/L should have some sort of mitigation system installed.

And generally, mitigation systems for these homes or buildings will aim to reduce the levels of radon to no higher than 2.0 pCi/L. It may be possible to reduce levels even lower than this, but 2.0 pCi/L is typically considered an acceptable level in most cases.

If you have questions about a specific level of radon in your home or building, the best thing to do is to speak with a professional who can help assess the situation and make recommendations accordingly.

What Are Some Common Radon Testing Methods?

Generally speaking, there are two standard methods for testing a home or building for radon:

  • Short-term tests: These tests are designed to bring results in as little as 48 hours and as many as 90 days. They’re designed using charcoal, which is able to absorb radon from the air. The most common type of short-term test is a canister test, which is typically left in the home for two to 90 days.
  • Long-term tests: These tests are designed to bring results in as little as one year but may take up to two years. They use alpha track detectors, which can measure long-term exposure to radon. These tests are generally considered more reliable than short-term tests but may not be as practical in some situations.

Which test is right for you will depend on a variety of factors, so it’s important to speak with a professional about your specific needs before making a decision.

For more on the common questions we get about radon gas, or to learn about any of our radon testing or radon mitigation services in Longmont or other parts of Colorado, speak to the team at Absolute Radon Safety today.

radon knowledge identification matter

If you’re just learning about radon gas for the first time, you might be wondering what the big deal is. This is an odorless, colorless gas that you can basically never detect with simple human senses, so it really can’t be too much of a problem, right?

Wrong. At Absolute Radon Safety, we’re here to tell you that radon can be a major threat to your health and that of anyone else in your home or building. We offer robust radon testing and mitigation services to ensure this doesn’t become an issue for you — but this starts with you recognizing the importance of radon prevention and contacting our team for assistance. What is radon, why does knowing about it matter, and how can you tell if there are high levels of radon in your home or any other structure? Here’s a basic primer.

Radon Basics

As we noted above, radon refers to an invisible, odorless gas that is produced naturally as the uranium in the ground breaks down. While it’s not uncommon to find low levels of radon in the air we breathe every day, this gas can become a problem when it begins to collect in enclosed spaces like homes and buildings.

When present in large enough quantities, radon exposure has been linked to an array of serious health problems, including lung cancer. In fact, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that radon exposure is responsible for more than 20,000 lung cancer deaths every year in the United States alone.

While any type of home or building can be at risk for high levels of radon, there are certain construction features and geographical areas that can increase the likelihood of this problem. For example, homes with basements or crawl spaces are more likely to have higher-than-normal radon levels, as are those built on bedrock or near bodies of water.

In terms of geographical risk factors, states like Colorado, Minnesota, and North Dakota tend to have higher average indoor radon levels than other parts of the country. However, high radon levels have been reported in every state, so it’s important not to assume your home is in the clear just because you don’t live in a “high-risk” area.

The Dangers of Radon Exposure

So, what exactly are the health risks associated with radon exposure?

As we mentioned, the EPA estimates that radon exposure is responsible for more than 20,000 lung cancer deaths every year. In fact, the agency has classified radon as a Group A carcinogen, which means it’s known to cause cancer in humans.

Radon is believed to cause lung cancer by damaging the cells that line the lungs. As radon breaks down, it emits tiny particles that can be inhaled. These particles can then get lodged in the lungs, where they release small bursts of radiation. This radiation exposure is what increases your risk for lung cancer.

Notably, smokers who are exposed to radon gas are at an especially high risk for lung cancer, as they’re already damaging their lungs with tobacco smoke.

In addition to lung cancer, radon exposure has also been linked to other health problems, including:

  • Chronic bronchitis
  • Emphysema
  • Asthma
  • COPD

If you have any of these conditions or are a smoker, you should be especially vigilant about radon testing and mitigation.

Radon Testing and Mitigation

The only way to know if there are high levels of radon in your home or any other building is to test for it. Radon testing is relatively simple and straightforward, and it can be done with a variety of different devices.

At Absolute Radon Safety, we use state-of-the-art continuous radon monitors to test for this gas. These devices provide real-time readings of radon levels and can be left in place for an extended period of time to get an accurate sense of the problem.

If our testing does reveal high levels of radon, we can then develop a customized mitigation plan to reduce these levels and protect your family or employees from exposure.

Our team has extensive experience designing and installing radon mitigation systems, and we’re confident we can find a solution that works for your specific needs.

Other Ways of Limiting Radon Exposure

In addition to working with a professional radon mitigation company, there are a few other things you can do to limit your exposure to this gas.

For example, if you’re in the process of buying a new home, you can always request a radon test as part of the sale. This will give you some peace of mind and allow you to take action if high levels of radon are found.

You can also take some simple steps to prevent radon from entering your home in the first place. These include:

-Sealing any cracks or openings in your foundation

-Making sure your gutters are clean and in good condition

-Improving ventilation in your basement or crawl space

On top of this, anyone with prolonged exposure to radon should strongly consider stopping or reducing their cigarette smoking habits. This will help to protect their lungs from further damage.

The Bottom Line

Radon is a colorless, odorless gas that can be found in any type of building, including homes and offices. Unfortunately, exposure to high levels of radon gas can lead to serious health problems, including lung cancer.

The good news is that there are ways to test for radon and mitigate its effects. If you’re concerned about this gas, we encourage you to contact us at Absolute Radon Safety today to learn more about our radon testing and mitigation services. We’ll be happy to answer any of your questions and help you keep your family or employees safe from harm.

questions prospective radon contractor

There are a number of professions out there that involve specialized tasks and training, and one of these is the world of radon testing and mitigation. Professionals in this industry are regularly trying to stop harmful radon gas from creating major health issues for clients, and finding a great radon mitigation partner is vital if you know or believe there are high levels of radon in your home or building.

At Absolute Radon Safety, we’re here to help. We offer Colorado’s best radon testing and radon mitigation services, helping clients ranging from new homeowners to building owners with all their needs in this area. We welcome comparisons of our services to other radon companies in the area, both because we want all clients to get the very best solutions for their needs and because we’re quite confident that your research here will lead you right back to us. What are some of the important things you should be asking about as you research your options for radon testing and/or mitigation? Here are several to keep in mind.

Ask About Licensure

First and foremost, the trade of radon testing and mitigation is a regulated one. In Colorado, this means that there are specific requirements for licensure by the state. Any professional or company you’re considering working with should be able to readily provide you with their license information upon request.

On the flip side, any professional or company that hesitates to provide this information or tries to avoid the question altogether is likely not operating with the proper licensure. This should be an immediate red flag and you’ll want to look elsewhere for your radon needs.

Insurance Coverage

Down similar lines, you simply should never consider working with any radon testing or mitigation company that does not carry the proper levels of insurance. This is vital for protecting you as a client in case of any accidents or damages that might occur during the work being done on your property.

As with licensure, any company worth working with will have no problem whatsoever providing you with their insurance information. If they hesitate or avoid the topic, that should raise a red flag and you’ll want to move on to another company.

Experience Level

In any industry, experience is important. But in the world of radon testing and mitigation, it’s absolutely vital. This is not an area where you want to be working with someone who is still learning the ropes.

When you’re talking with a prospective company or contractor, ask about their experience level. How long have they been in business? How many homes and buildings have they worked on? Do they have any specialized training or certifications?

The answers to these questions will give you a much better idea of whether or not a given company is up to the task of meeting your needs.

Reviews and Word of Mouth

You shouldn’t simply take a radon contractor at their word for any of the information we’ve discussed so far. Always take the time to do your own research, whether that means reading online reviews or talking with friends, family, and others who have worked with radon contractors in the past.

These sources can give you some great insights into what it’s actually like to work with a given company. Were they able to meet the customer’s needs? Did they stick to their quoted price? How was the overall experience? You can learn a lot about a company by hearing what others have to say about their work.

At Absolute Radon Safety, we’re proud to say that we consistently receive great reviews and word of mouth recommendations. We invite you to do your own research and see for yourself what others have had to say about our work.

Pricing

Of course, you’ll also want to get a feel for pricing as you’re considering different radon contractors. In general, you should always be wary of any company that quoted you a price without first coming out to take a look at your property and assess the work that needs to be done.

Every home or building is different, which means that every radon job will require a unique approach. A company that doesn’t bother to come out and take a look before providing you with a quote is likely not going to be able to provide you with the best possible service.

Another possible red flag in the pricing area: A company that offers a price so much lower than its competitors that it seems too good to be true — in which case, it often is. This typically indicates that the company is cutting corners somewhere, whether that means using lower quality materials or not taking the time to do the job properly.

Politeness and Your Impression

Finally, while it may not be the first or only thing on your mind, it’s always important to pay attention to the way you’re treated by a prospective radon contractor. Are they polite? Do they seem like they’re truly interested in helping you or are they just trying to get the job and move on?

Your gut impression of a company can tell you a lot about whether or not they’re truly committed to providing quality service. If you don’t feel good about a company after talking with them, it’s probably best to move on and look elsewhere.

At Absolute Radon Safety, we understand how important it is to find the right radon contractor for your needs. We hope that this guide has given you some insights on this process. If you have any questions or want to learn more about any of our high-quality radon testing or mitigation services, speak to our team today.

elements radon mitigation process

For many people, including some first-time homeowners or certain others, the realm of radon mitigation can be both new and perhaps intimidating if you’re just entering it. Luckily, working with quality radon professionals will ensure that you know exactly what’s going on in your home or building with regard to radon, plus how it’s going to be remedied and any other relevant parts of this process.

At Absolute Radon Safety, we’re proud to offer the very best radon testing and radon mitigation services in Boulder and other parts of Colorado, walking home and building owners through every part of this process so they’re never confused and always know exactly what’s going on. What exactly is radon mitigation, and what are the important facets of the radon inspection and mitigation process? Here’s a simple rundown.

What is Radon Mitigation?

For those who have never dealt with radon before, it’s important to first understand what this gas is and why it might be present in your home. Radon is a naturally-occurring gas which comes up from the ground and can enter into homes or other buildings through cracks, gaps, and other openings.

Once inside, it can become trapped and concentrated, presenting a serious health hazard to those who are exposed to it over long periods of time. In fact, according to the EPA, radon is the leading cause of lung cancer among nonsmokers in the United States, and it’s believed to be responsible for hundreds or even thousands of lung cancer deaths each year.

This is why it’s so important for all homes and other buildings to be tested for radon on a regular basis, and why those which are found to have high levels of this gas need to have effective radon mitigation systems installed as soon as possible.

Our next several sections will go over the general process used to identify and remedy radon issues in a home or building.

Radon Testing

First and foremost, homes and buildings should be tested for radon on a regular basis – at least once every two years, and more frequently if there have been any changes which might have affected the levels of this gas inside.

There are two main types of radon tests which can be performed – short-term tests and long-term tests. Short-term tests take anywhere from 2 to 90 days, while long-term tests take place over the course of 3 months to a year.

At Absolute Radon Safety, we generally recommend that our customers start with a short-term test, as this will give you a quick idea of whether or not your home has elevated radon levels. Once the results of this test come back, we can then recommend either performing a long-term test or moving ahead with radon mitigation if necessary.

Radon Assessment

Also often called a radon inspection, this will be the first major step that’s carried out if elevated levels of radon are identified in your home or building by your radon test. It will involve certified technicians, like ours at Absolute Radon Safety, entering your home and performing a series of tests and inspections in order to identify the specific areas where radon might be entering.

This assessment will include several things, from determining the location of certain pipes and other potential entry points to measuring the levels of radon in different areas of your home. Once we have all this information, we can then develop a personalized radon mitigation plan for your property.

Radon Sealing

Another of the vital early steps in the radon mitigation process involves sealing any cracks in your foundation or nearby areas. This is important because these gaps can allow radon to enter your home, and they need to be properly filled and sealed in order for your mitigation system to be effective.

This can be done in a few different ways depending on the location and severity of any such damage. For foundations that are cracked, a special sealant can be injected which will stop gas and water from passing through. Walls can also be reinforced, and other areas can be caulked or otherwise filled as needed.

In other cases, such as for crawl space radon sealing, a specific vapor barrier material will be installed over the top of the soil in order to prevent radon from passing through.

Radon System Installation

Next up is one of the single most important parts of this process: The actual installation of your radon mitigation system, which comes in the form of a suction-based system that’s designed to draw gas out of your home and release it into the atmosphere above.

This system will be installed by our team of certified professionals, and it will be placed in the most strategic location possible in order to maximize its effectiveness. Installation will involve several things, including the placements of piping into the foundation plus extensions that allow us to route the gas up and out of your home.

Another important component usually utilized at this time will be the manometer, which is a device that we use to test the negative pressure inside of your system and ensure that it’s working properly. You’ll generally be shown where this manometer is and how to read it, including signs that an issue is taking place with your system.

Walkthrough and Long-Term Maintenance Tips

Finally, once your system is installed and everything has been double and triple checked for proper functionality, we’ll go over the entire system with you so that you understand how it works. This will involve an overview of all major components plus a few key maintenance tips to keep in mind.

In addition, we’ll often schedule a follow-up appointment for a few months later in order to ensure that everything is still working as it should be.

For more on the radon mitigation process and how it works, or to learn about any of our radon testing or mitigation services in Boulder or nearby areas, speak to the team at Absolute Radon Safety today.

If you’ve recently tested your home and found high levels of radon present, you’ll naturally be looking for radon mitigation methods to help limit the risks of this harmful gas. While there are a number of factors involved in this pursuit, one that’s important to virtually all homeowners is the cost of a radon mitigation system they’re considering.

Costs are just one of several important areas we’ll go over with you when you work with the team at Absolute Radon Safety for your radon mitigation needs, which we provide to clients throughout Colorado. What are the key factors that will impact what your radon mitigation system ends up costing? Here are several of the most important to consider.

Home Size and Layout

First and foremost, the cost of your radon mitigation system will be impacted by the size and layout of your home. Larger homes or those with more levels or a more complex layout will typically require a more sophisticated – and therefore, costly – system.

In addition, a major consideration here will be whether or not your home has a basement. If so, this will open up more potential system approaches that can be used, which may help to keep costs down.

Another consideration here: Whether or not your home has a crawl space. Crawl spaces will require an airtight vapor barrier to prevent any radon that enters the home from further traveling upwards. Again, this can be done effectively with a cost-effective system for many homes, but it will depend on your particular situation.

Geographic Location and Climate

It’s also important to note that your geographic location and climate can play a role in the cost of a radon mitigation system. Some locations may have naturally occurring high concentrations of radon, while others may not. In addition, some areas of the country are more prone to extreme weather conditions like heavy rains or snowfall, which can impact the effectiveness of some system components – and therefore, the overall cost.

Foundation Type

Generally speaking, there are three foundation types out there — and which your home has may impact the cost of your radon mitigation. Here are these types:

  • Below-grade slab: This type typically refers to homes with basements. For radon mitigation in these settings, a sump pump hole or drilled hole will typically be used to allow for PVC pipe insertion and radon removal directly below the concrete slab.
  • On-grade slabs: An on-grade slab is generally found in homes without basements. In this case, a suction pit is usually dug next to the foundation wall to allow for pipe insertion and radon removal.
  • Crawlspaces: As we touched on before, if your home has a crawlspace, an airtight vapor barrier will likely be required in addition to other system components. In this case, the vapor barrier will be installed under the concrete slab.

System Type

There are two primary forms of radon mitigation systems used today:

  • Depressurization: The most common form, a depressurization system will use negative pressure to pull radon out of the ground and away from your home.
  • Lower-level pressurization: Working in coordination with a vacuum, and typically requiring an airtight home (or close), this system will push radon through a vent and out of the home.

Equipment Used

Another important factor to keep in mind when evaluating costs for your radon mitigation system is the equipment used. As you can imagine, more complex or sophisticated systems will usually cost more.

Let’s explore some of the primary types of equipment used:

  • PVC piping: This type of piping is generally one-inch thick and runs horizontally through crawlspaces and basements. It’s then connected to a fan that pulls the radon-laden air from under the home and vents it outside.
  • Sealants: In order for a radon mitigation system to be effective, all openings or cracks in your foundation must be sealed. This is typically accomplished with a polyurethane or epoxy sealant.
  • Sub-slab depressurization fans: While there are a variety of fans out there that can be used for radon mitigation, this particular type is typically installed under the slab at the lowest point of your home and helps to pull radon from beneath the home.

Labor and Permit Considerations

In some cases, the actual installation of your radon mitigation system may be included in its overall cost. However, this isn’t always the case – and it’s important to inquire about labor charges upfront so there are no surprises later on.

Additionally, some municipalities will require a permit for any type of home renovations – and this may include the installation of a radon mitigation system. The cost of the permit will obviously be passed on to you, so it’s something to keep in mind. Permit fees won’t usually be too expensive, luckily, typically ranging from about $20 up to $150 depending on your location.

Warranty

Depending on the type of radon mitigation system you have installed in your home, it may come with a warranty. Typically, these warranties will range from one to three years, and if the equipment becomes damaged or malfunctions during this time, repairs or part replacements will likely be covered. You’ll just need to ensure that the company who installs your radon mitigation system and the manufacturer of the equipment are both reputable to ensure your warranty is valid.

When it comes to searching for a radon mitigation system that fits your needs, there’s a lot to consider. By being familiar with some of these cost factors beforehand, you can save yourself time and hassle while narrowing down your options in this department.

For more on this, or to learn about any of our radon testing or radon mitigation solutions, speak to the team at Absolute Radon Safety today.

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.

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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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