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.
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.
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.
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.