Need to Lower Radon Levels? Learn About Our Radon Mitigation Systems
No level of radon is safe. After testing a home, if the result is anything higher than zero, a radon mitigation system is the best way to ensure the health and safety of one’s home and family.
These systems are designed to penetrate the foundation of the home, and a fan will create suction to pull the radon gas from the soils surrounding the house, and exhaust them up, into the air outside of the home where they can disperse, and no longer pose a threat. It is very important that your installation specialists tests to be sure they are getting a tight seal around the system, and that no other air leaks are entering the home, and allowing passage for radon gas through any channel other than the mitigation system.
The radon levels in a home can be tested and mitigated by MidAmerica Basement Systems, your local radon specialist in Illinois and Iowa. Contact us today for solutions to your home's radon problems.
How Radon Enters Your Home
As a gas, radon can enter any home through cracks, holes, or any other openings. In particular, radon enters homes through a process known as the stack effect, which practically sucks the gas right into the home.
Since the pressure inside the house is lower than the pressure outside the house, a vacuum is created. As the warm air rises, it makes its way out of the house and is then replaced by unconditioned air from the outside.
This air can then quickly begin to build up, especially when the weather gets cooler and windows (escape routes) are closed. In other words, the radon gets trapped. There could be a lot or a little, which is why every homeowner needs to test for radon and conduct frequent checkups.
Radon Test Results—What Do They Mean?
Radon is measured in picocuries per liter (pCi/L) and the smaller the number the safer you are. However, even what is considered small amounts of radon may not be all that safe. Regardless, most homes can be mitigated and the levels can be lessened to some degree.
As a standard, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has defined 4.0 pCi/L as the action level for any indoor environment. This means that a test reading 4.0 pCi/L and above needs to be mitigated and the radon levels need to be immediately reduced.
The EPA estimates .4 pCi/L as the national average for the outdoor air, while 1.5 pCi/L is the national average for the indoor air. Although these averages are seemingly quite low, even this 1.5 pCi/L could be problematic. When this amount is trapped within a home, it's far more concentrated than if it were outside.
The World Health Organization (WHO) claims that radon can be dangerous in any concentration, which is why radon reduction systems are so important. These systems constantly work to lower the radon levels in your home.
"Most radon-induced lung cancers occur from low-and-medium-dose exposures in people's homes. Radon is the second most significant cause of lung cancer after smoking in many countries," said Dr. Maria Neira of the WHO.
Experts at the EPA agree: "We know that radon is a carcinogen. This research confirms that breathing low levels of radon can lead to lung cancer," said Tom Kelly, the director of the EPA's Indoor Environments Division.
As long as your home is below 4.0 pCi/L, you should have some peace of mind. However, MidAmerica Basement Systems wants to do everything possible to get the radon levels as low as possible. Contact MidAmerica Basement Systems today for more information.
How to Better Understand Radon Levels
Maybe 10 pCi/L doesn't sound all that bad, so 4.0 pCi/L can't be a problem at all. In order to understand the number, you have to understand the measuring system. Let's compare some figures.
- 1 pCi/L is equal to 2.5 cigarettes a day.
- The radiation in a 4.0 pCi/L level of radon is equal to the radiation from 100 chest x-rays.
- Most hospitals actually only allow people to have four chest x-rays each year. That's .16 pCi/L per x-ray and .64 pCi/L a year. In other words, can you understand why the WHO has their action level at 2.7 pCi/L?