A naturally occurring gas that often leaches into homes through the foundation, Radon is produced by the breakdown of uranium in the soil. Odorless and colorless, radon is quite dangerous to humans at high concentrations, the second leading cause of lung cancer. Testing for radon in the home is important for the health of your family, and reasonably easy to do with a simple home radon testing kit. Should testing reveal an unacceptable level of radon in your home, a variety of radon reduction techniques can be used to correct the problem.
Radon reduction methods fall into two basic categories, one that prevents the seepage of radon into the home and another that reduces the radon level once the gas has entered. Radon reduction systems that prevent the gas from entering are the type most often recommended by the EPA
One example of a radon reduction technique that prevents radon from leeching into the home is soil suction. This method draws the radon gas from below the home and vents it into the air above the house through a venting pipe. There are four types of soil suction, depending upon the style of foundation that is present in the home. These are subslab suction, drain tile suction, sump hole suction, and block wall suction.
Any of these four types of systems can be either active or passive. Active soil suction uses a fan, connected to the venting pipes, to draw radon from beneath the house and through the system to dissipate safely into the air. Passive soil suction relies upon air currents to draw radon through the system. Active soil suction is the most commonly used of the two, as it is more effective and reliable for radon reduction.
Perhaps the most important factor in effective radon reduction is the choosing of a good contractor to handle the job. Your contractor should be state certified in radon mitigation, ensuring the technical skills and knowledge necessary to install a safe and effective radon reduction system. Be sure to get several estimates for comparison and ask for and check references. Once you have secured your qualified contractor and the work is underway, you can look forward to breathing easier in your home, free of the worry of radon gas contamination.
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