Archive for June, 2012
Radon is a serious threat to virtually anyone in the world. In and around Birmingham, Alabama, however, the problem can be particularly prevalent. Radon is a naturally occurring gas generated by radioactive elements found naturally in the soil beneath homes all over the United States. Radon is completely undetectable by sight, taste or smell. This means that a person could be exposed to radon and never know it until their health was negatively affected. Radon can only be detected by testing the air quality in the home. Testing is crucial because radon has been known to cause cancer when a person is exposed to it at high levels. If high levels of radon have been detected in your home, it is time to call a radon abatement specialist from SWAT Environmental.
Radon Abatement Specialists
If you have tested your home and found that it contains high levels of radon gas, the next step is to have SWAT Environmental’s radon abatement specialists determine how best to handle the problem. These specialists are highly trained in radon mitigation and reduction techniques and know how to effectively design a plan to reduce the levels of radon without exacerbating the situation.
Radon is created in the soil underneath the home and usually enters because of cracks in the foundation, gaps between the foundation and walls, spaces between the basement and slab and openings around the plumbing pipes. Once radon does get inside the home, the problem is further aggravated by inadequate ventilation, which prevents the radon-infested air from being diluted with clean pure air. A radon abatement specialist is trained in determining how the radon gas is entering your home — and, of course, in how to prevent it.
The Steps in the Radon Abatement Process
The first thing a radon abatement specialist will do is find and seal all the cracks by which the radon gas is getting inside. This will not solve the entire radon problem in the house, however. The specialist will also need to devise a reduction system to pump the radon out of the home and to increase ventilation to replace it with clean, fresh air. After determining the most efficient radon abatement plan for your home, the specialist will permanently install it to ensure that your home stays free of radon gas and its ill effects.
There are several methods by which radon gas levels in a home can be reduced. The first method is by sucking the radon directly from the soil and pumping it through a pipe that exits above the roof. The idea behind this method is to pull radon from its source, the soil, and pump it out to the exterior air where it can be diluted outside your home. Another common method is to increase ventilation in the home through the use of an HRV. Other methods may be used in some cases as well; relying on SWAT’s experience and expertise ensures that your family is properly protected, no matter what the necessary radon abatement system.
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What You Should Know About Radon Levels in Birmingham, Alabama
Knowing exactly what the radon levels are in the Birmingham area and in your home specifically can potentially be very important to your health. Radon is a gas that is created by decomposing uranium. Uranium is naturally found in the soil and starts to decay after many years, slowly releasing radon gas when it does. This radon gas is one of the leading causes of lung cancer. If you are a smoker as well then you are in for some bad news. The chemicals released by smoking cigarettes have been found to mix with radon gas in your lungs, increasing your chances for lung cancer even further.
Guidelines for Safe Radon Levels
So what is a safe or acceptable level of radon gas? Ideally, of course, your home would contain none at all, but even the outdoor air contains a small amount of radon. Very low radon levels are not harmful, but the more radon in your home the higher your risk of developing lung cancer. Nationally, the cutoff for acceptable radon levels is considered 4.0 pCi/L. This does not mean that this amount of radon is exactly safe but it does have a low chance of causing lung cancer. If the entire world’s indoor radon levels were reduced to 2.0 pCi/L it is estimated that cancer deaths that are linked to radon would be reduced by 50 percent.
Typical Radon Levels in Birmingham
The radon levels in the Birmingham region vary by quite a bit, generally falling somewhere between 2.0 and 4.0 pCi/L. This means some places might be relatively safe but most places are on the high side; therefore, you should check your home’s radon levels on a regular basis. You can use home radon testing kits to do so if you wish, or you can hire SWAT Environmental to perform faster, more accurate and more high-quality professional radon test.
Dealing with Elevated Radon Levels
If your home’s radon levels are high then you should have the problem corrected as soon as possible. SWAT Environmental’s radon mitigation experts can handle this process for you. They will design and install a custom radon filtration system that will work best in your home to remove all radon levels that have built up inside it. In addition, SWAT Environmental’s experts will be able to track all means by which the radon gas is finding its way into your house in the first place. Putting a stop to the gas’s entrance, along with installing a radon removal system, means you no longer need to worry about the possibility of health problems from radon gas.
Getting rid of high radon levels in your home is not as difficult as it sounds. If you live in the Birmingham region, you should have your house checked regularly to ensure that no radon problem arises. Checking now could potentially save your life in the future.