How Radon is Reduced – Birmingham, Alabama

How Radon Reduction in Birmingham

If your home is among the more than 10 percent of those in Birmingham, Alabama, and the surrounding Jefferson County area that have abnormally high levels of radon, reducing the amount of the gas in the air is vital to protecting the health of your family. Rather than trying to eliminate radon that’s already entered homes, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends that Birmingham homeowners use mitigation systems that prevent radon from ever getting inside.

Radon Reduction Through Soil Suction

Radon Reduction BirminghamThe most common method for radon reduction in Birmingham is the soil suction technique. This method is effective because much of the radon in the Birmingham area is due to the presence of radium from decaying uranium in the ground. The soil suction technique uses a vent fan under the house to pull the radon downward. Pipes then carry the gas out of the home, where it mixes with the outdoor air and no longer poses a threat. Several systems are available for soil suction radon mitigation. The type that is right for your Birmingham home depends mainly upon its foundation type.

Benefits of Soil Suction

The benefit of soil suction radon mitigation systems is that they require only minimal modifications to your existing home. An efficient system can have a profound effect upon radon levels in Birmingham homes, even those that are decades old. The Alabama Cooperative Extension reports that most properly installed mitigation systems lower radon levels to below the EPA’s recommended guideline of 4.0 picoCuries per Liter.

Cracks in concrete blocks and foundations also contribute to the presence of radon in Birmingham homes and occur primarily due to changes in moisture levels and temperature. Unfortunately, Birmingham’s humid subtropical climate makes cracks common. The city receives more than 103 inches of precipitation per year, which can build up in the soil and weaken concrete. Year round, temperatures can differ by an average of 20 to 25 degrees Fahrenheit from daytime to night, putting an additional strain on concrete foundations.

Repairing cracks in concrete, spaces in brick veneers and loose pipefittings all help reduce the amount of radon in Birmingham homes; however, the EPA does not recommend fixing these problems as the sole method of radon reduction. Rather, Birmingham homeowners should make repairs to enhance the effects of soil suction systems or other radon reduction techniques.

Proper Ventilation For Radon Reduction

Opening the windows and doors for ventilation is also not adequate to reduce radon gas levels in Birmingham homes. Although fresh air dilutes the amount of radon present in the air you breathe, studies show that this only temporarily improves air quality. Radon levels typically return to their former levels within 12 hours after doors and windows are closed.

Because many factors contribute to choosing the best design for a radon reduction mitigation system in your Birmingham home, you should enlist the help of a professional. A qualified radon reduction contractor can help you determine what method of radon mitigation is ideal for you.