Radon Defense Midwest Q&A
My neighbors house tested high for radon, does that mean mine will too?
Possibly, but not necessarily - there are many variables to consider. Radon levels fluctuate every hour of the day and from one home to the next due to many factors such as the amount of uranium, radium, thorium, and other radioactive elements in the soil and how quickly they are breaking down around the structure. The insulation of the home also has a lot to do with how concentrated the radon is, because a building that breathes will vent some of the radon, whereas a building that is well insulated traps air (and thusly radon) inside.
The only way to know a structure or home's radon level is to test.
Has anyone ever died from radon gas?
Overall, radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer. Radon is responsible for about 21.000 lung cancer deaths every year, and about 2,900 of these deaths occur among people who have never smoked.
Why is breathing in radon gas harmful?
Radon decay particles are radioactive and attach to particles in the air we breathe in our homes. Once breathed in, the radon decay particles transform our lung tissue, and over a long period of time may cause lung cancer. The higher the level and the longer the peroid of exposure, the greater the risk will be.
Can you cheat a radon test?
With basic charcoal test kits, it is fairly easy to cheat a radon test. Follow the instructions provided carefully to avoid inaccurate results.
When using a CRM test, a licensed professional can tell if a CRM has been moved or tampered with when they see the report.
How long do radon tests take?
Short term radon tests last from 48-96 hours. Long term radon tests can last from 30 days to a year.
How is a radon test performed?
The U.S. Office of Surgeon General, E.P.A., and Health Canada all recommend testing your home's radon levels every 2 years at the least.
The best approach to perform a radon test is a professionally calibrated radon monitor, such as a CRM Test, set by a licensed and trained specialist. These tests show hour by hour data, giving a better picture of the radon story happening in the home within just a few days. Reach out to our team for more information if you're interested in scheduling such a test.
Other options for testing include D.I.Y. charcoal radon test kits which you can purchase through us with our third party lab partner, Alpha Energy. This process usually takes a few weeks, and provides you with an average level of radon present in the home. Charcoal kits may also be found at your local hardware store.
How do I test for radon inside my home?
Be sure to set up the radon test in the lowest livable (unfinished or finished) space of your home, in the middle of the room, at least 2 feet off the floor, and where no drafts will blow over it from a fan, vent, or doorway. Closed home conditions (keeping windows and doors closed as much as possible) is necessary for proper testing.
Charcoal radon test kits may be purchased through us with our certified third party lab partner, Alpha Energy. The kit comes with clear instructions from Alpha Energy Labs. We'll mail the kit directly to you, and after testing, you'll mail the kit to Alpha Energy for the assessment and they provide you and us with the results. This process usually takes 1-3 weeks. Testing kits can also be found at your local hardware store.
You may hire us to perform a professional grade CRM Test. CRM stands for Continuous Radon Monitoring Test and does just that - monitors radon continuously throughout its set period. With this test, there is radon level data recorded every hour of the day, and then an average level is calculated. The test is not much larger than a piece of toast, and we have our licensed professionals set it according to the structure of your home. CRMs run for a minimum of 52 hours, so this process usually takes 3-4 days. We come back to assess the results and print off the report for you to keep. If levels are elevated, we can also discuss mitigation options and costs with you at that time.
Are homes in Nebraska being repaired due to radon gas exposure?
It is likely that many homes in Nebraska have been repaired or mitigated to reduce radon gas exposure. In fact, the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services recommends that all homes in the state be tested for radon and mitigated if necessary.
Can you mitigate radon yourself?
The EPA has recommended that a licensed professional install a system in your home per state regulations.
Do electronic air filters help in reducing radon?
Electronic air filters can help reduce the amount of radon in the air, but they are not specifically designed to remove radon.
Electronic air filters work by using an electrical charge to trap particles, such as dust and allergens, as they pass through the filter. While radon gas is also a type of particle, it is an inert gas and does not typically adhere to surfaces, so it is not easily trapped by electronic air filters.
Does radon have a foul odor?
In some cases, however, radon can be associated with a foul odor. This is usually because radon is produced by the decay of uranium and other radioactive elements in the soil, and these elements can sometimes produce odorous compounds. For example, radon gas may be associated with a sulfur-like smell, as it can be produced by the decay of sulfur-containing compounds in the soil.
Does radon have an odor?
No, radon cannot be smelled.
Does radon mitigation really work?
Yes! While its impossible to mitigate radon entirely down to level 0 pCi/L, our systems move radon gas out of the home and remove radon to a level that is as low as possible.
Does the ozone layer help reduce radon?
The ozone layer does not directly reduce radon levels in the atmosphere. Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that is produced by the decay of uranium in soil, rock, and water. Radon can enter buildings and homes through cracks in the foundation and other openings.
How do I choose a radon mitigation company?
We recommend looking for a trusted company with good reviews, and gathering recommendations from family and friends. Be sure the mitgiation teams are licensed, full time employees rather than independent contractors. Here are a few key questions to ask to weed out a headache of a radon mitigation project:
Does the company design their radon mitigation systems based on the structure of home and the customer's needs? (Do they consider extraction point and fan placement and how that will effect your home and quality of living?)
What kind of warranty do they offer on the levels and radon fan? Do they offer a 10 year warranty?
Are they going to last for a while to provide service and any necessary warranty work?
How do you get rid of radon gas in your home?
Many people don't know there is more than one way to mitigate radon. The most common method is depressurization, which involves an extraction point below the slab and an exhaust fan that pulls radon gas out from under and around the home, and redirects the radon up into the atmosphere where it can safely decompose. While there are different ways to mitigate, only one way is currently recognized by state regulation and that is depressurization.
Gather estimates and decide what kind of system you're looking for. We recommend choosing a state licensed and trained professional that understands the codes and regulations of the area in which you live.
How do you install a radon mitigation system?
Installing a radon mitigation system typically involves the following steps:
1. Conduct a radon test: The first step in installing a radon mitigation system is to conduct a radon test to determine the level of radon in the indoor air. This test can be performed by a professional radon testing service or by using a do-it-yourself radon test kit.
2. Determine the appropriate mitigation system: Based on the radon test results, a qualified radon mitigation contractor will determine the appropriate type of mitigation system to install. The type of system will depend on factors such as the size and layout of the building, the level of radon present, and other factors.
3. Install the system components: The mitigation system typically includes several components, such as a suction point, piping, a fan, and a vent. These components are installed by cutting a hole in the foundation or slab, inserting the suction point and piping, and connecting them to the fan and vent.
4. Seal the system: It is important to seal any gaps or cracks in the foundation or slab to prevent radon from entering the building. The contractor may use a sealant or other materials to seal these areas.
5. Test the system: After the system is installed, the contractor will conduct a post-mitigation radon test to ensure that the system is working effectively and reducing radon levels to a safe level.
It is important to hire a qualified radon mitigation contractor to install the system, as improper installation can be ineffective and may even increase radon levels in the building. The contractor should be licensed and experienced in radon mitigation and should follow all relevant building codes and regulations.
How long does it take to install a radon system?
While it depends on the solutions for the structure of the home, a basic system can typically be installed in 2-3 hours, and more complex systems can take up to 1 day.
How long will the fan last?
The fan is mechanical so like any machine, with time it will age and eventually stop working. On average we’ve seen more modern fans last between 7-10 years. Our warranty guarantees 10 years on all parts, labor, and levels below 4 pCi/L.
How loud is a radon pump?
In general, most radon pumps are designed to operate at a relatively low noise level, typically between 30 and 50 decibels (dB) when measured at 6 feet. This is equivalent to the noise level of a quiet conversation or a refrigerator. However, the noise level can be affected by factors such as the age and condition of the pump, the type of housing or enclosure used to protect the pump, and the specific location of the pump.
How much does a system cost to run?
We use low voltage depressurization fans here at Radon Defense Midwest, because conserving energy for you and our planet is important to us. The electric cost to run fan 24/7 is about the same as running a 6o W light bulb. Radon fans typically run between 42-85 watts. Operating costs can be calculated by multiplying the device's wattage by the hours used per day, dividing by 1000, and multiplying by the kWh (per kilowatt hour) rate on the electric bill.
How much does it cost to put a radon system in?
A basic radon mitigation system starts around $1000 and goes up from there depending on the home’s unique needs. Can range from $800 - $1500+. As an indoor air quality company, our goal is to get radon as low as possible. We also include options to make your home healthy with different radon mitigation methods, duct cleaning, air purification and filtration, and ventilation.
How noisy is a working radon mitigation system?
The noise level of a radon mitigation system can vary depending on the type of system that is installed and the location of the fan.
Most radon mitigation systems use a fan to vent the radon gas from beneath the home to the outside, and the noise level of the fan can range from very low to moderate. In general, newer radon mitigation systems tend to be quieter than older systems, and some models are designed to operate at a low noise level.
The location of the fan can also impact the noise level of the system. If the fan is located outside of the home, it will typically be quieter than if it is located in the attic or other interior space.
It's important to note that while some noise may be generated by a radon mitigation system, it is typically not loud enough to cause a disturbance or be heard from inside the home. In most cases, the noise level is comparable to that of a refrigerator or a low-volume conversation.
How to know when it's time to replace the radon fan?
Radon mitigation fans are designed to operate continuously for several years, but over time they may become less effective due to wear and tear, clogging or other issues. The following are some signs that it may be time to replace the radon fan:
Increased radon levels: If you have a radon mitigation system installed, and you notice that radon levels have increased, it could be a sign that the fan is not functioning correctly. Radon levels should be monitored regularly, and any increase in levels should be investigated.
Unusual noise: If you hear unusual noises coming from the fan, it could be a sign that the fan is starting to wear out. Vibrations, grinding or squealing noises are all indications that the fan needs to be replaced.
High energy bills: If you notice a significant increase in your energy bills, it could be a sign that the fan is not functioning efficiently. The fan may be working harder than necessary to draw radon out of the house, which can lead to higher energy costs.
Age: Radon mitigation fans typically last between 5-10 years. If your fan is approaching or exceeding this lifespan, it may be time to consider replacing it.
If you suspect that your radon fan needs to be replaced, it's important to contact a qualified radon mitigation professional.
I have a sump system, how will that effect the radon system?
All radon entry points openings must be sealed for system effectiveness, including sump systems. We can utilize the sump pit in most cases for depressurization, and we also use sub slab and membrane extractions for depressurization depending on the home's unique design.
I tested my home for radon and the results are slightly high. What now?
There is no such thing as a safe radon level. 66% of radon induced lung cancer cases come from homes with levels less than 4.0 pCi/L (Center for Environmental Research and Technology, Inc aka CERTI). This is why our goal is always to get radon levels as low as possible.
Fix your home. Don't wait, mitigate.
I tested my house and results are slightly high... what now?
No level of radon is considered "safe", so we recommend having a licensed professional provide education and options for mitigation depending on your home's unique structure and your unique needs.
Is Radon Defense Midwest a recommended radon mitigation dealer in Omaha?
Yes, Radon Defense Midwest is highly known in Omaha as a top radon mitigation service provider. Their production team is licensed and well-trained to handle any radon concerns. They also specialize in Indoor Air Quality service regardless of if it is a commercial or residential construction. You can always contact them at 1-531-215-1222
Is the fan noisy and will it yellow?
The fan is a mechanical motor that produces sound, of which the level of noise is subjective to each individual. People have differing sound preferences based on their sound sensitivity. Our design specialists discuss the sound and placement of the radon exhaust fan is chosen based on each homeowner's unique needs. While we can’t change the mechanical noise, we do have options to address air flow noise such as our muffler and fan cover. Our fans don’t yellow over time as they are UV resistant.
Is there radon in every home?
Yes, radon is present in every structure: homes, schools, office buildings, grocery stores, libraries, etc. No level of radon is "safe".
The EPA strongly recommends considering radon mitigation if your home's level is over 2 pCi/L. (66% of radon induced lung cancer occurs within this range of 2 - 4 pCi/L.) They definitely encourage mitigation for any levels above 4 pCi/L. Outdoor natural exposure to radon is 0.4 pCi/L.
Should you buy a house with high radon levels?
Anyone can buy a house with high radon levels, but you will want to mitigate as soon as possible. You'll want to be careful as most radon contractors will put in a one extraction point system with a fan that may or may not mitigate effectively. The seller is concerned with cost and regulations, where the buyer is typically more concerned with air quality and who fixes the radon issue for their new home.
What are the symptoms of radon in your home?
Persistent cough, Hoarseness, Wheezing, Shortness of breath, Coughing up blood, Chest pain Frequent infections like bronchitis and pneumonia, Loss of appetite.
What do you do if your radon levels are high?
Give us a call, or send us an email, and we'll set up a time with you to provide a free estimate with all the methods of radon mitigation so that you can choose what is best for you and your home!
What does a radon mitigation gauge do?
A radon mitigation gauge, also known as a manometer, is a device that is used to monitor the performance of a radon mitigation system. The gauge measures the pressure differential between the suction point of the system and the ambient air pressure, which helps to determine if the system is operating effectively.
What happens in a radon mitigation inspection?
A radon mitigation inspection is an evaluation performed by a licensed radon mitigation contractor to determine the appropriate type of mitigation system to install and ensure that the system is properly installed and effectively reducing radon levels to a safe level. The inspection typically includes the following steps:
Radon testing: The contractor will first conduct a radon test to determine the level of radon in the indoor air. This test may be performed using a long-term or short-term test kit, or a continuous radon monitoring device.
Evaluation of the building: The contractor will evaluate the building to determine the appropriate type of mitigation system to install. Factors such as the size and layout of the building, the foundation type, and the level of radon present will be taken into consideration.
Design of the mitigation system: Based on the evaluation of the building, the contractor will design the mitigation system, including the placement of the suction point, piping, fan, and vent.
Installation of the system: The contractor will install the mitigation system components, including cutting a hole in the foundation or slab to insert the suction point and piping, and connecting them to the fan and vent.
Sealing of gaps and cracks: The contractor will seal any gaps or cracks in the foundation or slab to prevent radon from entering the building.
Post-mitigation testing: After the system is installed, the contractor will conduct a post-mitigation radon test to ensure that the system is effectively reducing radon levels to a safe level.
System operation check: The contractor will check the operation of the mitigation system, including the functioning of the fan, manometer, and other components.
The radon mitigation inspection is important to ensure that the system is properly designed, installed, and functioning effectively to reduce radon levels in the indoor air.
What is a Breathe EZ Air Cleaner?
Breathe EZ Air Cleaner is a brand of air purification system that is designed to clean and purify the air in indoor spaces. The air cleaner uses advanced filtration technology to remove harmful pollutants, allergens, and irritants from the air, including dust, pollen, mold spores, pet dander, smoke, and odors.
The Breathe EZ Air Cleaner typically utilizes a multi-stage filtration process that includes a pre-filter to capture larger particles, a HEPA filter to remove smaller particles, and an activated carbon filter to adsorb odors and chemicals. Some models also include additional features such as ionizers or UV-C light to further improve air quality.
What is a multifamily radon mitigation service?
A multifamily radon mitigation service is a service that is designed to reduce the levels of radon gas in multifamily buildings, such as apartment buildings or condominiums. Radon is a naturally occurring gas that can seep into buildings through cracks and gaps in the foundation, and it is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers.
Multifamily radon mitigation services typically involve the installation of a radon mitigation system, which includes a radon fan, piping, and other components. The specific design of the system will depend on the size and layout of the building, as well as the level of radon present.
What is a radon air purifier?
A radon air purifier is a type of air purification system that is designed to reduce radon levels in indoor air. Unlike traditional air purifiers, which use filters to capture airborne particles and pollutants, a radon air purifier uses a technology called "air exchange" to remove radon gas from indoor air.
Radon air purifiers work by drawing indoor air through the unit and venting it outside, while simultaneously pulling in outdoor air to replace the indoor air. This process is known as "air exchange" or "air turnover", and it is effective at reducing radon levels in indoor air by diluting the concentration of radon gas.
What is a sump pump cover seal for?
A sump pump cover seal is used to seal the cover of a sump pump basin. The sump pump is a device that is installed in the basement or crawlspace of a home to help prevent flooding by pumping out excess water that collects in the sump basin. The cover of the sump pump basin is designed to keep debris and other objects from falling into the basin and interfering with the operation of the pump. The sump pump cover seal is typically a gasket or sealant that is placed around the edge of the cover to create an airtight seal. This seal helps to prevent water, moisture, and radon gas from entering the basement or crawlspace through the gaps around the cover.
What is radon in real estate?
As of now, it is becoming more common to test homes for radon in real estate transactions, but it is not yet required by state or federal regulations. The buyers of home want to know that the home is healthy, and radon affects health. Sellers of home should take care of radon issue prior to selling for their own health. The radon industry relates to real estate transactions, but we’re different than the rest of the industry because we care about the health of the home and the homeowners that live there.
What is the difference between commercial and residential radon mitigation?
The main difference between commercial and residential radon mitigation is the scale and complexity of the systems required to address the radon issue.
Residential radon mitigation typically involves the installation of a single radon mitigation system in a single-family home or a small multi-family building. The system is designed to reduce radon levels to below the EPA-recommended action level of 4 picocuries per liter (pCi/L), and is typically installed in the basement or crawl space of the home. The system typically includes a radon fan, piping, and other components, and is relatively straightforward to install.
Commercial radon mitigation, on the other hand, involves larger and more complex systems that are designed to address the radon issue in larger commercial buildings such as office buildings, hospitals, schools, and other large-scale structures. The installation of these systems requires a higher level of expertise and coordination, as they may involve multiple systems installed in various parts of the building, as well as the integration of the system into the building's HVAC system. Commercial radon mitigation systems may also require ongoing monitoring and maintenance to ensure they are functioning properly.
What is the highest radon level?
The highest recorded level of radon in the USA was 2600 pCi/L in Boyertown, PA. Radon fluctuates every hour throughout the day, having peaks and valleys in levels in any given structure. Our team has seen levels in IA and NE anywhere between 0.4 – 295 pCi/l. Our protocols to design systems fix the home no matter the level.
What is the purpose of a radon exhaust fan?
The purpose of a radon exhaust fan is to reduce the levels of radon gas in a home or building. Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that can seep into homes and buildings through cracks in the foundation or other openings. Elevated levels of radon can pose a health risk, as radon exposure has been linked to an increased risk of lung cancer.
A radon exhaust fan is typically part of a radon mitigation system, which is designed to reduce the levels of radon gas in a home or building. The fan is installed in the attic or an exterior location, and it creates negative air pressure beneath the building's foundation. This negative pressure helps to draw radon gas out of the soil before it can enter the home, and the fan then vents the gas outside the home.
What should we do if a neighbor's radon fan is noisy?
If your neighbor's radon fan is noisy and is causing a disturbance, there are a few steps you can take:
Talk to your neighbor: The first step is to talk to your neighbor about the noise issue. Explain how the noise is affecting you and ask if there is anything they can do to reduce the noise level. They may be willing to install a quieter fan or relocate the fan to a different location.
Check local noise ordinances: Check your local noise ordinances to see if there are any regulations regarding noise levels. If the noise level exceeds the limit, you may be able to file a complaint with your local authorities.
Contact a radon mitigation professional: If the noise is due to a malfunctioning fan or an improperly installed system, it may be necessary for a radon mitigation professional to inspect the system and make repairs.
Install soundproofing: If the noise cannot be resolved through other means, you may need to install soundproofing in your home to reduce the impact of the noise.
It's important to approach the issue with your neighbor in a respectful and friendly manner. By working together, you may be able to find a solution that works for both of you.
What states have high radon?
Radon is present in every state of the USA. Levels naturally differ from state to state, and high levels have been recorded in all states. Iowa and Nebraska have some of the highest radon level averages in the country. For more information, refer to NCSL.org.
Where is radon most commonly found?
Radon is present outdoors and indoors. It is normally found in low levels (less than 0.4 pCi/L) in outdoor air, and when it is trapped indoors it increases in levels as it breaks down.
Who pays for radon remediation?
The homeowner is responsible for paying for their radon mitigation systems. We recommend fixing any radon issue for yourself while you're still living there, and the good news is, it will be taken care of already when you’re ready to sell!