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Radon is a radioactive, odorless, colorless gas formed by the decay of radium in soil, water and natural gas. It has been named the number two cause of lung cancer, so the EPA has recommended that all homes get tested for the gas. It can seem like a daunting prospect but is something that should be done as quickly as possible.
The first step is to get your home tested by a professional to see if you have radon problems. If you do have radon, then they will be able to determine the severity of the problem.
It is not expensive to test for radon gas. There are home kits and sensors that you can install in the house. You will save money on a home kit, but the most effective way to perform the test is to have a professional company come into your home and do the testing. To help get the most effective reading, have them test everywhere. Also, do not open windows and doors to air out the house before testing. You may get deceivingly low levels of radon otherwise.
Sealing any gaps around utility pipes and cracks in basement floors and walls will help with radon problems. This level of removal will keep the cost to remove radon down. Sealing cracks in your foundation will also help with radon issues.
The next level of radon removal is to install a ventilation system. By using fans to draw air into the house, it forces the existing air to exit through windows and vents. This will keep the cost to remove radon low but can be tough during the colder months. A heat recovery ventilator can help with any heat loss issues.
Passive and active suction systems are a good option. Part of this comes through ventilation, but adding extra suction will increase the cost to remove radon. This can increase with the size of the home as well.
A sub-slab depressurization system can be installed. This entails installing vent pipes below basement floors. The cost to remove radon with a sub-slab system will be the most expensive but also the most effective system.
Ground water wells can also be tested for radon. If it's found in the well, then a water radon mitigation system will need to be installed.
Your radon removal system will need to be maintained every year to ensure it's still working, and you will need to keep up with testing for any remaining radon. This shouldn't increase the cost to remove radon by too much, but is necessary to keep radon out of your home.
If it turns out you have dangerously high levels of radon gas in your home, you will need to do some mitigation for safety. You may need to purchase a radon gas mitigation system that introduces a series of fans and filters in specific areas of your home.The system and its installation, although not incredibly expensive, will be similar to installing a central humidifier or air purifying system. This system is well worth the cost as it can keep you healthy and safe in the long-term.
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