What is one of the most dangerous long term effects of a Basement Renovation?

By | Home Improvement, Radon, Renovation | No Comments

The simple answer is exposure to radon gas, which is the 2nd leading cause of lung cancer in the United States.

The bigger question is why. There is a variety of answers to that question so we’ll provide some background.

Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that can cause lung cancer according to the EPA. Radon gas is inert, colorless and odorless. Radon is naturally in the atmosphere in trace amounts. Outdoors, radon disperses rapidly and, generally, is not a health issue. Most radon exposure occurs inside homes, schools, and workplaces.

Radon is a soil gas that is formed from the Polonium and Uranium in the soil around your home that tends to seep through the imperfections in your basement retaining wall. Imper

fections may include plumbing or electrical penetrations through below-grade walls that aren’t sealed properly, cracks in slab floor or below grade walls, and possibly an unsealed sump. It is recommended to test for radon before and after the renovation project to assess whether the radon level is higher than the EPA recommends.

To learn more or to join our BREATHE HEALTHY Initiative, visit  Request a copy of our BREATHE HEALTHY ebook.

Dr. Oz Talks Radon

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“Just because a home does not have a basement, does not mean they do not have radon. There is a major misconception that new construction with passive pipes, homes on slabs and homes with crawl spaces do not have radon. We have actually seen all three of these home types have higher radon levels than some with full basements.”
– Amanda Yeager, Radon Project Manager.

Reducing radon requires more than just sealing cracks in the foundation of a building. Caulking and sealing alone has actually proven to not be a reliable technique.

Years of extensive hands-on radon mitigation experience, research, and long-term studies of radon mitigation systems have formed proven mitigation techniques for any types of building such as homes, schools, and commercial facilities.

An active soil depressurization system is a reliable and cost-effective technique for reducing radon.

It pulls the radon gas from beneath the building and exhausts it above the roof far enough away that it will not reenter. Operating costs of this system are minor due to the low power consumption of the fan.

A plastic pipe is connected to the soil through a hole in a slab floor, a sump lid connection, or beneath a plastic sheet in a crawl space. A fan is attached inline with the pipe and continually exhausts the radon outdoors.

Shantel VanSanten Urges You to Test for Radon

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Shantel VanSanten, actress of the tv series Shooter and One Tree Hill, is a part of LUNG FORCE, the American Lung Association’s initiative that aims to unite women and their loved ones across the country to stand together for lung health and against lung cancer.

Shantel VanSanten

Shantel VanSanten

In 2013, VanSanten’s grandmother, Doris Dooymea, started experiencing respiratory issues, and was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer. She was a non-smoker. Seven months later, Dooymea passed away.

PEOPLE magazine recently published an interview with VanSanten where she states, “It left my family and I in a lot of confusion, and to our ignorance, we did not know that lung cancer was the number one cancer killer and that it could happen to anyone. We made the grave assumption that it could only happen to people who smoked.”

The interview goes on to explain that after her grandmother passed, VanSanten and her family looked for answers.

“We searched to understand what the cause was, and we found it was from radon poisoning, which was found in [her] basement.” – VanSanten.

“It’s preventable if you just educate yourself to test your home. You should test for radon before you move in and continue to test every five to seven years for radon.” – VanSanten.

You can read the full article here: Shantel VanSanten Wants You to Test Your Home for Lung Cancer-Causing Radon: 'It's Preventable'

Radon is estimated to cause about 21,000 lung cancer deaths in the U.S. each year. It is invisible, odorless, and tasteless causing it to be even more dangerous.

It can be a problem is old and new homes, drafty homes, insulated homes, homes with or without basements etc.… House construction, local geology, and construction materials are all factors that affect radon levels. The gas can seep up through cracks in walls and solid floors, construction joints, gaps in suspended floors and around service pipes, cavities inside walls, and even the water supply. Because radon follows the faults in the ground, home levels can vary greatly from house to house. One house may have a level of 2 while the neighbor’s house may be at 36.

Radon can be found all over the United States, but there are areas where the levels tend to be higher on average. The map below shows what parts of the U.S. are in what zone. Red being the highest levels.

Testing and mitigating is a simple solution for radon. Testing can let you know if there are high levels that need to be mitigated, or it can put your mind at ease knowing you have low levels. To mitigate, active radon systems pull the gas from the ground and release it above the house.

Testing and fixing radon levels can be life-saving. It’s never too late to reduce your risk of lung cancer.

Passive Radon Control Systems

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While there is no safe level of radon, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states that anything above 4 picocuries per liter (pCi/L) should be reduced.

A passive sub-slab depressurization system is designed to achieve lower sub-slab air pressure relative to indoor air pressure by use of a vent pipe routed through the conditioned space of a building and connecting the sub-slab area with outdoor air. Read More

Radon in New Design

By | Radon, Renovation | No Comments
It seems like new construction is popping up everywhere. New office buildings, new housing developments etc.…While designing these structures, professionals are taking into account potential problems they can physically see such as sloping land or nearby water.

But is anyone thinking about Radon?

Read More