Radon lacks color and odor, and it occurs here in Alabama. Other parts of the U.S. may consistently have higher levels than we do, but because of the unexpected ways it surfaces, radon still causes concerns for Alabamans.
Radon is responsible for more than 25,000 lung cancer deaths per year. Very few people in the South truly understand its dangers. This is unfortunate, as it is a serious matter and a class A carcinogen. The only cause of more lung cancer deaths is smoking. You have a high risk of lung cancer if you smoke in a home with high radon levels.
Radon gas comes from uranium’s natural decay in rock, soil, and water. The particles travel from the ground into the air and can enter through cracks and holes in your home or business’s drain pipes, floors, and foundations. And just because your neighbor doesn’t have elevated radon levels doesn’t mean that no one else in the neighborhood has radon concerns.
Because you can’t see, taste, or smell radon, the only way to know if your home has radon is to test for it. And testing is easy. We have two methods to test for radon. Short-term testing is done for 2-90 days, and long-term testing is done for more than 90 days. A short-term charcoal diffusion test from BIOSWEEP of Alabama will run $75. This is a reasonably accurate test for initial discovery. Some of our local home inspectors can do a more precise CRM test (continuous radon monitor). If levels are elevated, you can take a long-term test or another short-term test if results are needed quickly. Also, if your initial short-term test result is high, you should take a short-term follow-up test rather than a long-term one.
Experts measure radon in picocuries per liter (pCi/L). You should mitigate radon in your home if your level is at or above 4 pCi/L.
Reducing radon in your home can be done in several ways. The primary remediation method is a vent pipe and fan. These pull radon from beneath the house and vent it outside. This system, known as the sub-slab depressurization system, needs no significant changes to your home. You can seal foundation cracks and other openings to make this pipe and fan system more effective and cost-efficient. We can install similar systems in crawl spaces. Your home and other factors will determine which plan is right for you.
After mitigation, you should test your home again to make certain radon levels have been reduced. Some systems include a monitor that will indicate whether the system is operating correctly. It’s a good idea to retest your home every two years to ensure radon levels remain low.
Contact us at BIOSWEEP of Alabama and Healthy Homes Restoration for more information.