Learn how to identify and eliminate deadly radon gas from your basement.
If you own a home, you should be worried about Radon. I don’t mean to scare you, but Radon is incredibly dangerous. Radon is a colorless, odorless radioactive gas found in many parts of the country and is harmful to your health. Though it is invisible, it is far from harmless. Radon is actually a leading cause of lung cancer, even for non-smokers! For smokers, it’s even worse. Radon is not something to take lightly and should be handled as quickly as possible.
Radon is a colorless, odorless gas that is common and extremely hazardous to your house. Depending on where you live, Radon might be in your house right now! That’s a problem you need to handle as soon as possible. I’m not exaggerating when I say that Radon is dangerous. Studies have shown that Radon gas leads to lung cancer in both smokers and even non-smokers. If your home has Radon gas in it, you’re health could be at risk. Needless to say, it’s best to prevent Radon from getting into your home.
If you’re a homeowner, you know how much it takes to keep your home functional and safe. From waterproofing to regular maintenance, keeping your home in its best shape can be quite a task. While most homeowners take great pains to keep their homes maintained and up to date on repairs, something that too many forget about is the very real danger of Radon gas.
Radon is a colorless and odorless gas found in many homes all over the world. Radon is extremely harmful and causes a whole host of health problems. Your health can be greatly affected by Radon, including increased chance of lung cancer, even in non-smokers. Suffice to say, counteracting the harmful effects of Radon is incredibly important.
Your home needs protected from all types of outside threats. Harsh weather, basement flooding, and gradual decay all threaten your home on a regular basis. If you own your home, you know the importance of safeguarding your home from the outside world. But there’s another threat to you home that needs addressed.
What is Radon?
Radon is a colorless, odorless radioactive gas that is found in many homes in the United States and Canada. The gas is the result of decay of uranium in the soil, which makes its way into your home through your basement, with devastating results.
Where you live can make all the difference and housing options are becoming as diverse as people themselves. One form of housing that is unique and quite interesting is the tiny house. While living space in the average American home has gone up, so have home costs. While the average home is growing larger, some have decided to reverse that trend and choose a smaller living area. In the era of the “McMansion”, some are looking to live smaller have joined the tiny house movement.
What is a Tiny House?
A tiny house refers to a house less than 1,000 sq. ft. The average single family new home is 2,662 sq. ft. and the tiny house movement is attempting to counter that with smaller houses that take up less space and are less taxing on the environment. A tiny house is simply a house that has small space and big possibilities.
The Advantages of a Tiny House
These types of houses have many advantages over traditional housing, from personal preferences to environmental concerns. (more…)
A basement is an area in many homes that can be used for a multitude of purposes. But an unprotected basement can be a disaster for your home, leading to water damage, mold, mildew, and other issues that can be extremely costly. For this reason, preventing damage to your basement is an important part of keeping your home safe and strong. So here are some ways for you to prevent basement damage.
Inspect your basement for signs of flooding. Look for efflorescent remnants of previous flooding, which will show up as chalky white lines. If you see these lines, your basement has definitely flooded before. If your basement has flooded before, take appropriate steps to waterproof your basement walls and floor. (more…)
Radon gas is a serious issue and should be a concern to any homeowner. An issue this serious needs to be dealt with quickly and effectively. But just like any other home improvement, there are a multitude of methods available to seemingly accomplish the same goal. Radon mitigation systems are used to lessen the threat of Radon gas to your home. But with so many methods and systems out there, how do you know which one works the best? What are the differences between these systems?
The first thing to understand is that there are different methods of Radon mitigation, each with their own advantages and shortcomings. Knowing each method and its effectiveness can help you make an intelligent, informed decision. That’s why we have written this post to let you know the different types of Radon mitigation so you can better understand which one is best for your home.
A fan-based mitigation system is when a pipe is installed in the basement sub-slab and leads to an electric fan that vents the Radon gas safely to the outside. This method works best if the air can move easily under the basement slab. With a fan-based system, you can expect typical Radon reduction between 80 and 99%, depending on conditions. The system is installed by a contractor and can cost from $800 to over $2,500 depending on the contractor and your home needs. The cost of operating the system is between $75 and $175 annually.
Many other types of Radon mitigation systems exist to variable rates of success (25-95%). Most use some sort of fan, but their method of carrying Radon gas out of the home varies. What all these systems have in common is they work to mitigate (or lessen) Radon gas in your home. What sets SANI-TRED apart is that it doesn’t mitigate Radon gas, it eliminates it. SANI-TRED with RadonShield™ eliminates over 99% of harmful Radon gas without the need for costly installation or higher utility costs. By simply applying SANI-TRED products to your basement walls and floor, you are not only getting a permanent waterproof seal, you’re also blocking out harmful Radon gas. SANI-TRED can do both for much less than any two systems you can purchase to do the same exact thing. SANI-TRED ensures that your basement is both waterproof and safe from toxic Radon gas. No other single product on the market can make that claim.
When considering how to deal with Radon gas in your home, think about what is best for you and your family. Some methods just mitigate Radon and use fans to lessen the amount in your home. SANI-TRED eliminates virtually all Radon gas while simultaneously keeping your basement waterproof. When deciding what is best for your home, consider exactly what you’re buying. You can choose a costly system that mitigates Radon, an incredibly cheap system that doesn’t protect you from Radon much at all, or a proven product like SANI-TRED that is not only affordable, but effective at eliminating Radon from your home.
Myth 1: Scientists are not sure that radon really is a problem.
Fact: Although some scientists dispute the precise number of deaths due to radon, all the major health organizations (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Lung Association, the American Medical Association, the World Health Organization) agree that Radon is responsible for 15,000 to 22,000 lung cancer deaths per year and represent as much as 15% of all lung cancer cases annually. The risk is much higher for those who smoke.
Myth 2: Radon testing is difficult, time-consuming and expensive.
Fact: Radon testing is actually quite easy. You can hire professionals to come to your home or you can perform the test yourself. You can buy readily available tests virtually any hardware, home improvement, or even big box store. Testing is easy and affordable, with most tests costing less than $25. Either approach takes only a small amount of time and effort. Here you can find the Consumer Reports tests of radon kits.
Long-term tests do require 90 days to complete, but are often as simple as setting up the testing container, continuing on with your life, then mailing the testing equipment to a lab (where they do all the hard work). Simple as that. While both short-term (24 hours) and long-term (at least 90 days) tests do exist, it is commonly found that long-term tests are more accurate and should probably be used to detect Radon gas.
If you’re not sure how to perform a home Radon test, there are numerous online “How To’s” like this to help you:
Myth 3: Homes with radon problems can’t be fixed.
Fact: This is simply not true. Radon problems can be fixed by professionals who know how to lessen the amount of Radon gas in your home (Radon exists in some houses at acceptable levels of 0.4 pCi/L, but should not exceed this). Some contractors use Radon Gas Mitigation, which uses a fan to vent the existing Radon gas outside the house so it won’t be trapped indoors where it causes health problems. Such mitigation systems can be costly (around $1,000 for a day’s work) and do not eliminate Radon Gas. They simply vent it to the outside, assuming that they’re able to properly seal the basement in the first place. Sani-Tred PermaFlex can not only waterproof your basement, but it also mitigates your Radon levels without the need for expensive installation, fans, or questionable waterproofing. Tests have shown that a normal Sani-Tred installation have Radon levels much lower (0.2 pCi/L) than houses left untreated.
Myth 4: Radon affects only certain kinds of homes.
Fact: Radon can be a problem in homes of all types: old, new, drafty, insulated, homes with and without basements. Local geology, construction materials, and how the home was built are among the factors that can affect radon levels in homes. Fact is Radon exists in every state and all over the world and you’re better off testing your home just to be sure. If Radon is within a safe level, then you have peace of mind. If it shows elevated levels, then you need to fix the problem before it begins to effect your health. Don’t get into the mindset that it can’t happen to you. Test your house and know for sure.
Myth 5: Radon is only a problem in certain parts of the country.
Fact: Although Radon is more common in certain parts of the country, high Radon levels have been found in every state. Yes, even yours. Radon problems do vary from area to area, but the only way to know your radon level is to test.
Myth 6: A neighbor’s test result is a good indication of whether you have a problem.
Fact: It’s not. Radon levels can vary greatly from home to home. The amount of Radon leaking in to your home is the result of the conditions and structural composition unique to your home. Your neighbor’s house doesn’t have your basement or your building materials, so your neighbor’s house has no real bearing on whether or not your house has a Radon problem. The only way to know if your home has a radon problem is to test it.
Myth 7: Everyone should test their water for radon.
Fact: While radon gets into some homes through water, it is important to first test the air in the home for radon. If your water comes from a public water supply that uses ground water, call your water supplier. If high radon levels are found and the home has a private well, call the Safe Drinking Water Hotline at (800) 426-4791 for information on testing your water. Radon gas entering the home through the air is much more common and should be the first priority.
Myth 8: It’s difficult to sell homes where radon problems have been discovered.
Fact: No it’s not. More and more Americans are educating themselves about the effects of Radon and are becoming more conscious of the threat it poses. Many homebuyers are paying attention to EPA guidelines and are looking for homes that have been tested for Radon gas. Many prospective homebuyers will either expect a Radon test to have been completed or request one before putting down an offer. It would not be good to lose out on a $60,000 home sale because you didn’t perform a minor repair. It’s best to perform a Radon gas test and fix the issue before a small repair costs you big.
Myth 9: I’ve lived in my home for so long, it doesn’t make sense to take action now.
Fact: That’s actually worse. Radon gas is a known carcinogen responsible for 15,000-22,000 lung cancer deaths per year and makes up as much as 15% of lung cancer cases annually. A smoker exposed to Radon gas over an extended period of time has a 10-20x greater chance of developing lung cancer. But this doesn’t only effect smokers as more than 10% of Radon-related lung cancer cases are NON-smokers.
Many different conditions factor in to determining the risk of Radon-related lung cancer, including age during exposure, DURATION of exposure, concentration of Radon, smoking, and time spent in areas of concentration. Knowing this, the argument that you’ve been in your home for so long so there’s no need to test for Radon is outright foolish. If you do have a Radon problem in your home, it’s best you correct it now before you expose yourself to it any more and furthering your risk for lung cancer.
Myth 10: Short-term tests can’t be used for making a decision about whether to fix your home.
Fact: Short-term tests can be used to decide whether to reduce a home’s high radon levels. However, the closer the short-term testing result is to 4 pCi/L (pico Curies per Liter), the less certainty there is about whether the home’s year-round average is above or below that level. A long-term test is suggested to get a better overall view of the amount of Radon in your home, but a short-term test could be a good indicator of whether a long-term test is needed in the first place.
Keep in mind that radon levels below 4 pCi/L still pose some risk and that radon levels can be reduced to 2 pCi/L or below in most homes. This level can be reduced further with Sani-Tred.
Indoor air pollution is often the culprit behind allergic reactions, nausea, headaches, and even heart disease. Exposure to mold, radon, and chemical emissions can affect your health long term. The risks are higher among people who spend the majority of their time indoors. It is estimated that more than four million people die prematurely from diseases caused by indoor air pollutants. Cleaning up the air in your home can improve your overall health and ward off diseases.
Indoor Air Pollution Can Kill You
The side effects of indoor air pollution go beyond allergies and general discomfort. Most people develop eye irritations, respiratory diseases, dizziness, sore throat, vomiting, rapid heartbeat, fever, and chills. Inhaling or touching mold can cause watery eyes, rashes, pneumonia, and lethargy. Radon has been linked to an increased risk of lung cancer, leukemia, respiratory lesions, and DNA damage. Secondhand smoke may lead to asthma attacks, stroke, cancer, and coronary heart disease.
Most people feel better after removing the air pollutants. However, asbestos and other chemicals can cause deadly diseases that show up much later. In rare cases, indoor air pollution may trigger breathing difficulties, hearing loss, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and stroke. If you’re feeling tired and have low energy, allergies, and recurring infections, check the air quality in your home.
Ways to Improve Indoor Air Quality
The first thing you should do is to identify the air pollutants affecting your health. These may include animal dander, house dust mites, gas stoves, solvents, phthalates, or cleaning agents. Clean up your house using a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter. If possible, replace conventional household products with non-toxic, organic cleaning products.
Open the windows a few times a day to keep fresh air circulating. Consider using an air purifier and a humidifier. Replace the filters in your heating system regularly to get rid of dust and airborne particles. Use pure essential oils or diffusers instead of commercial air fresheners. These simple lifestyle changes can help reduce indoor air pollution and boost your overall health.
Hidden Sources of Indoor Air Pollution
Some of the obvious indoor air pollutants such as house dust mites, stoves etc., should already be on your radar, but have you ever considered your cookware or showerhead?
There are many “hidden” pollutants in the home that most homeowners overlook or just unaware of the pollutants it holds.
The showerhead is one of the notorious sources of pollution. It is estimated that you can absorb 100 times more chlorine in a 10-minute shower than drinking a gallon of that same water. It is recommended that not only do you put a filter on your drinking water but your shower water as well to minimize absorption. Without a filter, toxic chlorine will become airborne throughout the home.
The carpet may feel nice between the toes but it’s a bad choice in regards to protecting indoor air quality. The fibers trap dander and dust triggering allergy and asthma attacks. The most beneficial way of getting rid of harmful dust would be damp-mopping hardwood or bamboo floors however if you still want carpet, choose Green Label Products, which are said to contain lower VOC levels.
The Sani-Tred Solution
Sani-Tred blocks mold causing moisture and 99% of radon a radioactive gas that is present in homes worldwide and is responsible for 21,000 cancer deaths in the US annually. The University of Wisconsin lab tested Sani-Tred and found it effective at blocking 99% of Radon from entering homes in addition to it’s permanent waterproofing effects. Call 1-866-784-3308 or visit http://sanitred.com/radon-gas-elimination/ to learn more.