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New Report Ranks Regional Risk of Radon-Induced Lung Cancer; Reveals Dangerously Undertested Regions 

Protect Environmental releases the second annual Radon Risk Index™ for the leading cause of environmental cancer mortality to empower communities with vital information to support radon-induced lung cancer prevention efforts. 

LOUISVILLE, KY. – (January 25, 2024) – Ranking regions by the known indoor radon results shows communities at higher risk for radon-induced lung cancer, highlighting the need for more awareness, increased testing, and inspiring improved risk reduction.  

Inhaling contaminated cancer-causing air is not a choice people knowingly make, but unfortunately too many people don’t test until they receive a devastating lung cancer diagnosis,” said Kyle Hoylman, chief executive officer of Protect Environmental. “That’s why we are providing this data analysis along with our interactive National Radon Risk Search™ tool to empower individuals and communities to take action and reduce their risk of radon-induced lung cancer.” 

The National Radon Risk Index™ index and the National Radon Risk Search™ tool pull from the company’s comprehensive database of radon test results, which represents more than 2.5 million data points compiled from sources, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as Protect Environmental’s internal testing data, to rank communities across the United States according to their radon risk. The index, which will be updated and published each January in support of National Radon Action Month, ranks communities using the following data points: (1) highest radon level recorded in a building tested within the community; (2) average radon level of all buildings tested within the community; (3) percentage of buildings tested with a radon level above the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) action level of 4.0 pCi/L within the community; and, (4) highest and lowest percentages of residential buildings characterized for radon risk within the community. 

The National Radon Risk Index™ provides the following insights into radon risk within communities across the United States: 

  • Highest radon level recorded in a building tested within the community: 7,879.3 pCi/L (Dallas County, TX) 
  • Highest average radon level of all buildings tested within the community: 53.8 pCi/L (Hinsdale County, CO) 
  • Highest percentage of buildings tested within the community with a radon level above the EPA’s action level of 4.0 pCi/L: 93.8% (Roosevelt County, MT) 
  • Highest percentage of residential buildings characterized for radon risk within the community: 10.974% (Johnson County, IA) 
  • Lowest percentage of residential buildings characterized for radon risk within the community: 0.003% (Hidalgo County, TX) 

Radon is a naturally occurring colorless, odorless, tasteless, radioactive gas that derives from the breakdown of Uranium. According to the EPA, exposure to the gas is responsible for the deaths of more than 21,000 persons in the United States each year, making it the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers, second overall to smoking for all lung cancer incidents. Radon migrates into buildings through preferential pathways, such as gaps, cracks, and crevices in the building foundation, where it can accumulate to unsafe levels. The only way to know if the occupants of a building are at risk is to test the building. If a problem exists, exposure can be mitigated using effective, efficient, and economical construction methods. 

“Our team spent months compiling one of the largest indoor radon result databases in the world and we’re excited to see this data at work empowering communities to take action and lead to life-saving decisions to reduce the risk exposure to the leading cause of environmental cancer,” said Austin Sipes, Protect Environmental software developer.  

The full rankings contained within the index are available on the company’s blog,The Green Scene. To better understand radon risk in communities across the United States, use the Protect Environmental National Radon Risk Search™ tool. 

To increase access to testing, Protect Environmental and the American Lung Association are partnering to provide no-cost professional radon testing for homeowners in high-risk regions. To encourage more testing nationwide during National Radon Action Month, discounted do-it-yourself radon test kits are also available through January.  

About Protect Environmental

Protect Environmental is a national leader in the environmental consulting and construction industry, focusing on radon and chemical vapor intrusion management. With a proven track record spanning 38 years and more than 200,000 completed projects in all 50 U.S. states and 2 U.S. territories, the company provides expert service from its trusted professionals to provide peace of mind protection to property owners seeking to build and maintain healthy, safe, and sustainable indoor environments. Join our rapidly expanding team, apply today. For more information, call 502-410-5000 or click on https://www.protectenvironmental.com 

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National Radon Risk Index™ for 2023

In keeping with our ongoing mission to inform communities about the risks of radon exposure indoors, Protect Environmental is releasing its National Radon Risk Index™, which utilizes data from its proprietary National Radon Risk Search™ tool to rank radon risk in communities across the country. This search tool accesses the most comprehensive collection of radon test results in the country, representing more than 2.5 million data points from sources that include the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as our own internal testing data. We strongly believe that by empowering communities with important radon risk information, more action will be taken to prevent radon-induced lung cancer in the places we live, work, and learn. The first step in mitigating against the risks of elevated radon levels is to test. 

Our index for 2023 is broken into five sections, with each section including a ranking of the top 10 communities. The sections include:

 

  • Highest radon level recorded in a building tested within the community
  • Average radon level of buildings tested within the community
  • Percentage of buildings tested within the community with a radon level above the EPA action level
  • Highest percentage of residential buildings characterized for radon risk within the community
  • Lowest percentage of residential buildings characterized for radon risk within the community

Highest radon level recorded in a building tested within the community*

County, State Radon Level
Dallas County, Texas 7,879.3 pCi/L
Litchfield County, Connecticut 4,800.0 pCi/L
La Plata County, Colorado 4,115.0 pCi/L
Wilkes County, North Carolina 3,200.0 pCi/L
Oakland County, Michigan 2,297.0 pCi/L
Lawrence County, South Dakota 1,431.3 pCi/L
Bucks County, Pennsylvania 1,398.9 pCi/L
Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania 1,300.0 pCi/L
Montgomery County, Maryland 1,287.1 pCi/L
Nevada County, California 1,100.0 pCi/L

Average radon level of buildings tested within the community*

County, State Radon Level
Hinsdale County, Colorado 53.8 pCi/L
Custer County, South Dakota 30.1 pCi/L
Mineral County, Colorado 29.2 pCi/L
Lawrence County, South Dakota 29.0 pCi/L
Knox County, Ohio 23.6 pCi/L
Butte County, Idaho 21.8 pCi/L
Forest County, Pennsylvania 19.8 pCi/L
Mifflin County, Pennsylvania 19.3 pCi/L
Lincoln County, Montana 19.3 pCi/L
Klickitat County, Washington 18.5 pCi/L

Percentage of buildings tested within the community with a radon level above the EPA action level *

County, State Percentage
Roosevelt County, Montana 93.8%
Emmons County, North Dakota 86.2%
Clay County, Nebraska 85.1%
Billing County, North Dakota 85.0%
Sioux County, Iowa 84.2%
Rock County, Minnesota 83.8%
Webster County, Nebraska 83.2%
Pembina County, North Dakota 82.5%
Plymouth County, Iowa 82.3%
Hand County, South Dakota 81.8%
Highest percentage of residential buildings characterized for radon risk within the community*
County, State Percentage
Johnson County, Iowa 10.974%
Adams County, Illinois 10.267%
Washington County, Iowa 9.805%
Wayne County, Nebraska 9.190%
Winnebago County, Iowa 9.184%
Sioux County, Iowa 9.154%
Collier County, Florida 8.972%
Shelby County, Iowa 8.842%
Dubuque County, Iowa 8.783%
Transylvania County, North Carolina 8.704%
Lowest percentage of residential buildings characterized for radon risk within the community*
County, State Percentage
Hildago County, Texas 0.003%
Cameron County, Texas 0.004%
Ellis County, Texas 0.007%
Stanislaus County, California 0.008%
Caddo County, Louisiana 0.008%
Yuma County, Arizona 0.009%
Wichita County, Texas 0.009%
East Baton Rouge County, Louisiana 0.009%
Solano County, California 0.010%
Bay County, Florida 0.010%

If you are interested in using the National Radon Risk Index for a news story or other public use, contact our press team or call us at 502-410-5000 for citation information and permitted usage. 

*Due to regulations prohibiting the sharing of radon test results, we are unable to provide CDC data for Kansas and New Jersey. New Jersey results are provided using data captured by Protect Environmental. Due to lack of reporting to the CDC, we are unable to provide data for Hawaii and Mississippi.

**The data points utilized for the search tool are county-level. Utilizing the zip code search component returns data for the county or counties where the zip code is located. The mean average was used in calculating the average radon level for buildings tested within a community. Counties with less than 10 test results are not included in the index analysis. 

Calculation of the index was based upon analysis of data representing more than 2.5 million data points compiled from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Protect Environmental.

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Environmental Public Health Tracking Network. cdc.gov/ephtracking

Calculation of radiation dose equivalents included with the National Radon Risk Search tool was based upon information obtained through the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.

  • S. Department of Health and Human Services Public Service, ABDR. Toxicological profile for radon. Atlanta, GA: Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.
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What you need to know about the Illinois Tenants Radon Protection Act

Everyone deserves a safe place to call home. 33.3% of Illinois residents (approximately 4,179,046 Illinoisans) live in a home or building that they don’t own. If you are a landlord, property manager, tenant, or are looking to rent a home or apartment in Illinois, here’s what you need to know about the Illinois Tenants Radon Protection Act and its impact on your lease agreement(s).

While there are many benefits of renting, such as not being responsible for big ticket items that come with home maintenance, you also have less control over elements that can impact the health and safety of the indoor environment where you live. 

The Illinois Tenants Radon Protection Act passed the house and senate in May 2023 and was signed by Governor Pritzker on July 28, 2023 to encourage more communication between landlords and tenants regarding the safety of their indoor air against radioactive radon gas – the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers.

What is the Illinois Radon Awareness Act?

The Illinois Radon Awareness Act went into effect on January 1, 2008 and requires all sellers or property owners in a residential property transaction in Illinois to disclose any information on the history of radon in the home.

This act protects home buyers by informing them of the dangers of radon in the home they are looking to purchase and provides them with an opportunity to reduce elevated levels before purchasing or occupying the home to avoid exposure to the radioactive gas. The Illinois Tenants Radon Protection Act is an addition to the Illinois Radon Awareness Act with the same goal: to protect Illinoisans from exposure to dangerous levels of radon gas where they live.

While this act may require additional steps in the property transaction, it doesn’t have to delay or deter your signing! When tested and mitigated properly, radon levels can be reduced in homes or buildings where radon is found. Indoor air in homes or buildings with radon can quickly be restored to safe levels and can be kept in check with routine testing every two years after mitigation.

Learn About Radon in Your Area!

Search your 5 digit zip code to discover the average radon test

results near you.

Is radon testing and mitigation required by law in Illinois?

No. The law does not require radon testing and/or mitigation be completed at any point during the process of executing a residential rental or real estate contract or during the tenancy and at no point requires the property owner or tenant to install a mitigation system or pay for testing at the property.

It is highly recommended that radon testing be conducted every two years as levels can change and fluctuate with geological, environmental, and seasonal changes or changes to the structure of the home or building. Even if testing has been done before, the EPA recommends testing again every two years regardless of if you have a mitigation system installed or not.

Is radon disclosure required in Illinois for rental properties?

Yes. The Illinois Tenant Radon Protection Act (House Bill 2217) went into effect on January 1, 2024 and requires:

  • Disclosure statement provided to the tenant
  • Most current awareness pamphlet from the state provided to the tenant (this one and this one)
  • Tenant can conduct a radon test
  • Results of the test provided to landlord within 10 days
  • Landlord can verify test with additional testing
  • Landlord has 60 days to choose to mitigate or not
  • Tenant can exit lease agreement if elevated radon levels are not mitigated without penalty

The Illinois Tenant Radon Protection Act applies to any rental agreement whether for a single-family home, duplexes, quadplexes, or large multifamily properties.

A Note to Tenants...

Tenants, be sure the air you breathe where you live is safe from radioactive radon gas. Preventing your exposure could save your life. Radon causes nearly 1,500 lung cancer cases every year in Illinois alone, according to the Indoor Environments Association (formerly AARST) Illinois Radon Report Card.

If you are worried about elevated radon levels in your rental home, apartment, or unit, there’s no need to panic.

  1. Educate yourself about the dangers of radon
  2. You have the right to test the space you occupy
  3. Provide the results to your landlord within 10 days
  4. If levels are elevated, your landlord may agree to mitigate, however, it is not required
  5. If they choose not to mitigate within 60 days, you have the right to exit the agreement without penalty
  6. Professionally installed radon mitigation systems and routine testing (every 2 years) is a safe and effective way to reduce the radon levels in your home or unit and limit your exposure

Radon can be managed and kept in check to ensure your indoor environment is safe. Talk with your landlord and take advantage of your right to healthy and safe air in your home.

A Note to Landlords...

Landlords and property managers, there are a lot of expenses and things to cross off your list when it comes to creating a safe place for your occupants. And there are a lot of things that you could be liable for. If there’s one thing worth your time and attention, it’s the threat of radon gas in your building(s) and how it could be impacting the health and safety of your tenants.


Keep your tenants… Kick radon out.

Elevated radon levels don’t have to get in the way of your lease agreement. With professional testing and properly installed mitigation systems, radon can be reduced in any building regardless of size, location, age, or structure.

Your Illinois Protect Environmental professionals are licensed and certified to provide expert radon services to protect your Illinois rental investments and keep your occupants safe from radon gas exposure. We’ve been proudly serving our Chicagoland community since 1986! Is your rental property a single-family home? Check out our residential radon services. If you own a multifamily property, learn about our commercial radon testing and mitigation services for any building type in Illinois and anywhere in the U.S.

Common Questions

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What are the Risks of Radon in Your Home?

What is Radon?

Radon gas is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that can be found all over the world. Radon comes from the decay of uranium in the soil. As radon decays it releases radiation that can damage the DNA within the human body. You cannot detect radon by smell, sight or taste. The only way to know if you are breathing radon gas is to perform a radon test. Scientists have known that radon gas causes lung cancer for a long time but it wasn’t until the 1980’s that they discovered the risk in homes. Because radon risk is a fairly recent discovery, many citizens of the United States are unaware that the air in their homes may cause lung cancer.

 

 

Radon is particularly dangerous because it comes from natural sources and can vary in levels over the course of a year as the seasons and weather conditions change. Your home might test at a lower level one month and then return a much higher reading during a different part of the year. The bright side is that elevated radon levels can be reduced. Affordable mitigation equipment and regular testing are all you need to stay safe in a home known to contain radon. At Protect Environmental we are your licensed and certified experts for both radon testing and mitigation services for your home.   

Why is Radon in Your Home Dangerous?

Radon is an invisible, odorless gas that naturally results from the radioactive decay of uranium and other radioactive elements in rocks, soil, and sometimes in the water. As the gas rises, it can become easily trapped inside a structure like a home, office building, daycare, or school. The EPA reports that radon exposure is the second most common cause of lung cancer, following only smoking as a greater risk. If you smoke cigarettes and live in a home with high radon levels, you face a combined threat that may further increase your risk of developing lung cancer.

 

 

Radon gas constitutes the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. With the lowest survival rate among cancers, the Environmental Protection Agency estimates that 21,000 people die from radon-induced lung cancer per year1. In 2005, the Surgeon General of the United States issued a national health advisory on radon.    

 

Your risk of leukemia also rises with exposure to radon. Since you’re spending hours at a time in your home inhaling the air, you’re likely going to take in radon as you cook, bathe, and sleep if it’s present in the home’s air supply. Children may be at a higher risk for radon exposure 5 according to some recent studies making daycares and schools especially important areas of concern.

Why Don’t You Hear More About Radon?

If you’re one of the many people who only recently asked, “What is a radon test and why do I even need one?”, you’re not alone. Despite being a major risk factor for lung cancer, there’s only a limited budget for radon awareness campaigns from the EPA and state health organizations. Most states publish brochures and papers warning residents, but these attempts at education often suffer from limited circulation. It’s certainly not front-page news in most parts of the country. Many people go their whole lives without knowing about the risks of radon. By learning about radon, you’ll be able to take the necessary steps to limiting your exposure and protecting yourself from its harmful effects.

Radon Statistics

With most homeowners knowing relatively little about radon gas and its risks, there’s plenty to learn before tackling the problem. Understanding the scope of radon exposure, the parts of the country with the highest levels of gas production, and mitigation costs will prepare you for taking on the challenge.

  • Smoking makes radon gas exposure much more likely to trigger lung cancer development. If you smoke, reducing your risk of radon exposure is all the more important.

  • The lower your radon levels, the better. When you reach the 1.3 pCi/L level that is normal for indoor air, only two non-smokers out of 1,000 will develop lung cancer specifically due to the exposure.3 It’s impossible to have a zero level in areas where radon is common, but reducing the gas level as much as reasonably possible is worth the effort.

  • Radon mitigation systems should be designed and installed depending on the unique needs of the property, its radon levels, and where radon is entering the home. Using a licensed professional radon mitigation contractor is the safest way to lower radon levels in your home.

How Can I Protect My Health?

If you are looking to protect your household from radon, then you need a company that understands the risks that face your family. Radon is a legitimate threat that you cannot see or smell. It could be all around you even though you are unable to perceive it. You need a better understanding of what is going on in the air around you in order to protect yourself. Protect Environmental has the expertise that you need to protect your household from the ongoing threat of deadly radon gas.

Test My Home!

Professional radon testing is the first step to making your home a safe place to breathe.

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Where Does Radon Come From?

How does it enter homes and buildings?

We know radon comes from the earth. The majority of homes in the United States are built in direct contact with the ground. Radon seeps into these homes through openings and pores in the foundation. Some common radon entry points are: foundation cracks, slab cracks, cold & expansion joints, sump pump basins, openings around plumbing pipes, dirt/gravel crawlspaces and the pores of the concrete itself. Homes tend to have a stack effect. A stack effect is the natural rise of air in the home that causes suction on the perimeter walls, windows, doors and floors. This suction can draw radon in from the soil. Radon is heavier than air so it tends to be in greater concentrations in lower portions of a home or building.

How to know if radon is entering your home or building.

Test for radon using a radon DIY test kit or hire a radon measurement professional. Our licensed and certified professionals at Protect Environmental can conduct professional radon testing for your home. We offer this service in the markets we serve and also sell DIY test kits that can be shipped anywhere in the U.S. from our partners at RAdata Lab. Radon test kits can be short-term or long-term. Do-it-yourself radon test kits are a reliable option, they’re accurate as long as they are placed correctly and returned to the lab in a timely fashion. 

 

Electronic radon measurement devices measure radon levels by the hour for a typical time frame of 48 hours. The device provides radon data to show fluctuations over time and gives an overall average of radon concentrations in the home. Typically, a DIY radon test kit works great for a homeowner who wants to check their home for their own health because they are affordable and simple. Electronic radon measurement devices are most often used in real estate transactions because time is of the essence and results can be provided sooner.

How much radon is too much?

No level of radon gas is safe. The EPA has established the number 4 pCi/L as the action level to fix radon gas levels in homes, buildings and schools. They say to reduce levels greater than 4 and get them as low as reasonably achievable. The World Health Organization has designated the level of 2.7 pCi/L as their action level. Most people begin to get concerned about radon when the levels are greater than 2 pCi/L. If you have tested for radon and it was under 4 pCi/L, remember that those levels can fluctuate throughout the year. Make sure to test during different seasons to get an accurate idea if radon is a problem in your home. Checking the radon levels in your home and addressing the issue can be straightforward, contact us for professional radon testing.

How do we prevent exposure?

We can reduce exposure to radon gas by installing a radon mitigation system. These systems are a permanently installed radon prevention system. They are installed in the home and create constant ventilation in the soil under the foundation. The radon gas is captured by the suction of the radon system and carried through a series of pipes. A specialty fan exhausts it to a safe elevation above the eaves of the home. People ask, “what happens to the radon when it vents out the system?” The gas quickly dilutes into the atmosphere to negligible levels. Radon is naturally occurring and exists in very small amounts in the air outdoors. Preventing it from accumulating to harmful levels in your home is important to protect your lungs by reducing your chance of exposure.

Test My Home!

Professional radon testing is the first step to making your home a safe place to breathe.

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Why do Homes have a High Level of Radon Concentration?

As a homeowner, you take pride in maintaining a safe haven for yourself and your family. However, without the proper surveillance, a number of factors can threaten your health and safety within the walls of your home. For instance, radon concentration is a notorious threat to homes across the country, with concentration levels varying based on a number of environmental and structural factors. To learn more about radon, your home’s radon concentration and how to limit your radon exposure, check out the following helpful information.

What is Radon?

In order to limit the threat of radon in your home, it’s important to understand exactly what it is and where it comes from. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, radon is a naturally-occurring radioactive gas that is both colorless and odorless. In nature, radon disperses quickly into the atmosphere and causes minimal health issues. However, radon can leak into homes through cracks in the foundation. When trapped inside, it can lead to a host of medical issues, particularly when the individuals have been exposed to the radon for many years.


As a person breathes in radon, their lungs are exposed to small amounts of radiation that can significantly damage their cells and even lead to various types of cancer. Though it may be surprising, radon exposure is currently the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States, with smoking as the leading cause. While radon poses a serious threat to homeowners and their families, the good news is that it can be identified and controlled with regular radon testing.

Do All Homes Have A Radon Concentration?

As mentioned above, radon generally does not create any problems in its gaseous form outdoors, since it dissipates rapidly into the atmosphere. However, when contained in buildings such as homes, schools or hospitals, for example, it can become highly dangerous for those inside the building. The effects of trapped radon only worsen over time, which is why it is so important to control its concentration level.


That being said, how can you determine whether or not your home has a higher than recommended radon concentration? More likely than not, there is at least a small level of radon concentration in your home, even if you have a mitigation system in place. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, 1 out of every 15 homes in the US is estimated to contain elevated levels of radon. The average radon concentration in the United State is between 1-3 picocuries per liter (pCi/L), but some homes contain radon concentrations well over 100 pCi/L. If your radon test shows a concentration of 4 pCi/L or more, it’s time to take action. A radon mitigation system can effectively reduce your home’s radon concentration by up to 99%.


In order to reduce radon accumulation in homes, more and more builders are adopting radon-resistant construction techniques to protect residents’ health and safety. However, even if your home has been built using radon-resistant techniques, it’s still essential to test the home for radon upon moving in.

What Determines A Home’s Radon Concentration?

While it is not unusual for a home to contain a limited amount of radon (4 pCi/L or lower is ideal), radon concentration is largely determined by environmental and structural conditions. Radon itself is a result of the natural decay of uranium, an element which is present in nearly every type of soil. As the uranium decays, it releases radon into the surrounding soil, which rises up and seeps through any cracks or holes in homes’ foundations. Over time, the radon accumulates and becomes increasingly dangerous for residents, who unknowingly breathe in the radioactive gas day after day.


The second most common source of radon concentration – after soil – is water supply. Although it is less likely that radon will enter your home through the water supply than through soil, it is still a possibility that should be taken seriously. For example, well water can contain radon, which can be a health risk for residents when they breathe in radon that’s released during showers. Drinking water containing radon can also lead to cases of stomach cancer, but studies show that inhaling radon that can cause lung cancer is the bigger risk. It’s always a good idea to test your water for radon, especially if you source your water from a private well.


Lastly, radon can also enter a home through the decay of construction materials such as brick, marble and granite, but this is a much less common point of entry than through soil or water.

Concerned About Your Home’s Radon Levels? Take Action Now

Because radon has no odor or color to indicate its presence in your home, it is crucial to regularly test your home for radon concentration. This is the only way to ensure that you and your family are not inhaling or consuming dangerous amounts of radon, either through the air or water supply. As previously mentioned, when radon accumulates in a home, residents unknowingly inhale the radioactive gas, which then damages the cells in their lungs. Though less common, when consumed in water, it can lead to serious health issues such as stomach cancer.


Hiring an experienced radon contractor to test your home’s radon concentration is the first step to maintaining a safe and healthy home. Not only will radon experts determine your home’s current radon concentration, they will also help you decide what mitigation measures should be taken to reduce your home’s future radon accumulation and either install the system or point you to a licensed mitigation contractor. If you haven’t tested your home for radon recently, or you’re about to move into a new home, contact a professional for an inspection. 


Take a look at the following ways to reduce the risk of radon exposure in your home.

Strategies to Reduce Your Risk of Radon Exposure

If you are concerned about your home’s radon concentration, time is of the essence. Because radon can be such a danger to residents’ health, an intervention is necessary as soon as a problem is detected. Start by contacting a certified radon company and asking for a professional to come to your home and test its radon concentration. If, for some reason, the radon professional cannot come to your home immediately, there are a few strategies that you can implement to temporarily reduce the risk of radon exposure in your home.


The first way to reduce your and your family’s risk of radon exposure is to eliminate the radon’s points of entry into your home. Because radon is a result of the decay of uranium, it is found in a number of different types of soil. Once emitted into the soil, the radon rises up toward your home’s foundation. If there are any holes or cracks in the foundation, the radon will inevitably seep in. Opening doors and windows a few hours each day can be helpful too. This should only be used as a temporary measure before a radon mitigation expert has the chance to intervene. However, it’s imperative that all doors and windows are closed for at least several days before testing to get an accurate, indoor radon level result.

How Often Should You Test Your Home For Radon?

Although it may be easy to overlook or postpone, radon testing should be a top priority for all homeowners. After all, the more vigilant you are about reducing the radioactive gas in your home, the healthier you and your family will be. That being said, how often should you test your home’s radon concentration? If you already have a radon mitigation system installed in your home, you should continue to have your home tested every two years at minimum.


Additionally, if your home was constructed in or after 1978, you should perform radon tests every two years. This rule has to do with home construction techniques that were implemented in 1978 which tend to lead to higher radon levels. Because older homes were not built with these techniques, they tend to have lower radon levels. Even so, it’s crucial to test your home’s radon concentration on a regular basis, so that you and your family can stay as safe as possible. It’s also important to re-test after making any energy improvements to your home, such as new windows, added insulation, and upgrading your HVAC system.

Protect Yourself and Your Family From Radon Concentration

Colorless and odorless, radon is a radioactive gas that can accumulate in homes and cause serious health problems for residents. Although most homes contain some level of radon, it is crucial to perform regular radon testing in order to keep its concentration below 4 pCi/L. Above this level, radon concentration can lead to significant health issues for a home’s inhabitants. To reduce this risk, a radon testing company can test your home’s radon concentration and recommend a mitigation system if necessary. Radon mitigation experts will intervene in a timely manner to evacuate the radon that’s accumulated in your home, effectively making your home a safer, healthier place.

Radon Danger for Children

A case study by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry 1 concluded that due to lung shape and size differences, children have higher estimated radiation doses than adults. Children breathe deeper, faster, and proportionately more air than adults. Their lungs are developing faster, making them more sensitive to indoor air quality. Since effects of radiation take years to develop, individuals exposed to elevated levels of radon in their youth are more likely to develop radon-related illnesses later in life. Contact a radon professional today.


Sources:

    1. “What Is Radon Gas? Is It Dangerous?” EPA, https://www.epa.gov/radiation/what-radon-gas-it-dangerous
    2. A Citizen’s Guide to Radon The Guide to Protecting Yourself and Your Family from Radon. https://www.epa.gov/sites/default/files/2016-02/documents/2012_a_citizens_guide_to_radon.pdf
    3. Case Studies In Environmental Medicine, https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/csem/radon/radon.pdf
    4. US Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Toxicity of Radon, accessed January 4, 2022.

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High Radon Levels, Should I Move?

Radon testing can help give you peace of mind knowing that you’re protecting your family from exposure to this toxic gas. But what if radon gas is present in your home, you may be wondering if you have to move because of this. You don’t have to move and even if you did, high radon levels can be found in any home. You can easily correct the problem through the installation of a radon mitigation system. These soil gas ventilation systems can be hidden within the house and won’t break the bank.

What’s the problem with radon?

Radon gas is the second leading cause for lung cancer in the country. It kills more than 20,000 people annually. Radon gas causes 7 times more lung cancer cases than second hand smoke. Radon is especially dangerous for smokers based upon a combined effect.

Where does radon gas come from?

Radon occurs naturally in the soil. It is a decay product of radioactive uranium. Uranium becomes radium and radium becomes radioactive radon gas.

How does radon enter the home?

Radon is drawn into the home through radon entry points in the concrete slab, foundation or crawl spaces. The home has a natural negative pressure that pulls radon gas in from the soil.

What levels of radon gas should I worry about?

No level of radon gas is considered “safe.” The United States EPA has established the radon level of 4 pico-curies per liter (pCi/L) as the level to take action to reduce. The World Health Organization has set a reference level to reduce radon levels greater than 2.7 pCi/L.

How do radon mitigation systems work?

Radon mitigation systems work by creating a vacuum in the soil below the foundation of the house. Radon vent systems run 24/7 to continuously pull radon gas out of the soil and vent it at a safe level above the home.

How much do radon mitigation systems cost?

The cost of the radon mitigation system can vary depending on the size of the home and the construction style. Homes that have exposed dirt or gravel crawl spaces are more expensive because the crawl space must be sealed with an airtight membrane.

 

Radon gas does not have to ruin the way you look at your home, radon problems can be corrected and you can continue to live in the home that you love. Once you correct the radon gas problem with a properly installed radon mitigation system, you can live peacefully knowing that your home is now a safer place to breathe.

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How Much Does a Radon Mitigation System Cost?

The costs associated with radon mitigation varies from state-to-state, city-to-city and home-to-home. Just like any industry, the market can play a role in determining your costs. If you live in an area where there are few certified radon contractors the price of service may be more. If you live in a large city with many service providers, competition may drive prices down. The age and construction style of the home can determine the complexity of a radon mitigation system. The important thing to know is that there’s not a one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to installing a radon mitigation system that works to reduce radon levels. You want a radon mitigation system that will do its job to reduce radon gas levels in your home. A system designed by professionals for the unique needs of your home will yield the best results.

Factors That Impact the Price of a Radon Mitigation System

The price of a radon system depends on many factors. Some factors only change the price a little, while other factors have a larger impact. Here is a list of some of the factors that go into the cost of radon mitigation.

FACTOR WHAT MAY INCREASE COSTS
Size of the home Homes larger than 4,000 sq. ft.
Age of the home Older homes can be more difficult to fix
Foundation Cinder block or stone foundations
Siding Specialty siding (Dryvit, flagstone, asbestos, etc.)
Roofing material Specialty roofing (cedar shake, slate, etc.)
Height of building Tall buildings may require specialty ladders or lifts
Home Owner’s Association (HOA) requirements Some HOA’s are difficult to work with or have strict standards
Skeletal system already installed This will actually LOWER your cost (if it was installed properly)
Basement size A basement larger than 2,000 sq. ft. may require additional suction point(s) and/or caulking
Finished basement characteristics May not allow for a good system location, may require more than one system
Excessive floor cracks in the basement Will require additional sealing
Floor drain(s) not trapped This is a radon source that will need to be addressed
Radiant heat under the basement floor or slab-on-grade area Must know the location so we don’t hit while drilling, may require Thermal Imaging Camera to locate
Groundwater sump pump Must be working or may need to be serviced
Battery backup sump pump Must be working or may need to be serviced, should be a submersible style to achieve an airtight seal
Interior drain tile system May be a major radon entry route and may require special sealing
Crawl space An additional radon entry route at a different level than the basement
Crawl space composition A gravel or dirt crawl space requires special sealing
Crawl space size The size of a gravel or dirt crawl space is a factor
Height of the crawl space If the gravel crawl space is less than 3′ tall, it is more difficult to work in
Crawl space access A crawl space must be accessible and have an opening a minimum of 2′ x 2′
Items stored/installed in crawl space A crawl space must be empty of debris, installed items such as a furnace, posts, or shelving make it more difficult to seal
Insulation on walls of crawl space The bottom of the insulation will have to be removed, the insulation could contain asbestos if the home was built prior to 1973
Slab-on-grade areas of the home An additional radon entry route at a different level than the basement
Ductwork or utilities in the slab Ductwork could affect the success of the system and may need to be sealed. Buried utilities may require concrete scanning using Ground Penetrating Radar
Additions to the home An additional radon entry route at different levels than the original home, a footing may separate the two areas, may require additional suction point(s)
High water table Makes it more difficult to draw air from underneath the home, may require additional suction point(s) or modifications to the sump pit/pump
Poor soil conditions (clay, sand, dirt, compacted gravel, etc.) Makes it more difficult to draw air from underneath the home, may require additional suction point(s), and/or a higher suction fan
Asbestos Asbestos siding, insulation, or vermiculite may need to be professionally removed prior to a radon system being installed
Historically significant home May need to follow special village standards
Power lines in the way May need Com Ed to cut power to the home in order to install the exterior exhaust pipe

Contact the experts at Protect Environmental for radon testing and installation of a radon mitigation system. Get peace of mind knowing your home is safe from radon.

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Ensuring a Proper Installation of Radon Mitigation Systems

Ensuring the proper installation and functionality of a radon mitigation system is crucial for maintaining a safe living environment. In this guide, we explore essential steps to guarantee the correct implementation of such systems and highlight key considerations when selecting a professional team. From evaluating a company’s background and customer reviews to comparing prices and understanding the fine print, this comprehensive overview aims to empower homeowners with the knowledge needed to make informed decisions regarding radon mitigation. Prioritizing the effectiveness and longevity of these systems is vital in safeguarding homes against the dangers of elevated radon levels, making informed choices an imperative step in the process.

 

There are several ways to ensure that your radon mitigation system will be installed correctly and that you’re working with an experienced and professional team.

Check the Company’s Background

Ask for references and reviews. Home Advisor, Angie’s List, or the BBB and other online resources are a good place to start. Online reviews on Google or even on the company’s website can also be an indicator of customer satisfaction. Review the company’s experience and how many years they’ve been working in the industry.

Compare Prices and Experience

Price differences can represent quality differences. Some people go with low quotes only to find themselves spending much more money to repair low quality systems. The most important part of radon mitigation is to reduce radon levels. Investing on a high quality installation performed by professionals is worth it to keep the radon levels in your home low. 

Read the Fine Print

Some radon companies offer quotes that give a price for a “basic system” and then they offer upgrades or hidden charges. Make sure to read the warranty. Good companies will give you a firm price, a clear scope of work and a detailed warranty or phased solution.

Radon Mitigation Systems Can Be Fixed

Non-working systems can be adjusted to get radon levels down. Low quality parts can be replaced with better materials. Radon mitigation systems can be painted to match the home and look better. If you’re having issues with an old system installation, contact a different company that can help address the problems and get the system back up and running.

Radon mitigation systems are an important expense in any home, they work to keep you and your family safe from toxic radon levels so it’s a priority to ensure they’re working properly. Make sure you evaluate the company installing or fixing your current system and get all the information needed to make a decision. Contact our team of licensed and certified professionals for help with radon testing and installing a radon mitigation system.

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The Top 8 Things You Need To Know About Radon

Radon Exposure is Dangerous

Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer for non-smokers in the United States and the second leading cause of lung cancer for smokers. It is estimated that radon gas is responsible for as much as 14% of all lung cancers worldwide with higher rates among smokers.


The Surgeon General and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommend testing for radon gas along with mitigation when high levels are present.

According to EPA recommendations, radon levels exceeding 4 picocuries per liter (pCi/L) pose a health risk and should be mitigated. The presence of radon gas at 4 pCi/L or above is concentrated in your home at levels 10 times higher than outdoor air levels. The EPA also notes levels below this measure can still pose some risk as does the World Health Organization, which recommends mitigation if radon levels exceed 2.7 pCi/L.


Technically, no amount of radon gas levels are considered to be safe. Any presence of radon gas increases your risk of getting cancer. Even a reading of 1 pCi/L is equivalent to smoking 2.5 cigarettes daily.

What is Radon?

Similar to carbon monoxide, radon is colorless and odorless. Radon is a naturally occurring gas that results from the decay of uranium in rocks and soil. As it rises to the surface, it can be trapped inside structures such as a home or workplace. The amount of radon gas inside is then measured as a level in the United States as a Picocuries per liter of air, abbreviated as pCi/L.


Dangerous levels of radon gas are more common than you might think. The EPA estimates that one out of every 15 homes has elevated radon levels. The only way to detect its presence is through testing.

How Do You Test For Radon?

Does your home, school or business have dangerous levels of radon gas? The first step is testing.

Testing is a fairly straightforward process. You may choose to do it yourself or a radon professional to handle it for you.

How Often Do I Need To Test for Radon Gas Levels?

Many properties are required to test for a variety of applications including multi-unit buildings, home daycare centers, retirement homes and more.

For homeowners, radon testing should be part of home maintenance, similar to the way you clean your gutters to prevent leaks or check your foundation for cracks to avoid moisture from seeping in. Experts recommend testing at least once every 2-3 years to be safe.


Real Estate Transactions: Before buying a home, it should be standard practice to conduct a radon gas test. Many states require that homes be tested as part of a real estate transaction. This test typically occurs around the same time as the home inspection.


Post-Mitigation: The EPA recommends that homes be tested once every two years after a mitigation system has been installed. This ensures that your system is working properly.


After Remodels: If you have remodeled your home including changing the design of your HVAC in a room, it is recommended that you test for radon. Remodeling can cause your air flow to change throughout the house.

What Happens If My Radon Level Exceeds the EPA Limits?

When you test for radon and the levels exceed the EPA limit, the next step is to undergo radon mitigation. In short, this is the process of reducing the amount of radon in your home. Talk to a certified radon mitigation specialist on the next steps.

Several variables will impact how radon mitigation is undertaken. Your home’s structure and foundation are two important considerations.

The Foundation Of Your Home Or Building

Hopefully, your foundation was constructed over gravel or another porous type of surface. This makes it much easier to pull the radon out of the ground.

Many older homes have been built over solid ground, wet earth, or rock. Because these surfaces are less porous, it requires a more sophisticated approach. You may need a larger fan or a more extensive radon mitigation system.


Also, if you don’t have a continuous slab under your entire home, it may require multiple systems to effectively reduce radon levels. This is most common in homes that have an addition built on the existing foundation.

The Structure Of Your Home Or Building

How your home was framed and built will also play a significant role in how your radon mitigation system needs to be designed. Most commonly, three to four-inch pipes are used to transport the radon gas to the roof. Holes must be drilled in the floor and ceiling at each level to create the pathway. If at all possible, you want these pipes inside your walls to make them invisible.


Depending on how your home is constructed, it may not be possible to create a straight line from the foundation to the roof. This means pipe bends and joints that also must be sealed properly to avoid leakage.

Will Sealing Foundation Cracks Reduce Radon Levels?

The air pressure in your home is lower than what’s found underneath your foundation. This creates a vacuum effect that can suck the radon gas through cracks or openings in your foundation.


Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as sealing and patching cracks or openings. While the EPA says that sealing cracks and openings is a basic part of radon mitigation, radon can still enter your home in other ways, such as through sump pumps. As your foundation ages, new cracks can occur. Caulking and other methods of sealing have a limited life span. Block wall foundations can be difficult to seal properly because of their construction. On top of all that, hairline cracks are easy to miss and turn into significant entry points that raise your radon levels.


These are just some of the reasons the EPA does not recommend sealing as a stand-alone solution. Tests show sealing alone does not significantly or consistently lower radon levels. Normal settling, the EPA says, can continuously open new routes or re-open old ones.


Sealing cracks and openings should be part of the process of reducing radon levels, it only works in conjunction with an effective radon mitigation system.

How Much Does It Cost To Lower Radon Levels?

The cost of radon mitigation will vary depending on all the factors we’ve already mentioned. The size of your home, the design, and the mitigation system that is required will also need to be factored in.

Radon mitigation will have a similar cost as other common repairs you might do around your home.

After installation, you should only see a slight increase in your utility bill for powering your fan. Most people don’t even notice a difference in their energy usage.

How to Find A Qualified Radon Contractor

Most states require radon professionals to be licensed, certified, or registered, so a good place to start is with the state agency that oversees air quality. You can find a list of state agencies on the EPA’s website.

The EPA also recommends using a professional radon contractor that meets these set of requirements:

    • Implements radon testing before designing or installation a mitigation system.
    • Installation of a warning device to warn you if the system fails.
    • Post-installation testing for verification that radon levels have been reduced.
    • State certification, professional proficiency, or other acceptable certification.
    • Bonded and insured.
    • State and/or local licensing if required
    • These items should be included in any proposal or contract along with a guarantee that the mitigation system will reduce radon levels to below 4 pCi/L. 

Take the First Step to Address Radon 

Radon exposure is cumulative. The longer you are exposed to radon gas, the more impact it can have on your health and the development of lung cancer. Symptoms can go undetected for a long time. If you aren’t conducting regular tests, you could be exposing yourself to danger before any symptoms show up.

The first step is to do a test for radon gas levels. Since you can’t see or smell this deadly gas, testing is the only way to detect radon gas levels. If tests show there’s a problem, mitigation can significantly reduce the danger.

Sources:

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Types of Radon Mitigation Systems

Radon Mitigation Systems are soil depressurization systems. Radon systems come in several forms and are customized for each unique situation. Learn about the different types of radon mitigation systems and how they can help reduce the radon levels inside a building.

Exterior Installed Radon Mitigation Systems

When a radon system is installed on the exterior of a home or building, the pressurized components of the radon system are located outside while the interior components are under suction. The radon fan is usually installed at knee level opposite of the rim joist. From the fan, the radon vent stack rises above the eave of the home or building. Code states that the vent stack opening must be greater than ten feet from the ground and above the eave. The vent stack opening must also be further than ten feet from a window, door or opening that is not at least two feet below it. The vent stack should rise vertically to exhaust the radon into the atmosphere and prevent re-entrainment. 

Attic Installed Radon Mitigation Systems

Radon Systems installed through the attic space will hide the radon system from view and offer better protection from the freezing and thaw cycle outdoors. In most situations the attic installed radon mitigation system is routed through the garage to the attic space above it. If the garage attic option is unavailable the pipes can, in some cases, be routed through multiple closets or utility chases to rise to the attic space above the home. According to code, the radon fan should always be installed in a well ventilated attic space or the exterior of the home. 

Passive Radon Mitigation Systems

Radon resistant new construction techniques can be used to prevent radon gas entry in new construction homes or buildings. Most radon resistant designs consist of a gas permeable layer of gravel under the concrete slab, a soil gas collection pipe buried within the gravel layer, a suction pipe that extends through an interior wall and the exhaust point above the roof of the home. A correctly installed passive radon mitigation system should also include the sealing of cracks and sumps in the concrete slabs and foundation. The passive radon systems work by creating a vacuum through natural stack effect in the suction pipes and can be converted to active radon systems by installing a radon vent fan. 

Radon Mitigation for Crawl Spaces

Crawl spaces can be major radon entry point locations. Radon gas can enter the livable areas above crawl spaces through the floorboards. To properly prevent this radon entry a crawl space should be sealed using a durable vapor barrier that is sealed air-tight. 

How do radon mitigation systems work?

Radon mitigation systems work through active soil depressurization. In existing homes or buildings with radon problems, active soil depressurization systems (ASD) are installed to block radon gas. ASD systems vent radon gas by creating a vacuum in the soil below the foundation. An active radon vent fan is installed to create a permanent and consistent negative pressure within the system. The negative pressure draws the radon gas to the suction point(s) where it is sucked through the radon system and vented to a safe elevation above the home or building.

 

Sub-slab depressurization is the means of pulling the radon gas and other soil gas from the soil below a concrete slab. A hole is cored through the concrete slab to reach the soil below it. A radon gas collection chamber is created by removing soil from this area to create greater surface area to suck out the radon gas. Radon suction pipes are installed in the collection chamber and continue to the radon vent fan.

Drain tile depressurization is the means of pulling the radon gas and other soil gas by creating a vacuum within the existing drain tile network of a sump or drainage system. This method allows the radon mitigation system to more easily communicate with the soil surrounding the drain-tile system.

 

Sub-membrane depressurization is the means of pulling the radon gas and other soil gas from below a vapor barrier. In homes and buildings with exposed dirt or gravel crawl spaces, an air-tight vapor barrier is installed and the radon suction pipes create a vacuum under this membrane.

Block wall depressurization is the means of pulling the radon out by depressurizing the hollow voids within a block wall foundation.

 

Test your home, school or residential building for radon, our team can test radon levels and install a mitigation system to help protect against health risks associated with this toxic gas.

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Benefits of Radon Mitigation Systems Installed in the Attic

Radon mitigation systems can be installed through the exterior of the house or hidden within the attic. Both methods are effective to reduce radon gas levels in homes. Exterior installed radon systems are most common across the United States but there are several benefits to the attic installation.

 

  1. Hidden radon system components. Rather than having the fan and vent pipes installed on the side of the house, the only visible exterior component is the vent stack rising through the roof similar to an existing plumbing stack.
  2. Radon fans are better protected from the elements. Radon systems create condensation within the suction and exhaust pipes. In cold environments, this condensation can freeze and affect the life of the radon vent fan. Radon fans inside attic spaces are better protected from the freeze and thaw cycle.
  3. Radon fans and electrical components are out of reach. When installed through the attic space, the radon fan and its electrical components are located within the attic. This location is more inaccessible to children ho may turn the fan off or play with the system components.
  4. Quieter radon systems. Although radon systems installed through the exterior are quiet, installing the fan inside attic space can prevent all noticeable system noise.
  5. System performance indication. Most attic installations are routed through the garage. This method allows the installer to place the system performance gauge right in the garage. Every time you enter your garage you can make certain that your radon system is on and pulling the vacuum.
  6. Radon in real-estate. Many people with radon systems are concerned about the effect of the resale value of their home. A radon system installed through the attic is more appealing to potential buyers as it is not a noticeable component on the outside of the house.
  7. Radon re-entry. Having the vent stack opening above the roof of the house makes it possible for the radon contractor to get the radon system exhaust further away from doors, windows and other openings. This will minimize the possibility of radon re-entry into the home.

Radon mitigation systems installed through the exterior have stood the test of time and will prevent the flow of radon gas. If your home does not have a location available to install the system through the attic, an exterior radon system will effectively reduce radon gas levels.

 

When choosing the type of radon mitigation system for your house, consider the option of installing the system through the attic space.

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5 Questions to Ask Yourself When Selecting a Radon Testing and Mitigation Company

Radon testing and radon mitigation are highly specialized trades. Selecting the right radon company is an important decision. Radon is a dangerous gas that could impact your health, and high levels of radon can occur anywhere in the country. Which is why it’s crucial to test the radon levels in your home and have a professional radon mitigation team help address high radon levels. We have outlined five questions to help you select the best radon mitigation company.

1. Is the radon contractor licensed? 

There is not a national license for the radon trades. A client looking for a quality contractor should contact their State Radon Office to find out if there is a State specific radon contractors license. Many states do not have licensing programs for radon. If you live in one of these states, look to hire a radon contractor who is certified either by the National Environmental Health Association’s Radon Proficiency Program or by the National Radon Safety Board’s Certification Program. It is also wise to ask if the installer/employee is licensed or certified. 

2. Are they insured? 

Installing radon mitigation systems sometimes require some alterations to the house. Make certain to check your contractor’s insurance certificate to be sure it has proper coverage and is up to date.

3. Did you receive a detailed scope of work and estimated price? 

Before starting any work, either testing or installing a system, ask the radon contractor for a detailed scope of work and how much this work will cost. Make sure both parties agree on this proposal before proceeding, this helps both the contractor and you as the customer be satisfied with the work. 

4. Do they provide a guarantee? 

The EPA recommends that radon levels be lowered below 4 picocuries per liter. Most radon mitigation contractors will provide a written guarantee of performance. 

5. Do they have good references or online reviews? 

A reputable contractor is always eager to offer references to potential clients. When a contractor readily provides references, it showcases transparency and confidence in their work. Speaking with past customers or reading online reviews can offer valuable insights into the quality of their work. You can also ask the company about other aspects such as cleanliness, punctuality, and overall customer satisfaction. Seeking and obtaining references stands as a powerful tool in distinguishing between exceptional and subpar radon contractors, ensuring a positive and reliable experience for you.

 

Choosing the right radon testing and mitigation company is a critical decision for the safety and well-being of your home, school, building, or office space. The questions outlined in this article serve as a guide to ensure that you make an informed choice. By prioritizing transparency, professionalism, and customer satisfaction, you can rest assured that the chosen company will effectively address high radon levels and contribute to a healthier living environment.

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8 Things Every Homeowner Needs To Know About Radon Testing

Radon, a colorless and odorless radioactive gas, poses a potential threat to homeowners, yet its presence often goes unnoticed. Understanding the nuances of radon testing is crucial for safeguarding your home and your well-being. From varying radon levels to recommended testing procedures, this article sheds light on essential aspects every homeowner should know about radon detection and mitigation. 

1. Radon Levels Vary Widely

Levels of radon gas can vary widely. Even if the neighbors on both sides of your home do not have higher than recommended levels, does not mean that your home will not test differently. Every home should be tested to determine the presence of radon.

2. Testing Is Easy

A simple test can determine the presence of radon in your home and whether mitigation is required to help lower the gas levels. While there are DIY test kits, we recommend using a radon company that is experienced with testing, monitoring, and mitigation for accuracy.

3. Radon Testing is Recommended By The EPA and the US Surgeon General

If you are buying or selling a home, you should test it. If your home has never had a radon test, you should test. Since radon gas is dangerous, every home should be tested for the presence of radon.

 

You should also test for radon gas if you recently remodeled your home. Remodeling can change air flow within a home, which can spread radon gas.

 

Experts recommend testing your home for radon every two to three years. Homes can settle, foundations can shift or crack, or rock formations under your home can move, which can increase the potential for radon accumulation within your home.

Radon exposure has a cumulative effect. So, the longer you are exposed, the more your health is compromised.

4. Radon Tests Vary in Length From 2 – 365 Days Depending on Your Needs

Short-term tests can take between 48 hours and 120 hours to complete and provide snapshots of radon activity. There are also tests available to monitor conditions over a longer period of time from three months to a year. These are used to identify fluctuations that may occur from temperature changes or barometric pressure.

5. How Are Tests Conducted?

With short-term screening, the most common way to test for radon is to close the home for 12 hours and use a charcoal test kit. After the required time, the test is sent to a certified lab for evaluation. Electronic testing with a certified technician and a professional device is also an option. This type of quick turnaround is perfect for real estate transactions especially as the results are given immediately upon conclusion of the testing period.

 

Short term detection can also range from 48 – 96 hours for more accurate results following charcoal screenings.

 

For longer-term detection, contractors will use electronic monitoring detection instruments or alpha-track detectors to monitor conditions.

6. There are Recommended Levels Indoor Radon Levels 

According to the EPA, there is no safe level of radon gas.Radon is measured in units of picocuries per liter (pCi/L) in the air. If the radon levels are at 4 pCi/L or higher, the EPA recommends you take steps to mitigate the radon in your home.

If the level is 4 pCI/L or higher:

  • The EPA recommends taking a second test to verify the accuracy. 
  • Contact a certified and licensed professional to install a radon reduction system.
  • Retest after the system is installed to verify levels have dropped to acceptable levels.

If the level is between 2pCI/L and 4 pCI/L:

  • The EPA suggests you consider installing a radon reduction system.
  • Test in a few months to make sure levels haven’t risen above 4 pCi/L.

If the level is lower than 2 pCI/L:

  • According to the EPA, no action is needed at this time.
  • Test again at intervals, especially if you start living on the lowest level of your home, such as using a basement for an office, bedroom or rec room, or if a remodel is performed on the home.

7. Mitigation Might be Necessary

If radon is detected, there are steps you can take to mitigate it. A licensed radon professional can evaluate your situation and recommend a solution.

 

Radon mitigation is accomplished by ventilating the radon out of your home. While your home may require a different solution, radon gas is typically collected beneath concrete slabs or membranes and vented out to the exterior of the home or through the roof.  A fan is typically installed in the attic to draw the radon out of the ground and disperse it in the air above your home or on the exterior of the home. Most systems have alarms that indicate whether the system is functioning properly, so you know if it has stopped working.

 

Mitigation systems can typically be installed within a day, although that can vary depending on the home, the foundation, and the layout.

Radon reduction systems can significantly reduce the levels of this dangerous gas in your home.

8. Not All Testing & Mitigation Companies Are the Same

Not every contractor that advertises they do radon testing or mitigation is certified and qualified to do the work. You need to be careful when choosing a provider, especially if radon mitigation is required. For example, look for a contractor certified by the National Radon Proficiency Program (NRPP) and licensed by their state.

 

Awareness and proactive measures play a pivotal role in ensuring a safe living environment. Radon, with its unpredictable presence, demands attention and testing to mitigate potential health risks. Recognizing the recommended radon levels and understanding the mitigation options available empowers homeowners to take informed actions in securing their living spaces. By staying vigilant and choosing certified professionals for testing and mitigation, you can mitigate the risks associated with radon exposure, fostering a healthier and safer home environment for you and your loved ones.

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Activating a Passive Radon Mitigation System

Many new homes today are built with radon resistant new construction techniques. The common phrase is passive radon mitigation systems. This is good because home builders across the country are starting to take action to reduce radon gas exposure in homes. What is bad is that they don’t always work to reduce radon gas levels. Not necessarily because they were installed incorrectly but sometimes passive is just not enough.

What are passive radon mitigation systems?

Passive radon systems are intended to reduce radon gas by ventilating the soil without the use of a powered vent fan. If designed properly and under ideal conditions, these systems can mitigate radon levels through the natural convection of air within the pipe which creates suction on the soil below the home’s foundation. There are several radon resistant new construction standards, codes and recommendations. Some states now have passed laws requiring that new homes be built radon resistant. 

Do passive radon systems work?

Passive radon systems can work if installed properly. Passive radon systems also might not work if installed properly. Some systems are labeled as radon systems and are not installed correctly and do not work at all. Many factors come into play with radon gas entry behavior and mitigation systems. Sometimes the radon source is too strong or the positive pressures below the house are greater than the ability of the passive system. The only way to know if your passive system is working is to test for radon gas.

How do I know if the passive radon system is working?

The only way to know is to perform radon tests. Don’t assume your radon levels are low just because there is a radon system in your home. The EPA suggests to re-test for radon every two years and we suggest it every year. Radon professionals can perform electronic measurements and homeowners can perform do-it-yourself radon tests. 

How do you make a passive radon system work?

Passive radon systems can be activated to reduce radon levels by installing a radon specific, in-line fan. These fans create suction within the system that draws radon gas out of the soil and vents it above the home. Passive systems can only be activated if they were originally installed correctly. The pros at Protect Environmental can inspect your passive radon system and activate it to reduce radon gas. Contact our team for more information about your passive radon system.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is radon?

Radon is a hazardous and radioactive gas that is odorless, colorless, and tasteless. It is naturally occurring, coming from the decay of uranium in the Earth’s crust.

Does radon smell?

Radon does not smell and can only be detected with a radon test.

How dangerous is radon?

Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer and the leading cause of the disease among nonsmokers. It is responsible for 21,000 lung cancer deaths every year in the U.S.

Where does radon gas come from?

Radon gas comes from the breakdown of naturally-occurring uranium elements in the earth’s crust and has been found at elevated levels all over the world. It is prevalent in low concentrations outdoors averaging about 0.8 pCi/L in open outdoor spaces, posing little threat. However, radon can accumulate to elevated levels indoors through cracks in a building’s foundation, water sources, sump pumps, and other entry points. When radon is trapped indoors at elevated levels, it can cause damage to your lungs when breathed, and is known to be the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers.

Where is your greatest exposure to radon?

While radon is present everywhere, and there is no known safe level, your greatest exposure is where it can concentrate – indoors, where you spend most of your time – at home. Your home can have radon whether it be old or new, well-sealed or drafty, and with our without a basement.

What is an Acceptable Level of Radon Gas?

The EPA action level for radon is 4.0 pCi/L (picocuries per liter of air), which is the level at which it is recommended to have a mitigation system installed. This is the point at which the EPA has determined your risk of exposure outweighs the cost to mitigate and it has been used to determine the threshold of acceptable everyday exposure by most municipalities and local building codes. It is important to keep in mind that even trace amounts of radon can still cause damage to lung cells when breathed. It’s important to accurately measure and take the necessary steps to protect those in your home or workplace. The only way to know the radon levels in any home or building is to conduct a radon test.

How can radon testing help?

Radon testing is a reliable and effective way to detect the presence and concentration of radon gas. Without a radon test, you could be breathing in harmful levels of the radioactive gas without knowing it. If detected, foundations can be sealed and the gas can be removed with proper mitigation done by qualified professionals.

How often should I test for radon?

Every home should be tested for radon.

You should retest your home every 2 – 5 years and save your results.

Be sure to test before and after you make any major structural renovations such as building and addition or finishing a basement. Radon-resistant techniques can be inexpensively included as part of the renovation, if needed.

You should also perform a radon test after buying a new heating system or adding central air conditioning.

Do you test commercial properties?

Yes, we offer commercial radon testing services in all 50 U.S. states and territories. One of the easiest ways to ensure the safety of your employees, tenants, and other stakeholders is to test the air in your building(s) for radon gas to know if mitigation is necessary. The dangers of radon can affect us all, and in large buildings, the risks are compounded – especially for business owners when it comes to their liability. If you live or work in a large building, talk to your property management team about testing the building for radon gas.

Do you test schools?

Yes. We work with school administrators across the U.S. to test for radon and understand the risk of radon gas exposure in their facilities where students, faculty, and staff could be exposed.

Do you test daycares?

Yes. Testing for radon gas in daycares is straightforward and cost effective. In some states, radon testing is required as part of your license and certification requirements. Testing in daycares is crucial for understanding the radon exposure risk in your facility for the safety of children and staff in your care. 

What happens if the test detects radon in my home, school or commercial space?

Protect Environmental will provide the results and help you through next steps if mitigation is needed. If radon is detected at elevated levels, removing it from the home is a straightforward process. Following the installation of your radon mitigation system, it is recommended to test the home every two years to ensure your radon mitigation system is working properly.

Will Radon Affect My Home in the Future?

If you buy or build a home that passes radon tests today, there is no guarantee that conditions will not change in the future. The EPA recommends testing your home every two years regardless of previous negative test results. If you need mitigation equipment, you may need to test every six months to ensure your system is working properly.

Who Can I Contact for More Help with Radon Mitigation?

It is not recommended to handle mitigation equipment installation on your own. Our certified radon mitigation specialists will guide you through the process of obtaining highly accurate test results and pinpointing the primary sources of the gas entrance.

Can Granite Countertops Release Radon?

Granite, like any natural stone used to build homes or decorate, contains many of the minerals that release radon gas from the soil. The sparkling crystals embedded in your countertops may include thorium and uranium, two minerals that release radioactive radon gas as they break down over time. The EPA says that granite countertops can release extremely small amounts of radon each year but don’t pose a serious or particular risk. There’s no need to remove your granite countertops just to reduce your radon levels.

What Should I Do If I Want to Sell a Home with High Radon Levels?

If you have previously tested high, you may want to install a mitigation system to make your home more attractive to buyers. 

Do Some Areas Have Higher Chances of Developing Radon Problems?

There is no part of the U.S. completely free of the risk of radon gas exposure. Yet there are also some states and regions that experience higher rates of exposure than others.

How do I know that my radon system is working? 

The only way is to conduct a radon test. The test should be done at least every two years. We recommend that you get a device that would monitor your house constantly and then also perform a test every two years to confirm the accuracy of the daily monitor. Also check your U-tube (vacuum gauge) periodically to ensure that the fan is working properly.

Why does the radon fan have to be outside my home?

By regulation, radon fans must be located outside of the conditioned space of the home.

Why does the exhaust pipe go up to the roof?

The regulation stipulates that the exhaust must extend above the roofline. The idea is to keep the exhaust gas from coming back into the house or impinging on patios, walkways, play areas, etc.

Why doesn’t the system have a cap or screen? Won’t rain and bugs get in?

As long as the system is running, the air exiting the pipe keeps rain and bugs out. Caps and other diverters can cause freeze-up problems from condensation when it’s cold out. Radon systems can expel hundreds of gallons of water vapor each year.

Can the exhaust pipe be disguised by using downspout instead of PVC?

PVC piping is the most suitable material for the job. Metal downspouts are not intended to be used for gas exhaust applications, and the joints cannot be permanently sealed (they require frequent re-sealing). Downspouts also tend to ice up in the winter, disabling the system just when you need it the most.

If you cover my sump, how can I tell if the pump is working? How can I fix it if it fails?

Our standard sump covers are transparent, so you can shine a flashlight into the sump pit to verify that the sump is working.

Can’t I just seal my sump pump and floor cracks to keep radon out?

If it were only that easy! Radon will travel right through a concrete floor. Your house is always forcing air into itself through the amount of pressure it exerts on the ground, barometric pressure, temperature differences and convective airflow.

Is resealing my ground water sump pit really necessary after servicing or replacement?  

Yes. The effectiveness of the radon system will be compromised if the sump pit cover is not properly re-sealed.

What kind of caulk do you use to seal cracks and the sump pit cover?

Using silicone caulk sealant is the best. It has the best elasticity and remains flexible longer than polyurethane caulk sealant. Contractors using latex caulk are not providing the best longevity for reproducible radon reduction.

What is the U-tube (manometer, vacuum gauge) for?

The U-tube manometer, or vacuum gauge, primarily indicates the vacuum pressure inside the radon system. This will let you know if the radon fan is working or not. If the tops of the red or blue liquid are equal, the fan may not be working or may have been turned off.

The U-tube can also indicate if your ground water sump is working properly. If there are elevated levels of ground water under the concrete floor, the U-tube would indicate a rise in the vacuum (greater difference in the two levels of red or blue liquid). It would then be a good idea to check to see if your ground water sump pump is working.

Does the U-tube on the system indicate the radon levels? 

No, the U-tube on the radon system does not indicate radon levels. Only a radon test can indicate the levels of radon.

My U-tube is equal, what does this mean? 

 

    • There’s no power to system

    • The fan has failed

    • The U-tube came loose from primary suction point pipe

My liquid in the U-tube is not as originally marked, what does this mean?

This can mean the following:

 

    • The fan has failed

    • The sump seal is broken

    • Caulking around the primary or secondary suction point(s) has failed

    • There is a tear in the crawl space membrane

    • The U-tube has become dislodged or has failed

    • Suction point or exhaust pipe is blocked

What is a vibration collar and why is it so important?

Radon systems operate 24/7. If the home has lap siding (vinyl, aluminum, cedar), it is more susceptible to noise transfer. A radon system with vibration collars will provide you with the quietest operation, less chance of being shut off and therefore providing the best lung cancer risk reduction.

I hear a gurgling noise in the radon system. What does this mean? 

That means that water is not draining away from the suction point. If you have a ground water sump pump, this might mean that you should inspect your sump pump to determine if the sump is working properly. If you do not have a sump pump, this means that additional ground water is collecting under your foundation. This might be caused by non-functioning gutters (clogged or not draining at least 10 feet away from the foundation wall.)

There is a whistling noise coming from the radon system. What does this mean?

This could mean that the caulking has failed along the suction point, wall/floor joints or floor cracks.

Test My Home!

Professional radon testing is the first step to making your home a safe place to breathe.

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How Can Radon Enter a Home

Radon can enter your home via a number of entry points or pathways:

  • Cracks in concrete slabs.
  • Spaces behind brick veneer walls that rest on uncapped hollow-block foundations.
  • Pores and cracks in concrete blocks.
  • Floor-wall joints.
  • Exposed soil, as in a sump or crawl space.
  • Weeping (drain) tile, if drained to an open sump.
  • Mortar joints.
  • Loose fitting pipe penetrations.
  • Open tops of block walls.
  • Building materials: brick, concrete, rock.
  • Well water.

In general, whenever air enters a home from the underlying soil, some radon will likely come with it. Any home can have a radon problem, no matter what type of foundation it has.


If you have a basement: A basement provides a large surface area in contact with soil material. Radon can enter through cracks in the concrete, or through floor-to-wall joints or control joints. But radon can enter a home regardless of whether or not there is a basement.

Slab-On-Grade: Slabs built on grade can have many openings that allow radon to enter, just as in a basement.

Crawl Space: Homes with crawl spaces can also have elevated radon levels. The vacuum effect can draw radon gas from a crawl space into the home.

Manufactured Homes: Unless these buildings are placed on supports without skirting around them, interior air pressure vacuums can cause radon to enter manufactured homes, as well.

Radon and Your Home’s Air Pressure

Other factors also contribute to air pressure changes in a home, including:

  • Stack Effect: As warm air rises to the upper portions of a home, it is displaced by cooler, denser outside air. Some of that displaced air comes from the soil.

  • Down Wind Draft Effect: Strong winds can create a vacuum as they flow over the top and around the home.

  • Vacuum Effect: Combustion appliances like furnaces, hot water heaters and fireplaces, as well as exhaust fans and vents, can remove a considerable amount of air from a home. When air is exhausted, outside air enters the home to replace it. Some of this replacement air comes from the underlying soil.

What Happens After Radon Enters a Home?

Radon levels are often highest at the entry point – typically in the lower part of a building. As radon gas moves upward, diffusion, natural air movements and mechanical equipment (such as a forced-air ventilation system) distribute the radon through the home. Radon gas becomes more diluted in the upper levels of the home because there is more fresh air for it to mix with.


Greater dilution and less house vacuum effect occur when the house is more open to the outdoors, as during the non-heating season. This generally results in lower indoor radon levels in the summer compared to the winter.


Test My Home!

Professional radon testing is the first step to making your home a safe place to breathe.

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Vapor Intrusion Mitigation Systems

Active Vapor intrusion mitigation systems are installed to reduce health risks in buildings where chemical vapors from contaminated soil may be inhaled by indoor occupants. Active vapor intrusion mitigation systems provide the added benefits of reducing radon, and moisture inside the buildings where they are installed. Active and passive systems may also be installed in buildings where contamination might occur in the future. Active systems run continually and should be monitored on a regular basis for proper operation.

What is Vapor Intrusion?

Vapor intrusion is the movement of chemical vapors from contaminated soil and groundwater into nearby buildings. Vapors primarily enter through openings in the building foundation or basement walls – such as cracks in the concrete slab, gaps around utility lines, and sumps. It also is possible for vapors to pass through concrete, which is naturally porous. Once inside the home or workplace, vapors may be inhaled posing immediate or long-term health risks for the occupants. Risks will depend on the types of chemical vapors and their concentrations, how much time people spend in the building, and the building’s ventilation. Vapor concentrations will be higher indoors when windows and doors remain closed. Mitigation methods, which lessen the effects of vapor intrusion, may be needed until contaminated soil or groundwater is cleaned up.

What are Vapor Mitigation Methods?

Vapor mitigation methods can be either passive or active. Passive methods prevent the entry of chemical vapors into the building and are generally installed during building construction, although passive mitigation can sometimes be used on existing structures. Active methods change the pressure difference between the sub-slab and the inside of the building to keep vapors out. The goal with an active vapor mitigation system is to create a negative pressure below the concrete floors of buildings with basements and slab on grade buildings, the systems are similar in style to active radon mitigation systems. For homes built over a crawl space with open soil floors a vapor barrier can be installed along with other components of an active vapor mitigation system.

Protect Environmental can install a vapor mitigation system to meet your application; we have installed systems for single family homes, apartment communities, and commercial buildings of all sizes. Let us put our experience to work for you. Contact us for more information.

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The Dos and Don’ts For Properly Finishing a Basement

Unless it’s built like a boat, with proper exterior waterproofing and radon control systems in place, a basement is a dangerous space to finish. The ground around a basement is almost always wet, and the walls and concrete slab are porous; CMUs and mortar joints are super-porous. A basement may look dry, but that’s because the walls and floor are being heated, converting liquid water into vapor, which is pulled into the air. As soon as you cover up those surfaces and insulate, which restricts airflow and moves the condensation point to the interior surface of the foundation wall, you’ll have wet walls and floors.

A basement should be built like a boat to keep water out. But most houses are built on porous walls and floors with nothing between the wet and the dry. In a house that is built like a sieve, if you want finish materials in the basement, you first have to manage the moisture in the walls and floor. To be successful, there are a few simple things you absolutely must do, and a few you absolutely must avoid.

Here’s a list of Dos and Don’ts, that show everything you need to know about finishing a basement.

Drainage

  • DO install a drain-tile system with a sump pump that discharges any water within a minimum of 5 feet from the foundation.
  • DO extend the interior drainboard from the drain tile up to at least 6 inches above grade. Best is a dimpled sheathing.

Walls

  • DO frame with steel studs set on a capillary break, such as a sill seal (this also helps with uneven floors).
  • DO hold framing 1 inch away from the foundation walls—no exceptions!
  • DO spray high-density polyurethane foam 2 to 3 inches thick behind the stud wall and all the way up onto the rim joist. If you choose to use batt insulation, don’t let it touch the foundation walls.
  • DO install paperless drywall, and hold it ½ inch off the floor.
  • DON’T let the wall framing touch the walls or the floor (treated lumber wicks water).

Floors

  • DO install an active Sub-Slab Depressurization System (SSDS) to control moisture and radon. The SSDS can remove up to 10 gallons of water a day from under your home, helping to improve air quality and reduce the potential for mold and musty odors. As a side benefit, it will also reduce radon levels in your home!
  • DO use moisture-resistant flooring, such as ceramic tile or vinyl composition tile. If you want the look of wood, cover the slab with a vapor-control layer with taped seams and install a glued or dry-fit engineered click-lock floating floor system.
  • DON’T install carpet.

 

Contact us to radon test your basement and install the best radon mitigation system in your home.

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Professional radon testing is the first step to making your home a safe place to breathe.

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Radon in Crawl Spaces

A crawl space is often the top culprit in allowing radon into our homes, it’s often left as exposed dirt, or sometimes lined with gravel, which don’t help to prevent radon from entering a house. High radon levels in your house can be significantly reduced with crawl space encapsulation. The key is to create a barrier that doesn’t allow the radon to enter the crawl space itself. Additional barriers and fans are also put into place to ensure that the radon gets properly vented out of your home or business.

 

As an added bonus, crawl space encapsulation has been known to reduce allergy issues by reducing mold and ventilating it from your home.

Crawl Spaces With Dirt or Gravel

In crawl spaces that have dirt or gravel floors, Protect Environmental can seal your crawl space with an airtight membrane called a vapor barrier. All stored items and debris must be removed from the ground prior to the installation of the crawl space membrane. If there are sharp objects or sharp gravel we can install a layer of tar paper over the floor before placing the membrane. This helps prevent the plastic from being ripped or torn when placing storage items back in the area. We secure the plastic membrane to the foundation walls or footings using wooden furring and concrete nails. Once the plastic is secured to the foundation walls, the entire perimeter is sealed including any seams, splices and penetrations to create an air-tight barrier to block the radon gas. The radon mitigation system is then tied directly to the soil under the membrane. The system creates a twenty-four hour vacuum that constantly pulls the radon out to vent above the roof of the house. 

 

A properly sealed crawl space will further reduce radon levels, create a safer storage area and prevent energy loss. Make sure the method of securing the plastic is strong enough to last through periodic crawl space entry such as: storing items, home repairs and utility workers. We care about the quality of your radon mitigation system and crawl space membrane no matter who installs it. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

Crawl Spaces With Concrete Floors

In crawl spaces that have concrete floors radon levels can be reduced by creating a vacuum in the soil under the concrete slab. Many concrete crawlspaces have a large amount of cracks. These cracks, along with the corner where the floor meets the foundation wall are sealed to create a more air tight barrier. The radon system is installed by drilling a hole through the concrete to access the soil underneath. The mitigation system creates a constant vacuum in the soil to vent the radon out above the roofline of the house.

 

Many homes have a combination of crawl spaces, slab-on-grade areas, and basements. These homes are treated using a radon mitigation system with several different suction points. A primary suction point is usually installed through the basement slab with auxiliary suction points installed to depressurize these crawlspace and slab-on-grade areas.

 

Crawlspace membranes are not known as a stand-alone method to significantly reduce radon levels. These should be installed in conjunction with the radon mitigation system.

Contact Us for Crawl Encapsulation

Many homes and buildings across the U.S. have crawl spaces with radon gas problems. Radon makes its way into the crawlspace from the ground underneath. Crawl Spaces with exposed soil floors have no barrier to slow down or prevent radon entry. It can make its way through the floorboards into occupied areas like bedrooms, living rooms, and offices. The best way to prevent radon entry in crawl spaces is to seal them and install a radon mitigation system. Contact your local Protect Environmental professionals for your peace of mind protection against radon in your home’s crawl space.

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Press Releases

New Partnership Provides Increased Access to Radon Testing During National Radon Action Month

Limiting Radon Exposure Starts with a Test – Protect Environmental and the American Lung Association Partner to Remove the Cost Barrier to Testing Across the U.S.

LOUISVILLE, KY. – (January 10, 2024) – During National Radon Action Month, the American Lung Association and Protect Environmental are breaking down barriers for homeowners to know their radon risk by providing no-cost professional radon testing services in key, high-risk areas. Since dangerous levels of radon have been found in every state and anyone can be at risk of exposure, low-cost test kits are available at a discount this month to empower everyone to take the first step to reduce their risk of radon-induced lung cancer for homeowners located outside their service area. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as much as 20% of all lung cancer cases happen to people who have never smoked, yet many people don’t know that the air in their homes could put their lung health at risk. More awareness and testing are needed to end radon-induced lung cancer once and for all.

Radon is responsible for about 21,000 lung cancer deaths in the U.S. every year and is the second leading cause of lung cancer. Any home or building can have dangerous levels of radioactive gas. Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that rises through the soil and can enter your home through cracks in floors, walls, or foundations.

When inhaled, radioactive particles released by radon gas in your lungs can damage lung tissue and cause breakages and irreversible damage to lung cell DNA or cell mutations that can lead to cancer. Since there is no cure for lung cancer, proactive prevention is key. The only way to know your risk of radon exposure is to test.

On January 18, Protect Environmental will be releasing its second annual National Radon Risk Index™ (check out last year’s here) which ranks communities by the known indoor radon measurements recorded using a database that represents more than 2.5 million data points compiled from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and internal radon testing data points provided by Protect Environmental.

“We discovered that my childhood home had high levels of radon when my father was diagnosed with lung cancer, even though he was a non-smoker,” said Kyle Hoylman, CEO of Protect Environmental. “Our team is doing its part to reduce exposure to cancer-causing radon gas, but more awareness and action is needed to prevent this deadly disease across the U.S. That’s why we have partnered with the American Lung Association to break down barriers to radon testing and to empower individuals to reduce their risk of radon exposure through no-cost professional radon testing and low-cost test kits.”

To inspire action and end radon-induced lung cancer, the American Lung Association and Protect Environmental partner to provide professional no-cost radon testing in eight (8) key markets: (1) Chicago, IL; (2) Columbus, OH; (3) Denver, CO; (4) Detroit, MI; (5) Lexington, KY; (6) Louisville, KY; (7) New Jersey, and New York City, NY, and (8) Salt Lake City. Homeowners can request no-cost professional radon testing here. Through this initiative, a qualified professional will conduct a radon test using a certified active radon measurement device and will provide a detailed report to the homeowner upon test completion at no cost. If elevated levels are identified, the problem can be fixed through the installation of a mitigation system.

During National Radon Action Month, do-it-yourself radon test kits are also available nationwide at a reduced price to encourage everyone to know their radon risk. The kits include lab analysis from national and state-certified analytical laboratory RAdata, a Protect Environmental company. During January kits can be purchased at a reduced rate.

“Radon in homes is more common than you think. Unfortunately, most places in the country remain undertested, so this isn’t something that should be taken lightly,” said Deb Brown, Chief Mission Officer for the American Lung Association. “This is why the American Lung Association is proud to partner with Protect Environmental to offer free or low-cost radon testing for families. We urge everyone to test their homes for this cancer-causing gas.”

During National Radon Action Month, everyone is urged:

 

  1. Test Your Home for Radon: The EPA recommends that every home be tested for radon every two years. The colder months are the best time to test. If elevated levels are found, take action to reduce radon exposure by installing a radon mitigation system. Request a no-cost professional radon test or order your low-cost radon test kit online today.

 

  1. Talk to a Friend or Neighbor About the Risk of Radon. More awareness is needed to create safer indoor spaces. Protect Environmental developed the National Radon Risk Search™ Tool to help people learn about radon results in their zip code and better understand the potential health risks radon poses near them.

 

  1. Encourage Schools and Workplaces to Test for Radon. Limit radon exposure in all the indoor spaces you spend time in. Any building can have elevated levels of radon and the long-term threat of lung cancer can impact anyone. For more information on protecting commercial buildings from radon, visit com/Commercial.

 

  1. Talk to your Doctor and Learn More About Your Risk. In many cases, radon-induced lung cancer is asymptomatic. When symptoms start to show the damage is irreversible. People who have never smoked make up one out of seven radon-related lung cancer deaths each year. If you believe you may have been exposed to elevated levels of radon, talk with your doctor about your options for lung cancer screening and early detection. Learn more at org/radon.

About the American Lung Association

The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease through education, advocacy and research. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to champion clean air for all; to improve the quality of life for those with lung disease and their families; and to create a tobacco-free future. For more information about the American Lung Association, which has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and is a Platinum-Level GuideStar Member, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org. To support the work of the American Lung Association, find a local event at Lung.org/events.

 

American Lung Association • 55 W. Wacker Drive, Suite 1150 • Chicago, IL 60601

1331 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Ste. 1425 North • Washington, D.C. 20004
1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) Lung.org

About Protect Environmental

Protect Environmental is a national leader in the environmental consulting and construction industry, focusing on radon and chemical vapor intrusion management. With a proven track record spanning 38 years and more than 200,000 completed projects in all 50 U.S. states and 2 U.S. territories, the company provides expert service from its trusted professionals to provide peace of mind protection to property owners seeking to build and maintain healthy, safe, and sustainable indoor environments. Join our rapidly expanding team, apply today. For more information, call 502-410-5000 or click on https://www.protectenvironmental.com.

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Residential Radon Mitigation Systems: Protecting Your Property From Radon

Most people think of radon as a health hazard, and for good reason. Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer among nonsmokers in the United States. While radon gas can contaminate any type of building, the home is where people are exposed to it more often and for the longest periods of time. Because radon is colorless, odorless, and otherwise undetectable by the unaided senses, testing and monitoring using specialized equipment are critical.

 

But what many people don’t know is that there are ways to mitigate (reduce) their levels of radon. Radon mitigation systems can be installed in any type of structure and are commonly used in homes.


If you are concerned about radon exposure, the first step is to test your home or business for radon gas. Once you know your radon levels, you can decide whether or not to install a radon mitigation system. The EPA’s radon action level is 4 pCi/L or more.


When installing your radon mitigation system, our radon mitigation specialists will work 1-on-1 with you through the entire process. After we install the mitigation system, we’ll provide a follow-up radon test to ensure your property has been properly mitigated for radon. 

Common Questions About Radon Mitigation

Why Is Radon Mitigation Important?

Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that can be found in all 50 states; radon is the leading cause of lung cancer among nonsmokers in the United States and accounts for about 21,000 deaths each year. It comes from the decay of uranium in rocks, soil, and water and gets into the air we breathe. The EPA recommends radon mitigation for any level of contamination that exceeds 4 picocuries per liter (pCi/L).

How Much Does Radon Mitigation Cost?

The cost of radon mitigation depends on the size and type of structure, as well as the specific mitigation system. 

In What Areas Do You Offer Radon Mitigation?

We currently offer radon mitigation services in Colorado, Illinois, Michigan, Kentucky, New Jersey, Ohio, Utah, and continue to expand across different cities and states. Use our search tool to find an office near you.

What Comes After The Radon Mitigation Installation?

The EPA recommends testing every two years to ensure your radon mitigation system is working properly. We will often send courteous reminders after the mitigation.

Our certified radon professionals are dedicated to installing effective radon mitigation systems and testing for radon exposure in your home or commercial building. With radon being a leading cause of lung cancer, it is imperative to take proactive measures.

 

Testing your home or business for radon and, if necessary, installing a mitigation system can significantly reduce the risks associated with radon exposure. Our specialists guide you through the entire process, providing personalized attention. 

Our radon mitigation systems are uniquely designed and installed by certified radon professionals to reduce the levels of radon in your home or business. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact us – we are here to help protect your property from radon exposure.

Test My Home!

Professional radon testing is the first step to making your home a safe place to breathe.

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Radon and Exercising in the Basement

Do you exercise in your basement? Radon, an invisible and radioactive gas that rises from the ground, poses a serious health risk, especially in lower areas like basements. Learn more about radon, its potential health implications, and the surprisingly simple steps you can take to safeguard yourself and your loved ones. A quick and inexpensive radon test can make your workout space safer than ever.

Why is Radon Dangerous?

Radon is an invisible gas that comes from the soil below the home’s foundation. It’s a radioactive gas that may cause lung cancer. It is heavier than air so lower areas of homes and buildings, such as basements, are usually more affected. Basements, rooms over concrete slabs, and areas over crawl spaces can have high radon levels. The risk of radon depends on how often you’re exposed to it, and what levels are present in the building. According to the EPA, radon kills more than 20,000 people per year, it’s the number one cause of  lung cancer among non-smokers. 

Exposure to Radon in Basements

As one ventures into the basement for the daily workout routine, the prospect of an unnoticed health hazard may not immediately come to mind. However, it is worth noting that radon gas could be secretly present in the air during activities such as weightlifting or aerobic exercises. This invisible yet harmful gas emerges from the ground, and its connection to lung cancer adds a layer of significance to its casual perception. Because basements are usually turned into home gyms and they’re downstairs, they’re more likely to have higher radon levels. It’s kind of ironic—you’re trying to stay fit, but you might be unknowingly breathing in more of this gas that’s linked to a higher risk of lung cancer. Understanding that radon may be present in your home and can pose a health risk to you and your family is the first step to protect your wellbeing.

Radon Testing is Easy and Inexpensive

There are many test kit manufacturers across the country. These radon test kits can be long-term or short-term. They are simple devices that can measure the radon levels in your home. If your level is greater than 4 pCi/L, the EPA says you should take action to reduce radon. The EPA website states that the level of 4 in non-smokers is equal to the risk of dying in a car crash. The WHO takes it a step further and they say you should take action if your levels are greater than 2.7 pCi/L. Our experienced professionals can perform a radon test in your home to determine how much radon is present, after this, the installation of a radon mitigation system will help keep radon levels down indoors.

Can Radon be Eliminated?

Because radon is radioactive, it’s constantly decaying. You’re not able to clean it up but you can reduce the levels of radon indoors. When you have measurable levels in your home, it is because new gas is replacing that which is decaying. So when radon is high, the way you reduce it is by installing a permanent radon mitigation system. The systems create constant vacuum in the soil under basements, concrete slabs and crawl spaces. As the gas works its way up from the ground beneath the house, it is captured by the system and vented to a safe elevation above the roofline. From there, the radon dissipates into the atmosphere. Our certified radon mitigation system installers have been trained to properly fix the problem and keep your home safe.


If you spend a lot of time in your basement, working out, watching movies, or you use it as an extra bedroom, a radon test can give you peace of mind knowing that you and your loved ones are safe from this toxic gas.

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Professional radon testing is the first step to making your home a safe place to breathe.

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Passive Radon Systems: Everything You Need to Know

Radon resistant new construction (RRNC) is quickly becoming a hot topic for new homes and buildings. Radon resistant new construction techniques control radon gas entry through the installation of a passive radon mitigation system. Passive radon systems can help to prevent radon gas entry without the use of a radon vent fan. These systems are more economical for consumers as the cost to install is typically less compared to retrofitting applications. Also, compared to active radon systems, there are great electrical and heat energy savings. Learn everything you need to know about passive radon systems. 

Continue to Test for Radon After a Passive Radon System Installation

Repeatedly, we have encountered instances where we visit homes to activate passive radon systems installed during the home’s construction. However, we often discover that the proper RRNC techniques were not followed. Some of the issues we find such as incorrect PVC pipe sizes, unsealed cracks, improper pipe routes, could put your house at risk of radon exposure. While this situation may pose potential risks, it’s important to note that homeowners may not be aware of these issues. They were informed that their new home comes equipped with a radon system, leading them to believe they are protected. Unfortunately, this can create a false sense of security, and many homeowners may not even test for radon gas assuming the system is functioning effectively.

Without the correct implementation of radon-resistant new construction techniques, homeowners may only have what appears to be an ineffective pipe labeled as a “radon system” in their basement. It’s crucial to address these issues to ensure the safety of residents and educate them on the importance of proper radon mitigation measures.

If you are building a new home:
  • Educate yourself about the dangers of radon gas.
  • Learn about the existing RRNC guidelines.
  • Ask your builder if they are RRNC educated.
  • Insist that a certified radon mitigation company such as Protect Environmental installs the passive radon system.
  • Document the system installation, take photos and ask questions.
  • Make certain to test the home for radon gas after the build is complete.
  • If radon levels are above the EPA recommendations activate the passive radon system with a radon fan and test again.
If you live in a home with a passive radon mitigation system:
  • Test for radon gas at least every two years.
  • Inspect your foundation for new cracks/radon entry points and seal them.
  • Call your local radon contractor to inspect the system design.
  • Do not assume that you are protected from radon if you haven’t performed a radon test.

Passive radon mitigation is a great way to reduce radon gas if the system is installed correctly. They can be easily activated if radon levels remain high and are nicely hidden within the home. These systems may help reduce lung cancer risk for you and your family but always be certain that the passive system was installed correctly and is working properly. If you need help inspecting a passive radon system or testing your home for radon, contact the licensed professionals at Protect Environmental.

Test My Home!

Professional radon testing is the first step to making your home a safe place to breathe.

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How to Reduce Your Exposure to Radon Gas

Exposure to radon, an invisible and odorless gas, poses a serious health risk, impacting a person’s well-being within various settings, including homes, offices, and schools. Recognizing the potential risks associated with radon gas is the first step to ensure you’re protected. This article outlines comprehensive steps to reduce your exposure to radon. From understanding the risks and evaluating radon levels to choosing a certified mitigation company and maintaining mitigation systems, there are numerous steps you can take to protect your health. 

Exposure to radon can be reduced by following these steps.

1. Learn about the risks of radon gas exposure. 

Radon is an invisible and odorless gas which remains undetectable unless specifically tested for. This toxic gas emits alpha radiation, which can negatively impact your lungs’ health. Various settings, including homes, apartments, office buildings, and schools, may be susceptible to radon presence. Some areas are more prone to radon problems including basements, crawlspaces, and slabs. While certain parts of the country exhibit higher radon levels, no area can be deemed entirely “clear” of this hazardous gas. Moreover, radon levels tend to be higher during the winter months.

2. Evaluate the radon levels in your home.

Getting your home tested for radon by a professional and certified team will provide you with the most accurate assessment of radon levels in your home. You can also purchase a DIY radon test kit. Contact our team of experts at Protect Environmental for radon testing, or purchase a radon test kit with our partners at RAdata.

 

3. If radon tests are high, contact a certified radon mitigation company.

If your radon results from a DIY testing kit are high, choosing a reputable radon contractor is crucial for effective radon mitigation. You can start by looking at their reviews on accredited review sites to gauge the experiences of previous clients. Verify that the company is appropriately licensed and insured for your specific area, ensuring compliance with local regulations. Confirm the legitimacy of their local office by conducting a web search of the provided address. This research can help in making an informed and reliable choice when choosing a radon mitigation company.

4. Prepare your home for the radon system installation.

Locate and remove stored items from cracks in the concrete floors before sealing. If you have an older sump pump, consider replacing it with a newer model before the radon technician seals it with a sump lid. Identify crawl space areas and make sure the radon mitigation team will be sealing the crawl space to mitigate radon gas.

5. Re-test to ensure you’re protected.

It is advisable to conduct radon retesting every two years, covering various seasons to capture potential fluctuations. Radon levels can vary throughout the year, for example during colder months radon levels are higher, so periodic retests offer a comprehensive understanding of radon exposure. Additionally, it is worth considering the use of a long-term radon test kit as part of a proactive approach to monitoring and ensuring the ongoing safety of a building. It is essential to prioritize lower radon levels, as they contribute to a safer indoor environment. 

6. Maintain your radon system.

Make it a habit to check your radon system vacuum gauge often. Identify and seal any new cracks in your concrete floors to make sure radon gas doesn’t enter your home through these cracks. Maintain a proper seal over your sump. Inspect your crawl space membrane (if applicable) for rips and tears.

Luckily, if radon gas is present in your home, radon mitigation systems do an excellent job of reducing your exposure to it. If you want peace of mind knowing what the levels of radon gas are in your home, or if you want to buy a DIY test kit from our partners, please feel free to contact us.

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Professional radon testing is the first step to making your home a safe place to breathe.

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How to Check if Your Radon Mitigation System is Working Correctly

You’ve got that radon mitigation system humming away, but is it really doing the job? Don’t just cross your fingers and hope for the best—follow these tips to ensure your system is in top-notch shape. From checking if the fan is working properly to making sure the exhaust location is in the right place, we are here to guide you. Read more to learn how to check if your radon mitigation system is working correctly. 

Test or retest your home.

The only way to ensure a radon mitigation system is performing optimally is to test or retest your home. The EPA recommends retesting every 2 years or whenever significant changes to the home structure or mechanical systems occur. We also recommend using certified radon measurement professionals, they can provide you with a more detailed radon report and a radon mitigation system inspection. Any way you choose to test, if your levels are low throughout your home, that is your first indication that the system is doing its job. If the levels are high, you may need to contact the original installer or another professional to come out to make the system work right.

Some things to watch out for after a radon mitigation system installation that would require maintenance include:

1. If the fan is off.

Some things to watch out for after a radon mitigation system installation that would require maintenance include:

Check to see if the fan is plugged in and turned on. Make sure the breaker is not thrown. If the U-tube is on 0 and plugged in, then call our radon professionals to request maintenance on your system.

2. Fan noise changes or becomes loud.

Changes in a fan’s noise are not normal, unless there are heavy rains in your area you might hear a gurgling noise, which is normal. Every fan has a slight humming sound, but if you notice that it suddenly becomes loud, then it’s best to have a professional look at it.

3. Sump mit system.

Check the U-tube and check the seals to make sure there are no air leaks. (Run your hand along seams to see if you can feel air escaping). 

4. If a pipe or fan is damaged.

If a pipe or a fan is damages by falling branches or a storm, you will need to call a professional to address this issue.

Check the system’s monitor.

Make it a habit to regularly check it. The majority of radon mitigation systems have what is called a manometer. Some systems have an indicator light or audible alarm. Whichever device you have, it should have instructions to help you understand how to interpret whether or not the system is on and running. If you don’t have a radon system monitor, you should have one installed so you can have a way to systematically check that the radon fan is running.

Note: passive radon mitigation systems typically will not have a monitor because they do not have an active radon vent fan. Your best way to monitor your passive radon system is to do radon tests during the different seasons of the year or long term tests. If your radon levels are high, you can activate the passive radon system.

Check the exhaust location. 

One of the most basic rules of installing radon mitigation systems is knowing where to locate the exhaust of the system. The vent should always exhaust at least ten feet above the ground or standing areas like decks or patios. The vent exhaust should be two feet higher than any window, door or other open into conditioned space that is less than ten feet away from it. Also, it needs to be far away from any mechanical intake like an evaporative cooler. This will prevent radon reentry. The levels can be extreme at the exhaust end of the pipe. You do not want that gas to be inhaled at breathable height or come back into the home or building. 

Check that the radon system covers the entire home. 

If you have a multi-level home, crawlspace, addition or just a lot of square feet, a simple radon system with one pipe and a fan may not be the right system for your home. Usually in homes and buildings that have more than one footprint, a radon mitigation system composed of multiple suction points is required. Do a radon test in multiple locations around your home and the basement, the room above the crawlspace or slab on grade if you have one. If the radon system wasn’t installed for the entire footprint, you could still be at risk for radon entry.

Working with experienced radon mitigation professionals ensures you have a system that’s installed correctly and will protect your family from radon gas. Contact our team at Protect Environmental to test your home for radon, install a radon mitigation system, or address any issues you may have with a previous installation.

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