Radon Testing and Closed House Conditions…What Does That Mean?
Radon gas builds up in homes because it is trapped when windows and doors are closed. Radon gas enters a building through foundation fissures, cracks and openings due to pressure differentials. The pressure inside a home is typically lower than the pressure in the soil that is exerted against a home’s foundation. This pressure differential can suck more radon into the house through these cracks and fissures.
When performing short term radon testing lasting 2-7 days, it is imperative to maintain closed house conditions throughout the entire testing period for a valid test. This includes real estate transactions! Closed house conditions means all doors and windows to the exterior including attached garage doors, to be closed for a minimum of 12 hours prior to deployment and for the entire period of active testing. Normal entry and exit is perfectly fine in and out of doors with rapid closure once passing through yet windows must stay closed during the entire period of deployment. Opening a small bathroom window while showering, for example, changes the internal pressure and can cause more radon to be pulled into the home.
Testing during the summer? Rest assured air conditioning can be used during the testing period. Make sure the temperature is consistent throughout the testing period. Testing in Winter? Keep the heat on as you normally would and once again, make sure the temperature is consistent throughout the testing period.
If closed house conditions sounds like it’s too much to endure if you are living in the property, consider arranging your radon testing while away on a long weekend or plan to visit a friend. The results will be well worth the hassle to know if your home is safe and if levels are elevated, a relatively quick and easy fix. Remember to re-test post mitigation!
Test Your Home…Protect Your Family!
Cigarette Smoking and Radon…A Double Whammy
You have smoked for many years or you know someone who has and just can’t seem to quit. I get it! Smoking cessation is one of the most difficult tasks a cigarette addicted human will ever go through. It challenges the heart (literally) and the soul!
Add long term exposure to elevated levels of radioactive radon gas into the mix and the results on the lungs can be disastrous. Long term exposure to elevated levels of radon has been proven to cause lung cancer and recent studies have shown radon can affect other organs in the body as well. Cigarette smoking has been proven to cause lung cancer so together, smoking and radon can magnify the results.
The EPA’s Citizen’s Guide to Radon notes lung cancer in people who smoke and have been exposed to elevated radon levels over a long term basis is significantly higher than those who have not smoked. Please see the charts below:
Both scenarios are easily corrected! One has a choice to smoke and it is never too late to stop for improved health benefits. A home with elevated radon levels can be fixed by installing a radon mitigation system by a professional and is one of the least expensive and most beneficial home repairs that can be performed.
Test Your Home…Protect Your Family…Stop Smoking for yourself and for those who love you.
Do You Live in a Basement Condo and Have Elevated Radon Levels?
You live in a basement condo and you have discovered your radon levels are elevated. The owners on the upper levels of the building don’t care and won’t contribute any funds to correct what they feel is YOUR problem.
Contact your management firm and share the situation. Identify what you need to obtain for approval from the association to have a radon mitigation system installed in the building for your safety and those on the levels affected whether funds are contributed or not.
Speak to other unit owners on your ground floor level and on the first floor to gather enough residents to voice their concern to install a radon mitigation system. Give all involved the tools and resources for education needed to make an intelligent decision. Call in a professional to assist!
Your management firm may choose to use reserves to take this next step if approved by a majority vote. If the management firm does not get the vote to move forward using reserves, consider gathering the funds from those affected to install the system. Always make sure you have approval from the association board and management firm before acting.
Most will turn the other cheek! Stay firm! Your health depends on it!
Protect Your Family…Test Your Home!