Radon Removal Systems
(800) 667-2366 1-800-NO-RADON
When and Why is Radon Removal Necessary?
Radon is the byproduct of uranium or thorium decay. It has no color, odor, or flavor, and it's a "noble gas"-- meaning that it doesn't react with other elements. Studies show that radon exposure also dramatically increases the risk of lung cancer, necessitating radon removal whenever the gas is found.
Radon is one of the densest naturally-occurring gases. This means that it is far more dense than air, and thus tends to sink to the lowest levels of whatever space it's occupying. Radon is naturally present in certain levels of rock, and its density and typically gaseous state mean that it poses a serious risk to miners and others that work in and around subterranean spaces. What many people don't realize, however, is that radon exposure isn't limited to mines and caves.
Basements containing radon pose a serious health hazard to homeowners and their families, and buildings with detectable levels of it require radon removal to be safely habitable. Since radon is colorless, odorless, and tasteless, there's no way to tell when a house contains radon without using a test kit, or hiring a radon removal company to test the building. Homes with wells pose an additional risk-- radon may end up pumped into the house along with well water and released into the air when showers and taps are used. Some building materials, like natural granite, also create an increased need for radon removal.
Regardless of the way radon makes its way into an area, radon removal is the only way to lower the risk of radon-related lung cancers. Since radon is natural and continually released by radioactive decay, radon removal is a continuous process. Depending on the construction of the building being treated, different methods of radon removal might be used.
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Most radon removal systems use a series of vents and fans to pull the gas from low levels in buildings, and vent it outside where it will be safely and easily diluted into the air. This method of radon removal is commonly called sub-slab depressurization. Other methods of radon removal involve covering the earth under a building with a plastic sheet and using fans to ventilate radon gas from beneath the sheet, or creating an airtight pressure envelope by sealing spaces in drywall and around vents before performing radon removal within wall cavity spaces.
In very humid areas, radon removal via mechanical ventilation can cause increased mold growth. This means that houses (particularly those in the southeastern U.S.) will have to improve their mold prevention measures after having a radon removal system installed. Variable rate mechanical ventilation systems can help in these situations by performing radon removal without allowing indoor humidity levels to increase above 50%.
High levels of radon have been found in buildings all over the world. However, radon removal and testing is not mandatory in most areas. That means that it's up to homeowners to protect themselves and their families by testing their homes for radon, and installing radon removal systems as necessary. Even in areas where mold growth is a problem, new radon removal techniques and dehumidifiers can help make homes as safe as possible.