What is Radon?
Radon gas is radioactive. It is released from the decay of uranium in the ground. It is invisible, odorless, and flavorless. It naturally seeps up through the ground and is then pulled into the home through cracks and openings in the foundation, since air pressure inside the home is less than outside. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States, second only to cigarette smoking. If you are a non-smoker, it is the leading cause of lung cancer. Radon gas exists at very low levels outdoors (average .04 pCi/l), due to being diluted by fresh air. However, in areas without adequate ventilation, such as basements, radon can accumulate to levels that substantially increase the risk of lung cancer.
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To measure the level of Radon in your Tecumseh home we use industry leading Sun Nuclear CRM (Continuous Radon Monitor) systems to accurately sample radon levels, each hour, for a period of at least 48 hours. Our CRMs are EPA verified, annually calibrated by a 3rd party lab, NEHA-NRPP evaluated and approved by the NRSB (National Radon Safety Board) for use in real estate transactions.
The use of a CRMs vs DIY Radon test kits found at the Health department in Adrian, or from hardware stores have multiple benefits.
To remove Radon from your home we only use AMERICAN MADE, EPA certified SSD (subslab depressurization) components that comply with EPA safety standards.
In addition, we guarantee your new mitigation system will remove radon to EPA acceptable levels or we will expand the system at no additional labor cost until acceptable levels have been met.
* All Mitigation systems come with a follow-up 3rd party radon test to verify results.
What are the health effects from exposure to radon?
There are no immediate symptoms from exposures to radon. Based on an updated Assessment of Risk for Radon in Homes (see EPA risk assessment), radon in indoor air is estimated to cause about 21,000 lung cancer deaths each year in the United States. As you might imagine smokers have an elevated risk of developing lung cancer when exposed to Radon. Lung cancer is the only health effect which has been scientifically linked to exposure to radon. Lung cancer generally occurs 5-25 years after exposure to radioactivity. There is no evidence that other respiratory diseases, such as asthma, are caused by exposure to radon.
How can you know if you have elevated levels of radon in your home?
Testing is the only way, plain and simple. As noted above, Radon levels indoors come from soil composition under and around the home, seeping through cracks and openings in the floor or foundation walls. Levels vary from home to home. Your neighbor could have high levels, while your home does not. Many factors influence levels throughout the year. For instance, weather, fireplaces and fans in the home can cause what is called a stack effect, pulling more radon into the home as air is displaced. For this reason we provide guidance on how to operate the home prior and during the testing period.
There are two main categories of tests that can be done, short-term and long-term.
Short-term tests measure radon levels for anywhere from 2 to 90 days, depending on the device used. Since real estate transactions can't wait for 90 days, this type of test is what most people rely on. Long-term tests determine an average for more than 90 days. Since radon levels vary from day to day and month to month, a long-term test is the best indicator of your average radon level, if time permits.
Why must radon be vented into the air above my home's roof?
Radon gas is approximately 7.5 times heavier than air. It is however a noble gas with no chemical affinity so it is easily influenced by air movement and pressure changes. In a home with a forced air heating or cooling system, radon gas can easily be distributed throughout the entire home through cold air returns and leaks in the duct system. When radon gas is removed using a radon mitigation system that expels above the roof line, the concentration of radon falls off dramatically in a short distance from the point of discharge. In fact, the concentration dissipates to outdoor levels within 3 to 4 feet from the discharge point.
For more information on Radon, download the National Cancer Institute's FAQ (pdf).
Rest assured AAI will measure and remove Radon from your home according to the highest standards. Our inspectors are NEHA-NRPP certified* for measurement (RT), mitigation (RMT), as well as a current Speaker Bureau Member with the American Association of Radon Scientists and Technologists.
*The NEHA National Radon Proficiency Program is the leading certification program for radon professionals in North America. (Certification is not required in the state of Michigan.)