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You take all types of precautions to keep your family safe. You've installed a high-quality security door at your home as well as a state-of-the-art home security system. However, a more deadly threat may be seeping into your home without your knowledge. The lethal intruder is radon gas. Radon gas is a colorless, tasteless, and odorless radioactive substance that is known to cause cancer. According to the EPA, radon exposure is the leading cause of lung cancer deaths after tobacco smoke. To combat this invisible enemy, you'll need to know how the gas enters your home, the best way to detect it, and the most effective way to remove the gas from your dwelling.

radioactive gasses

What is radon?

Radon is a result of the natural breakdown of uranium in the soil. The gas primarily gets indoors through openings in your home's exterior, basement, or foundation. When it becomes concentrated indoors, your health is in jeopardy. The gas can also seep into groundwater, but EPA researchers point out that gas released from tap water is a minor contributor to poor indoor air quality. They recommend calling your water treatment agency to find out if it tests the water for radon since low levels of the gas that are dissolved in water can still cause health issues. If you rely on well water, testing your water for the gas is a good idea.

While finding radon in your drinking water is a problem, the gas that's present in your home's indoor air is the most prominent radon-related problem that you're likely to encounter. The gas is measured in picocuries per liter. If your home has over 4 picocuries per liter, you'll need to seek out radon mitigation services.

This indoor pollutant is so problematic that the EPA has mapped zones that show where the gas is most prevalent in homes across the United States. While the government agency recommends that all homes be tested for radon, homes that fall within one of the mapped zones should undergo testing.

mitigating radon

What is radon mitigation?

Radon testing can be done with a do-it-yourself kit that you can get at your local hardware store. If you don't trust the off-the-shelf kits, you can hire a professional testing company to do the job. The EPA has resources that can match you with qualified testing companies in your area.

Reducing or eradicating radon gas from the interiors of your home or business is called mitigation. Since every radon mitigation case is different, you'll want to hire a company that takes a customized approach to removing the gas from your air or water. The type of mitigation system that you need is based on the entry point of the gas and its concentration level on your property. Here are three of the most common types of radon mitigation systems based on those factors.

The most common point of entry for radon gas is under your home's foundation. A home that's built on a slab foundation often benefits from a sub-slab depressurization system to remove the gas at its source underground.

A sub-slab depressurization system uses a series of pipes and fans to create negative pressure under the foundation. The pressure causes the gas to be sucked into installed pipes. A fan helps to move the gas through the pipes that route it away from the home or business and into the air outside. The pipes are typically made of white PVC materials that may not match your building's exterior color scheme. To keep the curb appeal of your home or business intact, you can have an interior sub-slab depressurization system installed, which uses pipes that run through your attic instead of those that run along the siding of your home or business.

If your home or business is built on a crawl space foundation, it's more efficient to collect the gas from your crawl space than from underground. Mitigation companies such as SWAT Environmental often install crawl space membrane depressurization systems in these cases. A crawl space membrane depressurization system works similarly to sub-slab systems, except that the gas is sucked into PVC pipes from a sealed crawl space.

When high levels of radon gas are found in your home or business, you may need more than one underground collection point to get rid of the gas quickly and restore your indoor air quality to safe conditions. The passive radon second tap system has two collection points. The two pipes route the gas through your attic and to your property's exterior with the help of fans.

The Centers for Disease Control estimates that nearly 6 million U.S. homes have above-recommended levels of radon. Could your home be one of them? Gain peace of mind with SWAT Environmental. We install proven radon mitigation systems that effectively remove the gas from your property on a continuous basis. Our mitigation systems are ideal for older buildings that have a known radon issue and for new construction properties that are built in radon-prone areas.