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Radon and Your Home

clock March 31, 2009 19:53 by author blogadmin
Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer. Test your home for radon so you can stop this silent intruder from harming your family.

Radon is an inert gas that comes from below the earth’s surface.  To see the radon level in your area visit the EPA’s website. Radon gas is a by-product of uranium, and is found all over the world. It is the second greatest cause of lung cancer after smoking and causes more deaths per year than drunk drivers. This is not an article intended to scare, it is intended to inform. When it comes to radon, the general population falls into three categories: the informed, the uninformed and the misinformed.

  • The informed have tested and mitigated where warranted.
  • The uninformed don’t know anything about radon.
  • The misinformed believe that radon exists and is a problem only in certain locations, all far removed from them.

Radon is colorless, odorless and tasteless, and it creeps into our homes, offices and schools through cracks and other openings in the foundation of the building.  Once inside it decays into alpha particles that damage the DNA of lung tissue, a major cause of lung cancer. Once identified as a problem, radon mitigation can be implemented for a very reasonable cost.  Some states like Colorado already require radon-resistant design as part of new home construction. Testing for radon is easy and homeowners can do it themselves.

TheRadonLady.com has a link to one reliable source of radon test kits.  These are the same kits that are used by Radon Professionals for real estate transactions. There are many other sources on the web for passive test kits along with electronic units. Some people are afraid to test for radon because they think that mitigation will be costly, yet the cost is significantly less than what is added to a new vehicle for other safety features like airbags, seatbelts and crushable auto body parts.  The systems are fairly simple, yet very effective. When a house is sold, the radon system remains, a bonus to the buyer.

The Radon Lady (who is a licensed professional) recommends that everyone test their home themselves with both short term and long term testing.  Short term testing is for 48 hours and give a “snapshot” of the radon buildup over the two days.  Long term testing is 90+ days (6 months is recommended) and shows what the radon levels are like during “normal living conditions.”  “I suggest an initial short term test for approximately $16.  Depending on the radon levels mitigation might be warranted and that’s good to know.  Even if the radon levels are low, however, long term testing should always be implemented.  It costs only $25 and is really the decisive factor of how the home, office or classroom is affected . 

Test your home for radon today, you owe it to your family.



Expectations of Waterproofing

clock March 28, 2009 16:39 by author blogadmin
Understanding what type of waterproofing needs to be done and the limitation of this work is the first step to fixing your homes water problems. Sealed interior waterproofing systems are the best choice for basement waterproofing.

Basement waterproofing contractors usually provide some form of drainage system as one of their services to solve a wet basement or crawlspace. While drainage is critical to solving water problems, it is also crucial that homeowners understand the purpose and limitations of waterproofing their homes.

 

The definition of waterproofing is the process of making an area impervious to or unaffected by water. Residential waterproofing is necessary to allow basements and crawlspaces to become useful areas of the home. Basements can be converted to new living space without the usually damp and musty smells that generally accompany a basement. Methods of waterproofing include exterior and interior systems, each having their benefits and drawbacks.

 

Much criticism of interior waterproofing has been made due to the unregulated nature of the industry. Many less than credible contractors install systems without real knowledge of their actions.  These objections can be overcome with a sealed system of basement waterproofing. By not allowing collected moisture to re-enter a home these sealed systems can help with decreasing humidity, mold spore and radon levels by their nature of being sealed.

 

These waterproofing systems are installed along the interior perimeter of the basement dumping their contents into a sump pit then expelled by a sump pump. The drain tile is installed next to the footing and encased in crushed stone to filter potential clogs. Once the drain tile is set in place and connected together the system is completely covered with concrete keeping the water and gases from entering the interior living space. While many basement waterproofing systems install below the floor on sealed systems install next to the footing instead of being placed on top.

 

Systems that are placed on top of the footing are done so to gather water that runs down the walls. The major issue to with this type of system is the back is left open for wall water. This open back design also allows collected water and gases to reenter the living space causing higher humidity levels and possible radon infiltration. So when your basement must be waterproofed from the interior specify a sealed drainage system to protect your home and family.



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