Archive for June, 2012
Reducing Knoxville Radon Levels with Radon Abatement
Radon abatement in Knoxville, Tennessee is necessary if testing has found high levels of radon in your home. Radon is an undetectable gas that gives off radioactive particles as it breaks down. The gas originates in the soil; these radioactive particles can then be released into the air underneath a home or around a basement. Generally speaking, if there are no structural problems like spaces or gaps between the slab and the walls of the home, or between the basement and the walls or slab, then the radioactive particles are released into the open air and never become trapped within the home. Unfortunately, that is not true of many houses.
Radon Abatement Necessity
Radon has been identified as a carcinogen that can cause cancer when a person is exposed to it in higher levels. If your home does contain concentrated levels of radon gas, you could be putting yourself or members of your family dangerously at risk for developing symptoms of radon poisoning — potentially even lung cancer. Since radon gas is undetectable without specialized equipment, you could be exposed to high levels of radon and only find out once it is too late and your health is irreparably damaged. For this reason, it is better to err on the side of caution and have your home tested if you live in or around Knoxville.
Radon Abatement Specialists
If you have tested your home and found that it contains high levels of radon gas, the next step is to contact radon abatement specialists from SWAT Environmental. These specialists are skilled contractors who specialize in radon abatement. Considering the consequences of continued exposure to concentrated radon gas, this is one problem you should not attempt to correct yourself. The contractor can determine the best type of radon abatement system for your house.
Radon Abatement Methods
One common radon abatement method is known as soil suction. Since radon originates in the soil, a pipe is set up to suck the radon-contaminated air out of the soil under the house and channel it up through the roof, where it is expelled into the open air and dissipated. This method ensures that the radon bypasses your home entirely, and is often the most effective means of radon reduction. However, the type of radon reduction system that will work the best in your home varies depending upon the type of foundation your home sits on and the source of the radon it contains. For example, sealing foundational cracks is a common preventative measure; it is generally used in conjunction with other techniques. Home pressurization is a technique that blows air into basements or living spaces from outside or upstairs in an attempt to dilute the radon level using clean air. The final technique is called a heat recovery ventilator. HRVs work like a window unit air conditioner by sucking outside air into the unit and expelling either hot or cool air into the home. Whichever radon abatement technique or techniques SWATs experts select, you can be confident that they will keep you and your family safe.
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The Importance of Radon Testing in Knoxville, Tennessee
Radon is an invisible, tasteless and odorless radioactive gas. It occurs naturally in the atmosphere, the ground and the water from uranium in dirt or rocks that starts to decay. Practically every type of soil contains uranium that breaks down and releases toxic radon gas, which can then infect the air and the water. Radon is only harmful when it becomes concentrated in an enclosed space. Because it is impossible to detect ordinarily, you likely would never notice if it was in your home. Specialized testing, therefore, is a critical precaution.
The Effects and Causes of High Radon Levels
Radon gas is one of the leading causes of lung cancer. Only cigarette smoke is responsible for more cases each year. Radon has been found in every type of home and in every state in the United States, but it is a particularly common issue in the Knoxville area due to the prevalence of the elements that create radon in the region’s soil. Other considerations can also impact the specific radon levels in your home include the type of geology in your particular locale, the construction materials that were used to build the home and the actual method of construction. Since high radon levels can be a serious threat to the safety and well-being of everyone who lives in a home, you should treat the issue with extreme care.
Testing for High Radon Levels
To ensure that your house does not become contaminated with toxic radon levels, you should have it tested for radon regularly. If you live in the Knoxville area, it is very easy to schedule a professional radon testing appointment from SWAT Environmental. Initially the radon expert will explain to you the best place to position a Continuous Radon Monitor, or CRM, in your home. He will also explain what this CRM will be doing and how long the testing process will take. The time to complete the test can vary somewhat from house to house. After the required length of time he will print out the results and explain what they mean and what your next steps should be.
Mitigating High Radon Levels
If the SWAT Environmental test determines that there is no danger of high radon levels in your house, you should continue to have it tested at regular intervals. Although a negative test result is certainly good news, it does not mean that radon could not become an issue in your house later on. If the test does determine that your house contains dangerous radon levels, you can have SWAT Environmental’s experts install a mitigation system to correct the problem. This system will be completely customized to your house’s specific requirements. Generally, it will employ a multi-front strategy designed to remove any radon gas currently in your home, replace it with fresh, clean air and prevent the gas from returning. With this type of system in place, you will no longer need to worry about the health impact of the air your family breathes.