Though many of our clients come to us for our basement waterproofing services, we do have some that come to us for radon remediation services. With our Rochester clients, one common question that we hear time and again is whether their home really needs radon remediation. In a single word, the answer is absolutely! But what is radon, why does it matter if it’s coming into your home, and why do you need remediation to take care of it?
Is Radon Remediation Really Needed? YES!
Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that is formed when radioactive metals such as radium, uranium, and thorium break down, whether it’s in the ore itself in the ground, in the soil, or in groundwater. People are exposed to it in nature, but generally speaking, this gas is concentrated in homes and other tightly sealed structures, where it can come up through gaps and cracks through the foundation.
As an example of how this happens, the average outdoor level of radon gas is 0.4 pCi/L, and on average, is 1.3 pCi/L in homes. Though the picocurie units are unusual, it doesn’t take a scientist to figure out that levels are three times higher indoors than out, and that’s on average, because not all homes need remediation. When the radon level reaches 4 pCi/L, the EPA recommends remediation, and even at ranges between 2-4 pCi/L, the EPA recommends considering repairs or remediation, especially if certain risk factors are involved.
Because radon doesn’t have a color or scent, specialized equipment is needed to test for it. Because of the health hazards linked to radon, it’s recommended that you have your home checked for this danger. Radon is a gas, and its risks are often linked to the respiratory system because of this, specifically lung cancer in non-smokers.
The evidence is still out on links to childhood leukemia and other cancers, though the radioactive properties of radon gas use alpha radiation to either create free radicals or damage DNA. The reason why lung cancer is so prevalent is due to the exposure of the lungs to the gas. However, childhood exposure can include other respiratory issues such as pneumonia, bronchitis, and asthma.
Radon is a serious health risk that causes significantly increased risk of cancers and other illnesses and should not be taken lightly. Any home in the area should be checked, but historic homes that have issues with leaks and cracks should especially be checked for radon. To reduce your exposure to this gas, you’ll need to have radon remediation services for your Rochester home, though in many cases it’s something as simple as sealing the cracks. Storm Basement is ready to help. Please feel free to contact us today with any questions or to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced technicians.