The only way to know if your home or business has a radon problem is to test. Moreover, the average indoor radon gas concentration in Illinois is 4.4 pCi/L (picocuries), according to the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) – the state’s regulatory agency for all things radioactive. This average concentration sits just above the U.S. EPA and Illinois Action Level of 4.0 pCi/L. Although there is no known “safe” level of radon exposure, these agencies highly recommend that you fix your home if radon concentrations are measured at 4.0 pCi/L or higher. And fixing a radon problem is easy to do.
The state of Illinois and IEMA have established strict testing standards for licensed radon measurement professionals and technicians. Although it may be effective (and accurate) to test your home for radon using commercially available self-test kits, it is highly recommended that you contact a licensed radon measurement technician to ensure that your radon test is conducted properly, free from potential interference by internal and external factors, and most of all, accurate. An artificially high reading could result in unneeded repairs ($$$), and a false low reading could, of course, be hazardous to your health.
Fortunately, there are affordable, practical and effective solutions for fixing or mitigating a radon problem. There are two primary mitigation techniques available depending upon your building’s particular foundation type. Sub-Slab Depressurization is used to mitigate homes and buildings having poured concrete basement, crawl space, or slab-on-grade foundations. This simple technique utilizes PVC piping inserted through the foundation floor and a vent fan creating sufficient pressure differential to drawn radon gas from beneath the foundation before it has a chance to enter the building. All visible foundation cracks and crevices and any sump pits are sealed.
Similarly, Sub-Membrane Depressurization is the technique used to mitigate crawl spaces and basement foundations having floors open to the ground. Suction is created under a polyethylene sheet (or equivalent vapor barrier) installed and sealed over the ground. A vent fan draws radon from beneath this barrier and exhausts the gas outside, above the roof of the building sufficiently high enough to prevent re-entry, or re-entrainment.
Although most licensed radon mitigation contractors warranty results to below 4.0 pCi/L, an optimally functioning mitigation system will typically reduce radon to about 1.0 or 2.0 pCi/L, no mater how elevated the levels were prior to installation. Radon gas entry and radon induced lung cancer is preventable. Click below to schedule an appointment to have your home or business tested.