Homeowners typically invest a considerable amount of time and money to remodel their basement and turn it into a more functional space. Basements are prone to various hazards, and one of the most dangerous is radon. Radon is an odorless, tasteless, and invisible gas that is impossible to detect without proper testing.
What is Radon?
Radon is a radioactive gas that is naturally present in the soil and rocks. It can seep into your home through cracks and gaps in your foundation. Elevated levels of radon are dangerous to your health and can cause lung cancer. During basement remodeling, these cracks and gaps are likely to be opened, and the radon levels can increase substantially. Therefore, it is vital to test the radon levels before and after the remodeling project.
Types of Radon Testing
Radon testing is a simple and affordable process that can save you from a possible health hazard. There are two main types of testing – short-term and long-term. Short-term testing involves placing a detector in your basement for two to seven days to measure the radon levels. Long-term testing involves placing a detector for more than 90 days. Long-term testing is more accurate and shows the seasonal variations of radon levels in your home.
What is Radon Mitigation?
Radon mitigation is the process of reducing radon levels in a building to safe, manageable levels. There are several methods that can be used to mitigate radon, including sub-slab depressurization, which involves the installation of a vent pipe through the foundation and soil to the roofline, creating a vacuum effect that draws radon out of the soil before it can enter the home. Other methods include sealing cracks and openings in the foundation and using air filtration systems to remove radon from indoor air.
Sometimes, the basement remodel may have already been completed and testing for radon was not done. If the radon levels are high, you can still retrofit a radon mitigation system after the fact.
Why is Radon Mitigation Important for Homeowners?
As mentioned earlier, exposure to high levels of radon can lead to serious health problems, including lung cancer. Radon is a silent killer, and it can be present in any home, regardless of its age or location. In fact, radon levels can vary widely from one home to another, even between homes that are located next to each other. Because radon cannot be seen, smelled, or tasted, the only way to know if your home has elevated levels of radon is to have it tested. If high levels of radon are detected, radon mitigation is necessary to protect your family’s health.
How Does Radon Mitigation Work?
The first step in radon mitigation is to have your home tested for radon. A qualified radon professional will conduct a test to determine the level of radon in your home’s air or water. If high levels of radon are detected, the professional will work with you to develop a mitigation plan that is tailored to your home’s specific needs. Depending on the method of mitigation that is chosen, the process can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days to complete. After the mitigation system is installed, it is important to have your home retested to ensure that radon levels have been reduced to a safe level.
The Environmental Protection Agency of the US Government recognizes only two Radon Certification companies – The NRPP and the NRSB. Standard Water Control Systems is an NRPP Certified Radon Mitigation Company.
The NRPP is an independent administrative program of the American Association of Radon Scientists and Technologists, Inc. (AARST), the NRPP holds the ISO 17024 ANSI accreditation and is governed by a Certification Council consisting of radon industry stakeholders who are responsible for credentialing policies and procedures.
Standard Water is a Certified Radon Mitigation Specialist. The NRPP Radon Mitigation Specialist Certification is for those who evaluate radon measurements and design and install radon remediation systems. A Radon Mitigation Specialist is responsible for the implementation, execution, and documentation of all required Quality Management and Worker Safety procedures and may provide general supervision Radon Mitigation Installers within the same company.
To obtain this two-year certification, the National Radon Proficiency Program requires:
- Completion of a 16-hour Radon Measurement Professional Initial Training Course from an approved training provider as a prerequisite
- Completion of a 24-hour Radon Mitigation Specialist Exam-Prep Course from an approved training provider
- Passing score on the NRPP Mitigation Specialist Exam
- 16 hours of continuing education biennially
- Adherence to the NRPP Code of Ethics & Certification Terms
This is important because you want the highest quality mitigation possible from the most educated and experienced professionals when we’re talking about the safety of the people in your home.
In conclusion, testing for radon during basement remodeling or any other home renovation is crucial for the safety and well-being of the occupants. High levels of radon can cause lung cancer, and it is impossible to detect without proper testing. Short-term and long-term testing are available, and if the levels are high, solutions like sealing the foundation and installing a mitigation system can be used. So, if you’re planning a basement remodel, don’t forget to check for radon and ensure that you and your family are safe and healthy.
Contact Standard Water Control Systems today for a free, no obligation, consultation. We’ve helped thousands of homeowners keep their basements dry and safe.