Iowa Radon Reduction
Radon Mitigation Systems of Ames, Iowa
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Radon Mitigation Systems of Ames, IA
Radon Mitigation in Ames, Iowa
Radon is a colorless, odorless radioactive gas that naturally occurs when uranium breaks down in rock, soil or water. The air in a home's interior is less pressurized than the ground outside, and this negative pressure situation creates a vacuum to draw radon inside the home. Basements in Ames IA area homes typically have higher radon levels, followed by first floors.
Radon exposure is the second-leading cause of lung cancer after smoking, and it is the primary cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. People who live in Iowa should be concerned about radon gas and test their homes every 2 years. Both the EPA and the U.S. Surgeon General recommend testing (and radon mitigation if high levels are found.) A home needs to have less than four picocuries per liter of indoor air to be exempt from needing a radon mitigation system. Ames IA homeowners with levels between two and four picocuries per liter may also want to consider radon mitigation.
Modern radon mitigation technology can lower a home's levels to two picocuries per liter or below. The first step is a radon test run for a minimum of 48 hours. For a more accurate picture of radon levels over time, homeowners can run the test for months. Radon test kits are available right here in Ames. Mitigating radon from your Iowa home is a fairly simple and inexpensive process for a qualified radon reduction contractor.
If radon levels are too high, the EPA recommends hiring a qualified radon mitigation contractor to install the system. The Iowa state radon office can provide more literature about radon levels in the Ames IA area. There are several types of radon mitigation techniques available, depending on the type of foundation. The most common method used here in Iowa is sub-slab depressurization which is discussed further later in this article.
1. Radon mitigation for basement and slab foundations in Ames area homes:
For these foundations, the most common and often most effective type of radon mitigation system is active sub-slab suction, also called sub-slab depressurization. One or more pipes are run through the slab to the crushed rocks or soil underneath. The radon mitigation installer may also insert the pipes into the rocks or soil from outside the home. The pipe has a radon vent fan that draws the gas outward to release it into the air outside. Most Iowa radon contractors are familiar with this method and use it often.
Passive sub-slab suction is designed in the same way except that radon mitigation is accomplished through air pressure rather than vent fans. This type of system is usually designed into new homes since it is less effective as a radon mitigation system in existing homes. Some homes that have a sump pump can use sump-hole suction to reduce radon levels. Block-wall suction can be used in homes with hollow-block basement walls to mitigate radon. However, this is not a common method of radon remediation here in the Ames, Iowa area.
2. Radon mitigation for Iowa crawlspace foundations:
Sub-membrane suction is the most effective radon mitigation method for crawlspaces. A plastic sheet is placed over the dirt floor of the crawl space. A vent pipe is then placed under the plastic sheet and run through an opening to the outdoors. A fan is used to vent radon from the pipe. In homes with lower initial radon levels, covering the crawlspace with plastic and running a vent fan may be sufficient for radon mitigation. This is a common radon abatement approach for Ames IA homes built over crawl spaces.
3. Other methods of radon mitigation for homes in the greater Ames area:
Sealing any basement cracks will help in radon mitigation. However, it is rarely effective in Iowa homes due to the air pressure difference between the home and the soil. Some Iowa homeowners use a fan to blow air from the main floor into the basement, increasing the pressure to keep out radon. This is a fairly impractical method and one would see much better results by installing an active radon removal system. A heat-recovery ventilator (also known as an air-to-air heat exchanger) can also help in radon mitigation. Due to the high cost of operating a heat exchange unit, traditional methods of radon reduction (i.e. sub-slab depressurization) is a more economical means of mitigating radon for Ames Iowa homeowners.
Radon Reduction Services of Ames, Iowa