Basement Waterproofing, Crawl Space Waterproofing
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How Radon Gas Enters Your Home
Radon gas is a dangerous soil gas. It is naturally occurring but when it enters the house at high volumes it can cause lung cancer in even non-smokers. Radon is formed from decaying uranium and has been found in every state in the U.S. and in every soil type. These pockets of radon can be right under your house and you not even know it. The issue is when it gets inside. How does radon enter your home?
Here are four common ways radon enters your home:
Radon enters your home through cracks in your foundation. It is important to remember, foundation cracks happen in block wall foundations just as much as poured wall foundations. If you have even hairline foundation cracks it can create an opening big enough to allow a way for radon gas to enter your home. Gaps commonly happen around the cove of a concrete foundation where the concrete slab meets the wall. Make sure that these types of gaps are fixed because they not only allow radon gas in but also water.
Open Drainage and Waterproofing Systems
Radon can enter into your house through open drainage systems, interior open-channel waterproofing systems, and open sump pits. Never leave any opening or gap in the concrete slab to allow for soil gases to enter your home. If you have a professional waterproofing contractor install an interior waterproofing system always request a closed system. Sometimes even in closed systems gaps happen around the sump pit. Make sure those are fixed if you are concerned about a radon problem.
Dirt Crawlspaces and Cellars
Dirt crawlspaces and dirt cellars are an easy way for radon to enter your house. The problem is there is no barrier between the soil and the rest of the house. It can easily come up through the floor or through the vents if you have a open dirt crawlspace. Crawlspaces should be looked at as part of the house. Think of them as more like a mini-basement. Just because they are out of sight does not mean they are not impacting the house and the residents inside. The condition of a dirt crawlspace is definitely impacting the indoor air quality in many ways. Allowing a direct way for radon to enter your home is just one problem with dirt crawlspaces. Professionally closing the crawlspace and making it part of the house will help protect your home from radon issues as well as make it more energy efficient and comfortable.
Radon gas can enter your home through the ground water system. Radon enters the water system and travels into your home through your pipes as you use your water heater, showers, and run the sink. The only way to know if you have radon in your house is to test for it. You can’t see, taste or smell radon. You can buy a radon test kit at any local hardware store. The short-term test will give you an idea if have a problem with radon. If you find the levels are too high, take the long-term test to verify the results and call a radon mitigation contractor.
The most common and effective radon mitigation system is a system that pulls the radon gas from below the foundation slab with a fan and pipe then disperses the gas outside the house above the roofline where it dissipates safely into the atmosphere.