Archive for October, 2011
Radon Poses Serious Health Risks for Pittsburgh Residents
If you live in or near the city of Pittsburgh, you have more reason than many to worry about radon problems right in your back yard, and possibly in your home as well. The city of Pittsburgh, and the state of Pennsylvania, are both rich in natural resources, but that richness can create some serious radon problems as well.
The same rich bedrock that underlies your Pittsburgh area home could be home to radon, a naturally occurring radioactive gas that can seep into your basement and soon permeate your home. While radon is present in many places throughout the country, it is especially concentrated in the northeast, including the city of Pittsburgh and its surrounding suburbs.
Taking the time to get your Pittsburgh area home tested for radon can give you real peace of mind. If you find that there is no radon present in your Pittsburgh area home, you know that you, and your family, have nothing to worry about.
If, on the other hand, you find that you do have a radon problem in your Pittsburgh area home, you can nip that problem in the bud and prevent further damage from taking place. Radon is a cumulative problem, and the longer you leave it go the greater the damage can be. The sooner you start dealing with a radon problem the better off you can be.
When you call a radon testing company that does business in the Pittsburgh area, that company will ask for some basic information, including where your home is located and when you would like to have it tested. With that basic information out of the way, the radon testing company will schedule an appointment to test your Pittsburgh area home for radon.
That radon testing company will come armed with an array of sophisticated testing equipment and materials, since radon can be difficult to detect without those tools. The radon testing company will test your entire home, but they may focus particular attention on the basement, since that is where radon tends to accumulate in Pittsburgh area home.
Call S.W.A.T Environmental for a Radon Mitigation Quote
If high levels of Radon are found in your Pittsburgh area home, the company will work with you to develop a plan to eliminate those high levels of radon. That plan will no doubt focus on finding the source of the radon contamination and eliminating the places where radon is seeping into your basement and your home. Radon can get into your home in a number of different ways, including seeping in from the soil and cracks in the bedrock and entering your home through a contaminated well or ground water source.
Once the radon testing company has determined where the radon is getting into your home, they can help you get rid of that contamination and protect your home from further danger. That will allow you to protect your home, your family and your property values from the problem of radon.
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Radon in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania
Testing for the presence of radon in Western Penn anywhere near Pittsburgh PA is recommended by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Surgeon General, National Safety Council, American Medical Association and the American Lung Association (ALA). This is the only way to find out if and how radon levels have affected your Pittsburgh PA home or business. The presence of this radioactive element in Pittsburgh PA does not manifest symptoms that may cause a person to be alerted immediately if they are being exposed to radon in Western Penn. It has been scientifically proven that there is a high concentration in radon in Western Penn in or near Pittsburgh PA. It may take many years of exposure before a person realizes that they have been exposed to radon in Western Penn in their Pittsburgh PA home or commercial building.
Radon in Western PA (or more specifically in Pittsburgh PA) is an invisible, colorless, odorless and tasteless natural gaseous element that is highly-radioactive. It was discovered in 1899 by Ernest Rutherford, an English physicist. Professor Rutherford was responsible for the discovery on the Alpha radiation of this radon gas. With an atomic radius of 1.34 angstroms, radon is the heaviest known gas in Western Penn and it is nine times thicker than air.
Radon in Western Penn easily seeps into the cracks of buildings and enters through holes in its foundation. Buildings that may have radon in Western Penn including homes, offices, and hospitals can contain accumulate enough radon gas inside of the structure that can reach a harmful level of radon concentration. Radon in Western Penn can easily penetrate various common materials such as paper, plastic bags, leather, paints, gypsum board, mortar, concrete block, wood paneling, tar paper, insulation and most types of building materials in Pittsburgh PA. There are very high levels of radon in Western Penn and Pittsburgh PA.
The most common method of radon mitigation Pennsylvania, otherwise known as radon remediation or radon gas abatement, is by Active Soil Depressurization (ASD). ASD systems can depressurize the soil by actively drawing in the air and gas from beneath the home’s foundation. Radon mitigation Pennsylvania can save you from health problems caused by radon in Western Penn. If the Pittsburgh PA building does not use a slab of concrete as its foundation and instead has a crawl space under its wooden floors, then active soil depressurization can draw in air and gas from the vapor barrier between the floors and the ground. The ASD radon mitigation Pennsylvania process exhausts the radon gas over the roofline using a three-to-four (3-4) inch polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipe and a duct fan which is specially structured for the process. Radon mitigation Pennsylvania is extremely important in Pittsburgh PA. Active soil depressurization for radon in Western Penn can effectively remove the radon in your building.
Ways to Mitigate Radon in Pennsylvania
Generally, there are three different ways of Active Soil Depressurization (ASD) radon mitigation Pennsylvania systems that can be applied to your Western Penn Pittsburgh PA building depending on the layout of the building, homeowner’s preference and other diagnostic factors in Pittsburgh PA.
Typically, the radon mitigation Pennsylvania system uses a pipe that runs from the basement or the building’s garage through a closet or multiple closets to the attic, especially if the house consists of more than one floor. If applicable, fire barriers may be installed. The radon fan is installed in the attic and the gas is exhausted through the building’s roof and may resemble that of a plumbing stack. The system monitor is then attached to the vent line in the closet area or in the basement.
For garage system radon mitigation Pennsylvania, the pipe runs through the basement using a rim joist into the garage and vertically along the wall. The radon fan is installed in the garage’s rafters or the attic and exhausts through the roof. The system monitor is then attached to the vent line of basement area or garage.
The exterior system is applicable when the other systems are not feasible at all. The vent pipe runs through the foundation wall or rim joist leading to the outdoors. The fan is positioned outdoors at the ground level. The owner may paint or box in the vent pipe. The system monitor is then attached to the vent line in the lowest level of the building.
Why is Radon Mitigation in Pennsylvania Important?
Proper testing and radon mitigation in Pennsylvania is important to eliminate health threats caused by radon in Western Penn. Testing of radon in western Penn has an overall fifty (50%) failure rate in comparison to the fifteen (15%) national failure rate. ALA has partnered with Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection-Radon Division for decades for radon remediation.
Residents in Pittsburgh PA who have not yet undergone radon testing for their home can be provided with radon test kits. Those who are planning to buy houses in Pennsylvania must make sure that the place is radon tested.