Pittsburgh Homes and Radon Abatement Techniques
Pittsburgh’s Need for Radon Abatement
Radon is a radioactive gas that is naturally created under the ground due to the natural decay of radioactive elements like thorium and uranium. The gas can sometimes seep into homes and potentially build to dangerous levels. Individuals that regularly inhale excessive levels of the gas are at a substantially increased risk of lung cancer. Radon gas has no taste or smell, which means that specialized testing is essential to ensure a home is safe. Children and the elderly are often more susceptible to the effects of radon gas than a typical adult, although anyone can be at risk.
Why Radon Abatement is Necessary
Areas in Pennsylvania that are vulnerable to indoor radon contamination include Pittsburgh, which contains a typical radon level that exceeds recommendations by the Environmental Protection Agency. The primary cause of radon in and around Pittsburgh is the fact that the area’s soil tends to be rich in shale, which contains the uranium that creates radon gas. Homes that contain many cracks in their foundation will be at an increased risk for high radon levels since they allow the gas to more easily enter from the ground outside.
Determining if Radon Abatement is Needed
Radon can also be accidentally released into homes by performing work around the home such as foundation repair and modifications to drain lines. This means that one house could contain acceptable levels and a neighbor’s could contain unacceptable levels and require abatement. The detection of radon in the home is a simple process that involves the use of a home kit; alternatively, you can have a professional test performed by a SWAT Environmental specialist. If your home contains dangerously high radon gas levels, professional radon abatement to lower them should be the immediate next step.
The Radon Abatement Process
The first step taken by SWAT Environmental’s specialists during the radon abatement or remediation process is to determine how the gas is seeping into a home — usually through its foundation or basement. Gas will typically enter the house if there are any cracks in the walls or floor of the bottom level. The next step is to seal these areas to prevent the gas from entering the home. Of course, this is only a temporary fix since new cracks can develop that will cause a recurrence of the gas. Therefore, the abatement specialist will also need to install a specialized ventilation or pressurization system to ensure that the gas stays out and to remove any gas that has already gotten into the house. Different houses will be best served by different types of radon abatement systems; SWAT Environmental’s experts will be able to design and install the best one for your home. Depending on the exact source of your home’s radon gas problem, a suitable solution will be used that prevents it from building up in your home again in the future — ensuring that you and your family are kept safe from radon’s ill effects.
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