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How To Lower The Radon Level In Your Home
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Since there is no known safe level of radon, there can always be some risk, but the risk can be reduced by lowering the radon level in your home.
A variety of methods are used to reduce radon in your home. In some cases, sealing cracks in floors and walls may help to reduce radon. In other cases, simple systems using pipes and fans may be used to reduce radon. Such systems are called "sub-slab depressurization," and do not require major changes to your home. These systems remove radon gas from below the concrete floor and the foundation before it can enter the home. Similar systems can also be installed in houses with crawl spaces. Radon contractors use other methods that may also work in your home. The right system depends on the design of your home and other factors.
Ways to reduce radon in your home are discussed in EPA’s "Consumer’s Guide to Radon Reduction." You can get a copy from your state radon office.
The cost of making repairs to reduce radon depends on how your home was built and the extent of the radon problem. Most homes can be fixed for about the same cost as other common home repairs like painting or having a new hot water heater installed. The average house costs about $ 1,200 for a contractor to fix, although this can range from about $500 to about $2,500.
Lowering high radon levels requires technical knowledge and special skills. You should use a contractor who is trained to fix radon problems. Two private agencies - "National Environmental Health Association" and "National Radon Safety Board" - certify measurement and mitigation firms. The state radon office can provide lists of those who are certified by these organizations. Picking someone to fix your radon problem is much like choosing a contractor for other home repairs — you may want to get references and more than one estimate.
You should also test your home again after it is fixed to be sure that radon levels have been reduced. Most radon reduction systems include a monitor that will alert you if the system needs servicing. In addition, it’s a good idea to retest your home sometime in the future to be sure radon levels remain low.
Radon and Home Renovations
If you are planning any major structural renovation, such as converting an unfinished basement area into living space, it is especially important to test the area for radon before you begin the renovation. If your test results indicate a radon problem, radon-resistant techniques can be inexpensively included as part of the renovation. Because major renovations can change the level of radon in any home, always test again after work is completed.
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