About Radon


Mitigation
The most common method of mitigating is using a system called a sub-slab depressurization system. This is typically done by drilling a hole through the floor of the basement where a pipe is inserted. From there the pipe can either run to the outside or to the attic where a fan is attached. From the fan, the pipe continues above the roof line venting the radon gas into the air where it dissipates into acceptable levels.
Another common mitigation system that is seen with crawl spaces is called a submembrane depressurization system. This involves laying a membrane down on top of the floor, usually a dirt floor, sealing all edges, and connecting a suction pipe similar to that of the sub-slab depressurization system.

Phone: 610 683 0820     E-mail: info@goldstarradon.com
"Breathing Easy" presented by the EPA
Radon
Radon is a colorless, odorless, tasteless, naturally occurring, radioactive noble gas that is formed from the decay of radium. Radon has a half life of 3.82 days. It is measured in PicoCuries per Liter (pCi/L). The average indoor radon level in the United States is 1.3 pCi/L and the average outdoor level is 0.4 pCi/L. The only way to know if your house has radon is to test it. Radon levels can differ from house to house. The Pennsylvania DEP recommends that action be taken if there is a reading of 4.0 pCi/L or higher.


Pennsylvania DEP
The Pennsylvania DEP has published a Citizen's Guide To Radon which contains useful information about radon. When dealing with radon in a real estate transaction, it is also recommended that the Pennsylvania's Home Buyer's And Seller's Guide To Radon be read.
Health Risks
The EPA says, "Radon is a cancer-causing natural radioactive gas that you can’t see, smell or taste.  Its presence in your home can pose a danger to your family's health.  Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers.  Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in America and claims about 20,000 lives annually."
Testing
There are two ways to test your home for radon. There is a short-term test which ranges from 2 days to 90 days and a long term test which lasts for over 90 days.
Radon levels can fluctuate from season to season so a long term test will give a better indication of your year-round average level. However, short term tests have proven to be very accurate and are great when time is a factor, such as in a real estate transaction.
There are many different devices approved to test for radon. Some of which include, charcoal canisters, electret ion chambers (E-PERM), alpha track detectors, charcoal liquid scintillation devices, and continuous radon monitors (CRM).
When re-testing a home after the completion of a mitigation system we use Berks Realty Services to conduct the test. They use E-PERMS which is a 2 day test.
Entering The Home
The most important factor contributing to radon entering a home is having a source of radon in the ground below your home. Having a large source of radon and permeable soil underneath the home greatly increases the chances of finding radon in the home. Cracks found in the basement slab, utility penetrations, pipe penetrations, cracks in walls, floor drains, and sump pits are all entry points for radon. Soil gas infiltration accounts for 85-90% of radon found in homes.
Diffusion of radon through a slab can account for only about 1-4% and emanation from materials only accounts for 2-5% of radon found in homes. It is also noted that radon can be found in water, but this accounts for less than 1%.