How Often Should My Home Be Tested For Radon?

Radon gas is both colorless and odorless, which means that there is no way to tell if there are high levels inside your home without testing for it.  The danger of not knowing is running the risk of being exposed to elevated levels of radon for an extended amount of time, which can lead to lung cancer.

Change of Seasons

The change of seasons can affect the level of radon in your home.  If you previously tested your home in the spring or summer, consider testing it in the fall or winter.  Changes in temperature, as well as the opening and closing of windows and doors, can change the level of radon in your home.  Testing for radon in different seasons can help to determine if there are higher levels at different times.

Remodeling or Changes to Your Home

Changes to your home, such as remodeling your basement, installing new windows or getting a new roof are all projects that could affect how much radon is in your home.  These home improvement projects all change the amount of ventilation, which can alter the amount of radon that is trapped inside.

Living Condition Changes

If you have recently decided to utilize your basement as a bedroom or family room, now is the time to get a radon test.  Elevated radon levels can be dangerous and have a big impact on those that spend time in the basement, including pets.  Make sure that everyone is safe by having your home tested.

After Mitigation

Once a mitigation system has been installed in your home, it is important to have a radon test conducted to ensure that the system is working properly.  It’s also necessary to continue to have tests done at least every two years to continue to monitor that things are working as they should.

Test Every Two Years

The EPA recommends testing your home every two years, regardless of whether you have a mitigation system installed. AmeriServ Radon Mitigation of Iowa provides FREE 2 year follow up radon tests. Contact us today to schedule your initial test or free follow up test!

2019 Torch Award Nominee

AmeriServ Radon Mitigation Of Iowa Is Excited to Announce 2019 BBB Torch Award For Ethics Nomination

From the way we run our business to the way we treat our customers, honesty and integrity have always been part of our DNA. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) has taken notice and nominated AmeriServ for the 2019 Torch Award for Ethics. Each year, the BBB Board of Directors chooses outstanding businesses that have upheld the highest standards of leadership, character, and organizational ethics, and AmeriServ’s excellent BBB track record has fueled this nomination. We are grateful for this nomination as part of our 5-year anniversary as a BBB member and look forward to continuing our mission of protecting Iowa communities from the dangers of radon.

January calendar

Celebrate National Radon Action Month by Scheduling Your Radon Test

January is not only a time to start New Year’s resolutions but it’s also National Radon Action Month. Combine to the two and make it your resolution to have your home tested for radon this year. It is affordable, quick, and can ultimately save your life and the life of your family members. After all, radon is one of the leading causes of lung cancer. Below are some quick facts about radon and radon testing to get you up to speed.

What Is Radon?

Radon is a colorless, odorless gas that occurs when uranium breaks down in our soil, water, and rock. As it develops, it gets into the air we breathe and can be dangerous at best. It becomes a huge problem when it is trapped in homes, causing constant exposure.

Does My Home Have Radon?

Most homes in Iowa have some radon. In fact, most homes in Iowa have very high levels of radon. The EPA recommends that there be no more than 4 pCi/L, which can occur both in large, small, new, and old homes. The only way to know is through radon testing.

Is Testing For Radon Difficult?

Getting a radon test can be as simple as picking up your phone and calling AmeriServ. One of our technicians can come right to your home and either conduct a short-term or long-term radon test. Winter is a great season to have a radon test since your windows and doors are sealed, giving the most accurate testing.

But Radon Mitigation Must Be Difficult, Right?

If your radon test shows a level higher than the EPA’s recommendation, radon mitigation is a must to keep your family safe. When you work with the radon professionals at AmeriServ, you don’t have to worry about a thing. Our technicians will simply come back to your home to install a radon mitigation system that will keep your levels exactly where they should be. Our systems even come with a 5-year warranty.

You may decide to put off healthy eating or exercise, but radon testing and mitigation are nothing to delay. While it may not seem like a big deal in the immediate future, the adverse health effects can be deadly. Contact us today to cross off your first New Years’s goal and schedule your radon test.

 

Press Release: AmeriServ Aquires Western Iowa Radon

 

 

AMERISERV RADON MITIGATION OF IOWA ACQUIRES WESTERN IOWA RADON SERVICES, INC.

CARROLL, IOWA, December 14, 2018- AmeriServ Radon Mitigation of Iowa is excited to announce that it has acquired Western Iowa Radon Services, Inc. of Glidden, Iowa. The purchase is part of AmeriServ’s continued efforts to provide the highest quality, most comprehensive radon testing and radon mitigation services throughout Iowa.

AmeriServ’s acquisition of Western Iowa Radon Services, Inc. furthers each company’s mission to protect residents from the dangers of radon. Combining strengths, assets, and resources will enhance AmeriServ’s company growth and development as an industry leader in radon testing and mitigation.

About AmeriServ Radon Mitigation of Iowa
AmeriServ is a radon testing and mitigation company that serves the Greater Des Moines area, as well as West Central Iowa. Its State Certified Radon Mitigation Specialists have over 75 years of combined construction experience. AmeriServ is committed to protecting the health of homes and businesses throughout western and central Iowa.

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5 Reasons To Have Your Home Re-Tested for Radon

You may think that if you have your home tested for radon when you move in, you are set for life. That is just not the case, though. There are a variety of situations that would necessitate a radon re-test or follow-up test. Learn about 5 distinct situation that would be cause for radon retesting and always feel free to contact AmeriServ with any questions.

Your original radon test was conducted during the summer.

Studies have shown that radon levels vary depending on the weather outside. They also tend to spike during winter months when your home has been sealed tightly. If your original test was done during the summer, consider retesting in the winter to make sure your levels are still below the recommended level.

You have added onto or finished a new area in your home.

Anytime you add or finish a new level in your home, you should have that level tested for radon. Additions and updates can include new windows, siding, or rooms. While updates can make your home more energy efficient, they can also trap in more radon. The only way to be sure your home is still safe is to have it retested.

You have only ever had a short-term radon test.

Radon levels change over time, especially during seasonal changes. Short term radon tests are a great snapshot, but the longer the test, the more accurate results. For the most comprehensive results, consider a long term radon test that lasts minimum of 6 months.

You just moved into a new home.

If you just moved into a home, chances are a radon test was already conducted. Certainly, you can just take their word for granted that the levels are where they should be, but for a complete safeguard, you can also get your home retested for radon to ensure proper protocols are followed.

Your original radon test was 2 or more years ago.

Because radon levels change over time, it is recommended to have your home tested for radon every two years. One of the benefits of choosing AmeriServ Radon for your radon testing and mitigation is that we will provide a free follow up radon test after 2 years.

When it comes to deciding whether or not you should have your home retested for radon, it’s always better to be on the safe side. Just contact the professionals at AmeriServ and we would be glad to talk with you about whether we recommend a radon re-test or follow-up test. Call today and let us help you keep your family safe.

 

Real Estate Radon Mitigation

Radon-Resistant New Constructions

Whether you are having a new home built yourself or are just purchasing a newly built home, you should consult with the construction team to see if your home is a radon-resistant new construction (RRNC). Because radon is so prevalent in homes and can cause great health risks, construction companies can now use specific techniques that will greatly reduce the amount of radon in your new home.

What Makes My New Home Radon-Resistant?

Building a RRNC doesn’t require a lot of fancy techniques. It just takes implementing a handful of safeguards that can ultimately make a huge difference in protecting you from the harmful effects of radon. A construction team builds a RRNC by making sure the following are in place:

  1. Residential Radon MitigationGravel layer below the foundation to allow radon to flow freely around underground and never get into your home
  2. Plastic interlayer placed on top of the gravel to use as a barrier when the concrete slab is poured to keep radon below the foundation
  3. Vertical PVC pipe that runs from the gravel layer up through the home and out of the roof to vent the radon out and away from the home
  4. Sealant to cover any cracks in the foundation floor
  5. Outlet to be able to plug in a fan, if needed, in the attic for further removal of radon

To be safe, you should always touch base with your home builder to make sure these are in place if you chose to have a radon-resistant new construction.

How Do I Know If My Home Is Radon-Resistant?

The only way to know for sure if your home is radon-resistant is to talk with your builders. Make sure they have a radon system installed, test the radon level in your home before you move in, and go over the results with you. Also, if your home is certified by NAHB, LEED, or IAP, you my have a radon-resistant home. You can always call the team at AmeriServ Radon of Iowa to help with any radon testing or mitigation, as well. We are knowledgeable, friendly, and passionate about keeping families safe from radon.

To learn more about the EPA’s recommendations for RRNC’s, visit their website.

Does Radon Affect My Pets?

The only ones who arguably spend more time in your home than you do is your pets. Many, in fact, consider pets to be an integral part of their family, just as important as a child or spouse. With that in mind, you may want to consider how radon can affect your pets. Unfortunately, the effects of radon are equally, if not more dangerous for your pets. The only way to protect your furry friends is to have your home tested for radon and mitigated right away if levels are higher than the EPA recommendation of 4 pCi/L.

Signs Radon Has Harmed My Pets

When you think about where your pets spend time in your home, there really is no limit. You may not live your life in your cold, wet basement or crawlspace, but your dog or cat may find that to be the perfect hiding spot. They aren’t the only ones hiding there, though. Radon emissions come from the ground, so while your cat is hanging out in the basement, it is very susceptible to breathing in the gas. Humans often don’t notice the effects of radon right away, some even not seeing signs for upwards of thirty years. However, our pets’ lungs are much smaller and have less capacity to handle harmful gases such as radon. If you have multiple pets at home that are experiencing the same symptoms, radon could be the culprit. In that case, take them to the vet right away.

Protect Your Pets from Radon

Many pet owners will go to great lengths to ensure their pets have the best life possible: giving them a warm home, feeding them pricey food, taking them to spas, and having surgeries done as needed. Protecting your pet from radon should be on this list, as well. The last thing you want is to take your pets to the vet only to find out that one or more has lung cancer that could have been prevented. Safeguarding your family and your pets from radon is as easy as making a phone call to AmeriServ Radon of Iowa. We will come to your home for radon testing, and if your home has dangerous radon levels, we will install a mitigation system.

How Does Radon Affect Real Estate Transactions?

With radon deaths at an all time high of over 20,000, radon testing and mitigation has become an integral part of real estate transactions. It affects all parties – buyers, sellers, and realtors. The best way to ensure that real estate transactions run smoothly is for all parties to understand the importance of radon testing and also their role in ensuring radon testing and mitigation is done. 

Radon and Home Buyers

Home Buyers And Sellers Guide To Radon
Click above to check out the EPA’s revised edition of “Home Buyers’ And Sellers’ Guide To Radon.”

If you are buying a home, you shouldn’t assume that radon mitigation has already been complete. It is your job to ensure that you will be safe in the home by requesting radon testing. It doesn’t matter if the home is 5 years old or 50 years old. Radon should be tested in all homes every 2 years. Also, radon testing isn’t part of many standard home inspections. You will have to request this as an additional service. Keep in mind that radon is the leading cause for lung cancer, so just as you want to make sure the home you are buying is structurally sound, you also want to make sure the inside is livable. If the radon test shows a level higher than 4  pCi/L, you will want to negotiate with the seller to have a radon mitigation system installed.

Radon and Selling Your Home

If you are getting ready to sell your home, avoid delays during the selling process by having it tested before any real estate transactions begin. Be mindful, though, that you will be required to disclose the results with your realtor or the buyer if you are selling your home yourself. If the level is above 4 pCi/L, you will need to get a radon mitigation system installed. Although it is best to take care of the testing and mitigation (if needed) before putting your house on the market, the buyer still has the right to get confirmatory testing done as part of home inspection.

Radon and Realtors

As a realtor, it is your responsibility to advocate for your client by staying educated about radon and the importance of radon testing. You may have home buyers asking you about the dangers of radon, acceptable radon levels, or even how to go about radon testing. On the other side of the transaction, if a seller has already received radon results, they may have questions about disclosing that information.

At AmeriServ Radon Mitigation of Iowa, we offer a realtor relations program to help realtors navigate the complex issue of radon testing and real estate transactions. When you partner with us, we can provide informational materials and presentations to equip you with all of the information you need to be successful. Experience all of these benefits and more, and become an AmeriServ Realtor Relations Partner today!