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EPA Announces Radon Plan

EPA Cracking Down on RadonEPA radon testing, mitigation, iowa

Recently, the EPA announced its collaboration with groups such as the American Lung Association and the American Association of Radon. Because radon is known to be the second leading cause of lung cancer–right behind smoking–these groups have gotten together to help reduce radon induced lung cancer deaths. Through education and radon reduction strategies, the EPA hopes to reduce radon related deaths. They are determined to prevent 3,200 deaths annually by 2020.

Radon gas is a stealthy killer; you can’t smell, taste, or see it. It also does not produce symptoms, even minor ones–such as a headache. It will only produce symptoms when it is too late. Regardless you should watch for persistent cough, wheezing, heavy breathing, and lung infections. That is why education and radon testing for homes is so important. Iowa is known to have some of the highest levels of radon in the United States. On average, the levels in most Iowa homes are above the EPA red-zone, a 4.0 pCi/L. Anything above a 4.0 is considered dangerous.

Iowa Radon Testing and Mitigationradon testing, mitigation in iowa

So, what should you do to keep you and your family safe and healthy? Regular radon testing is the first step. Contact us here at Ameriserv Radon, we can provide radon testing for your Iowa home. Radon testing is inexpensive, so it is a smart and responsible investment in your home and your family. We can also answer questions you may have about radon gas, radon testing, and radon mitigation. If you happen to find radon in your home after testing, do not panic. It can be fixed. Radon mitigation systems can be installed in your Iowa home. Radon mitigation is a way to expel the radon gas from your home. We can help determine which type of system is right for your Iowa home.

Contact us today to learn more about radon gas, radon testing, or radon mitigation. We have a team of experienced specialists who want to help educate the public on the dangers of radon. Our service area covers most of Iowa, including Carroll, Des Moines, Ames, Grinnell, and more. Ameriserv Radon is your radon expert for the state of Iowa. Give us a call today!

University of Iowa Finds Significant Amounts of Radon in Iowa Homes

Radon Levels in Iowa Homes are Shockingly Highiowa radon levels found high in university of iowa study

The University of Iowa recently conducted research in Akron, Iowa to test radon levels in Iowa homes. The study was conducted in 2013 and published in September of 2015. Although Iowa is known to have some of the highest concentration of radon, the numbers surprised the researchers. The results showed higher levels of radon than expected. This is bad news for Iowa homeowners.

Radon is a clear, odorless, tasteless gas, and it is highly dangerous in confined spaces, such as in a home. Radon comes from the breakdown of uranium in the Earth’s crust. Iowa just happens to be where a large concentration of uranium in the Earth’s crust is. This is why Iowa is known to have higher levels of radon than other states in the country. It enters a home through small cracks in the foundation or by seeping through the concrete’s pores. Unfortunately, there isn’t much way to keep radon from entering your home. What you can do is make sure it leaves before it harms anyone in your home.

Ameriserv can Help Keep your Iowa Radon Levels Low

Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in humans. Cigarette smoke is the first. Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer in nonsmokers. Most American homes have a harmless small amount of radon, but when you have levels that reach 4 pCi/L (picocuries per liter) that can lead to health concerns. Some Iowa homes that were tested were 10 to 20 times that level. One even 30 times that. In fact, 4 out of 5 homes tested were over the EPA recommended level of 4 pCi/L. Obviously, it is not something you want in your home. If radon is left alone it can lead to harmful heath issues in time. That is why having regular radon testing and a radon mitigation system installed in your Iowa home is the safest, most responsible choice for Iowa homeowners.

Testing for radon is cheap and easy and can help you determine if your home is safe for its inhabitants. Testing once in the cold season and once in the warm season is a good way to start. From there, testing once or twice every couple of years will keep you informed. If you find dangerous levels of radon in your home, you must consider a radon mitigation system. This is a series of vents and fans that will push the radon outside your home where it becomes harmless because it is no longer in a confined space. Unfortunately, a radon mitigation system is relatively expensive. Considering though that high radon levels can lead to lung cancer, it is worth the cost.

Contact us here at Ameriserv Radon today. We can help you with radon testing and installation of radon mitigation systems. We offer services across Iowa. To learn more about radon click here. We look forward to working with you, so give us a call today!

Radon in Your Home? Don’t Panic! We know what to do.

How To Test Your Home For Radon

If you are concerned about high radon levels in your home, here’s what you can do.Radon testing Carroll Iowa

First of all, don’t panic! Although radon is dangerous, it is very easy to get rid of. You can do at-home testing as well as hire a professional to take care of it for you. Radon is found in most Iowa homes. It is everywhere, you can’t avoid it, but you can get rid of it over time.

Here is how to test your home for radon. You can start with a do-it-yourself test. You can purchase a radon test kit from almost any hardware store or your local health department. It is wise to perform multiple tests as one test may not be accurate. Radon levels tend to fluctuate, so you may want to do more than one test over a period of time to find the average radon level in your home.

If your first test comes back with levels between 4 and 8 pCi/L, you should immediately follow up with another test. If you need quick results, a short term test can take 2-7 days. Long term tests can take from 3 months to a year, which will give you the most accurate results if you are willing to wait that long. The higher your levels, the sooner you should test again. You can also have a professional inspector come in and test the radon levels in your home.

After you have tested for radon various times and have a good average number of the radon levels in your home, it’s time to get it properly treated. You will want to hire a professional, well-trained, and licensed mitigation contractor to remove radon from your home. If you are on a budget and a true “do-it-yourselfer”, there are resources online published by professionals that you can use. If this interests you, check out Infeltec INC.

Inspect for Radon Before Selling Your Home

Selling Your Home & Inspecting for Radon

Radon is a colorless and odorless deadly gas that is attributed to be the leading cause of lung cancer for non-smokers. This deadly substance has made its way into more than half of the homes in Iowa, although many homeowners may be unaware of its inconspicuous entrance. It is accountable for 20,000 to 25,000 deaths per year in the United States, and can cause physical and mental issues in the development of infants and young children. Not only is radon extremely hazardous to you and your family’s health, but it can may influence your potential to sell your home.

Researchers on this radioactive gas have noticed that it can be found in new and old homes alike. Whether your home has insulation or not, a basement or not, it is still prone to radon entrance. Sometimes, there are extremely high levels of radon in a new home, but none found in an old one. So as you can see, the age of your home does not affect the radon level. Rather, it is completely dependent on the soil underneath your home. Radon occurs naturally when uranium is broken down in the soil, and then enters through any cracks or openings in your foundation. If the inside of your home has a lower air pressure than the soil outside, your home will be more apt to take in radon. Radon can also be released in water through your sink or shower, though this is not as high of a risk as when it comes through the soil. Rarely, your granite or concrete can give off radon.

Will High Radon Levels Influence Potential Buyers?

Selling your home and radon detection

When it comes to real estate, it is important to inspect for radon before selling your home. Potential buyers in Iowa should be aware that radon is a major current issue in most homes. Make sure there is a mutual understanding between you and your potential buyer about how radon levels will be taken care of.

Depending on your state’s disclosure laws, you may be required to include your home’s radon levels in your sale disclosure. If you have not had your home tested for radon, and levels come up high in the home inspection, your potential buyers may have the right to cancel if they are not satisfied with the results. In this case, in order to save the deal, you may have to pay for the radon to be removed or make a mutual agreement with your potential buyer on splitting the difference. If your potential buyers walk away from the contract, you will be obligated to include radon levels in your next sale disclosure, which may turn away other potential buyers.

Fortunately, it isn’t very challenging to get rid of high radon levels, although it may be expensive. Typically, it will cost 1,000 to 2,000 to have radon removal equipment installed by a professional. It may be wise to take care of radon levels in your home and include what you spent in your asking price before listing your home. A home that is radon-clear will be very attractive to a potential buyer and can allow for a smoother process.

How to Test Your Iowa Home for Radon

How does a Radon test Work?

Since radon is an odorless and colorless gas, many people who have it in their homes may not realize it. Radon is extremely harmful, and it is suggested by the US Environmental Protection Agency as well as the US Surgeon General that every home in America be tested for radon, below the third level.

Short Term & Long Term Tests

The quickest and easiest way to test your home for radon is through a short term test. Some of the most common tests are called: Charcoal canisters, alpha tracks, electret ion chambers, continuous monitors, and charcoal liquid scintillation detectors. The only downside of short-term tests is that you cannot accurately detect the average radon level in your home throughout the year, but it works well if you need fast results to get an idea of whether your home may have a radon problem or not.

While short-term tests usually last a few days to a couple of months, long-term tests will take more than three months to complete. Alpha tracks and electret ion chambers are the most frequently used long-term tests. It is recommended by the EPA to first take a short-term radon test, and follow up with a long-term test if radon levels showed to be high.homeradon

In preparation for a radon test, you should keep your exterior doors and windows closed twelve hours beforehand. Choose a room to conduct the test in, one that is regularly used by you and your household, but not the bathroom or the kitchen. Find a place about 20 inches above the ground where you can keep the radon test kit for the instructed period of time without it being moved or disturbed. When the allotted time is over, seal your radon kit and send it to the lab. You can expect your results to return to you in a couple of weeks.

To learn how Ameriserv can help you test your home for radon, click here.

Radon: Iowa’s Dangerous Home Intruder

How Does Radon Enter Your Iowa Home?

Radon is a radioactive gas that occurs naturally by uranium breakdown in soil, water, and rock. The most common way that radon can enter a home is through soil that lies around the foundation. Soil tends to carry a higher air pressure than the inside of a home does, and because of this, a house will absorb radon that is in the soil through holes and cracks in the foundation. Unfortunately, virtually any home is prone to radon entrance. Old or new, basement or no basement, it is estimated that one out of fifteen homes in the US has an elevated level of radon.

Radon in your Iowa Home
Another way that radon can find its way into your home is through water sources. Surface water won’t typically raise an issue; it’s ground water sources that are more likely to produce radon. For example, a private well or any other system that sources from ground water.

The last way that radon can get into your home is through granite, concrete, and other building materials. Although they can sometimes give off radon, they don’t run a high risk of causing it.

The most prominent routes for radon to enter include:

1. Pores and gaps in concrete slabs and foundations
2. Cracks in walls and floors
3. Floor-wall joints
4. Exposed soil (in a crawlspace)
5. Mortar joints
6. Well water
7. Building materials: brick, concrete, rock
8. Open tops of block walls
9. Service pipes that fit loosely

To read more about radon and the effects it can have in your home, check out our FAQ page. There is also additional information on the EPA website.

Iowa Radon Abatement: A Guide to Radon Reduction

Getting Rid of Radon Gas in Iowa

Radon gas is a dangerous radioactive gas that is odorless, colorless, and tasteless. Iowa is known to be the state with the highest average levels of radon gas. It is also naturally-occurring. It is created through the decomposition of uranium and rises through the soil into homes, businesses, churches, and schools through cracks in the foundation. Radon gas can cause health issues, including lung cancer. Radon gas is the second most leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. It takes the lives of 21,000 people per year.

Radon Abatement in Iowa from Ameriserv

iowa radon abatement mitigation

The best and only way to tell if your home has high levels of radon is through radon testing. If your home is found to have high enough levels of radon, radon abatement is the next step. There are a variety of ways to decrease high levels of radon, in fact, the EPA cites 13 different methods to lower radon levels. The basic idea is to ventilate the home so that radon gas can escape, where it then becomes harmless. We here at Ameriserv can use sub-slab suction, which is one of the methods that the EPA cites. It is one of the most successful forms of radon abatement, reducing radon levels from 50 up to 99 percent.

If your home, business, church, or school is found to have high levels of radon gas, do not hesitate when considering radon mitigation. Do not wait until someone is sick. Contact us today to learn more about our radon testing and radon mitigation methods. Our service area covers all of Iowa, including Des Moines, Davenport, Iowa City, Cedar Rapids, and Carroll. We are fully licensed and insured for all projects in Iowa. We want to hear from you! Give us a call today!

Iowa Radon: Knowing Fact from Fiction

The Truth about Radon in Iowaradon testing, mitigation, iowa

Did you know that Iowa is known to have the highest average levels of radon in the United States? Radon is a naturally-occurring, radioactive, colorless, tasteless, and odorless gas that can reside in Iowa homes. Radon gas is the product of decomposing uranium in the soil. It travels up through the soil and into homes through cracks in the foundation. Though even low levels of radon gas can cause problems, high levels can lead to health issues such as lung infections and even lung cancer. Radon gas is thought to be the cause of up to 21,000 lung cancer deaths per year. It is almost completely undetectable, except through radon testing.

Regular radon testing is the best way to be safe from the effects of radon gas. The best times to get radon testing are during home inspections, especially before buying a home, but testing once a year is best. It is not just homes that can be effected, either. Homes, businesses, schools, churches; any structure can be effected. If high levels of radon are found, radon mitigation is the next step. Just like any other danger in your home, you want to find a way to get rid of it as soon as possible without anyone being harmed. Well, it is the same with radon gas. Rather than waiting until someone is sick, get radon mitigation right away.

Radon Mitigation in Iowa from Ameriserv

The best way to rid your home, business, school, or church of radon gas is through radon mitigation. You can also seal any cracks or holes in your foundation to prevent future radon gas getting into your home. Radon mitigation is a process through which a series of vents and fans are installed to clear out radon gas and lower radon levels. Some new construction homes in Iowa are even pre-installing radon mitigation systems to prevent high radon gas levels.

Ameriserv can offer Iowa homes, business, churches, and schools with both radon testing and radon mitigation. We want you to be safe, happy, and healthy in your Iowa home, so make sure to get regular radon testing. Contact us today to learn more about radon gas, radon testing, and radon mitigation. Our service area covers a large part of Iowa, including Des Moines, Ankeny, Sioux City, Davenport, Cedar Rapids, and Iowa City. Give us a call today!