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 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.
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.
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.
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:
- Gravel layer below the foundation to allow radon to flow freely around underground and never get into your home
- 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
- 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
- Sealant to cover any cracks in the foundation floor
- 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.
It’s difficult to understand how something we can’t see or smell can pose such a risk to our health. What’s truly scary is realizing just how harmful to our health it can be, and unlike carbon monoxide, has no immediate symptoms of exposure. Yet, most of us have at least 1 carbon monoxide detector in our homes while not giving radon detection a second thought.
Radon is the number 1 cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. According to the EPA, nearly 1 in 3 homes in a seven-state region had screening levels over 4 pCi/L, the EPA’s recommended action level for radon exposure. Seven out of ten homes in Iowa have high radon levels and approximately 400 Iowans die each year from exposure to this naturally produced gas. Some scientific studies are now showing children may be even more sensitive to radon due to their higher respiration rate and their rapidly dividing cells. More and more families are also making their basements primary living spaces and bedrooms for their children.
The primary routes of potential human exposure are inhalation and ingestion. Radon in the ground, groundwater or building materials introduced to working and living spaces and disintegrates into its decay products. Inhalation exposure is typically more likely and more important than ingestion.
Dr. Peter Sandman, a risk communication expert, writes that Risk = Hazard + Outrage. With very little, if any, outrage over radon exposure our human nature perceives it as less of a risk. After all, it’s a naturally occurring gas so there’s no one to be angry with. Lack of outrage translates to lack of action.
Let’s flip things around a bit. What if your place of employment, your children’s daycare or school didn’t do radon testing. Or worse, what if they tested, levels were high and they didn’t disclose it. You’d be outraged…you’d demand ACTION. The risk would feel HUGE.
Radon mitigation or the process of “fixing” a home that has elevated radon levels is comparable to other minor home repairs and it’s invaluable simply for the peace-of-mind knowing you’re not exposing yourself or your family to this harmful radioactive gas.
Kids Work on a Bill for Radon Testing & Mitigation in Schools
It’s great to know that kids get it. Radon is dangerous, and they are trying to do something about it. The State of Iowa Youth Advisory Council help to champion a bill to make sure that Iowa schools are tested for radon levels. This group of students researched and learned about the effects of radon which is a carcinogenic gas that occurs in Iowa in levels you don’t see just about anywhere else in the United States. Every single one of the counties in Iowa are at an elevated risk of radon exposure.
Radon has been proven to be a problem in schools due to the way they are constructed. With students and teachers spending hours and hours a day in the school buildings, if radon is present they are in deep trouble. Sadly the bill did not advance even though the research showed the high levels of radon in Iowa and the danger the schools are in. As always, cost was a concern.
What Else can we do to Protect our Kids from Radon Exposure?
So make sure you are educating your children. The more people talk about radon and it’s dangers, especially to our children in their schools, the sooner it will get done. Also, contact your local government representatives and push for this type of legislation to be approved. Our kids tried to stand up for other kids in our state. Now we need to as well! If you have questions about radon, the dangers of radon, or if you want to have radon testing and mitigation for your school contact the team at Ameriserv Radon. We do radon testing and mitigation in schools. We are here for you Iowa!
Read more about this story here: http://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/opinion/abetteriowa/2016/06/02/youth-urge-iowa-legislature-get-ahead-curve/85301998/
Most homeowners know that testing for radon is essential, but aren’t sure when or how often it should be done. Radon is an odorless, colorless, tasteless, and radioactive gas that occurs naturally from the decomposition of uranium in the soil.
If your home or business has a high enough levels of radon it may cause health issues such as wheezing, cough, lung infections, or even lung cancer. Because Iowa is known to have the highest average levels of radon in the country, it’s best to know the facts about radon testing.
If you have never had your home or business tested for radon, you should try to get a test as soon as possible. Luckily, radon tests are inexpensive. If your home or business is found to have low levels, which are not dangerous, you will only have to test every few years. If your building is found to have dangerous levels (4.0 pCi/L) we here at Ameriserv Radon Mitigation of Iowa can help.
Radon Solutions for Iowa
Mitigation is a way to fix high levels of radon in a building. Radon gets trapped in homes when it enters through cracks in the foundation. A mitigation system expels radon by pushing it outside with a series of vents and fans. It also prevents high levels of radon in the future. We can also install mitigation systems in new construction, as well. This will prevent radon altogether.
Contact us here at Ameriserv today for all your radon testing and mitigation needs. Our service area covers a large part of Iowa, including Des Moines, Ankeny, Ames, and Carroll. You can also learn more about radon here.