Tag Archives: Iowa Radon Levels

Ten Myths about Radon

Ten Myths about Radon

Radon is a radioactive gas that occurs nRadon Testing Iowa, Radon Mitigation Iowa, Myths about Radonaturally in the soil and often leaks into lower levels of homes. Exposure to radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer, behind smoking, and leads to 21,000 lung cancer deaths annually. Because you aren’t able to see, smell or taste radon gas, it’s important to test the air in your home and fix any problems you find. Many people don’t believe their home is in area with radon, one of the common myths about radon.

EPA’s Common Myths about Radon

Recently the EPA has reported ten common myths people have about radon, which follow.

1. Myth: Scientists are not sure that radon really is a problem.

Fact: While scientists are not certain of the exact number of deaths due to radon, the major health organizations, including the Center for Disease Control (CDC), American Medical Association (AMA), and American Lung Association all agree that radon causes thousands of otherwise preventable lung cancer deaths annually, especially among smokers.

2. Myth: Radon testing is difficult and expensive.

Fact: Testing for radon is easy and inexpensive, either by testing your home yourself or hiring a qualified radon testing professional. It has been shown that long-term testing kits, for at least 90 days, are more accurate than short-term kits.

3. Myth: It is impossible to fix a home with radon problems.

Fact: Many homes have already been successfully fixed. The cost radon problems can be fixed by qualified radon mitigation contracts for about the same cost as other home repairs.

4. Myth: Radon affects only certain types of homes.

Fact: Radon can affect any type of home: old or new, drafty or insulated, and with or without basements. The primary factors that affect radon levels in homes are local soils, construction materials, and building methods.

5. Myth: Radon occurs in only certain areas of the country.

Fact: Radon levels do tend to be higher in certain areas, but they have occurred in all 50 states. The only way to be certain your house does not contain radon is to test it.

6. Myth: If my neighbor has/doesn’t have radon, it must be the same for me.

Fact: This is not true. Radon levels do vary greatly between homes. The only way to be sure your home does not have a radon problem is to test it.

7. Myth: Everyone should also test their water for radon.

Fact: Radon can get into homes through ground water, but it is most important to test the air first. While radon gets into some homes through water, it is important to first test the air in the home for radon. If your water comes from a public water supply that uses ground water, call your water supplier. If high radon levels are found and the home has a private well, call the Safe Drinking Water Hotline at (800) 426-4791 for information on testing your water.

8. Myth: Selling a home with radon problems is difficult.

Fact: As long as the radon problems have been fixed, there is no problem selling a home. As a matter of fact, the added protection could be turned into a selling point.

9. Myth: It doesn’t make sense to check my home for radon because I’ve already lived here a long time.

Fact: Even if you’ve lived with an elevated radon level for many years, correcting it now will still reduce your risk for lung cancer.

10. Myth: Short-term tests don’t help determine whether or not to correct radon problems.

Fact: Short-term tests can be used to determine whether or not to reduce a high radon levels. If the short-term test result is close to pCi/L (pico Curies per Liter), it is difficult to determine whether the radon level is above or below that average throughout the years. Ideally, the level should be 2 pCi/L or lower to be safe.

For more information, refer to the EPA’s A Citizen’s Guide to Radon.

What If My Home Needs Radon Testing or Repair?

If you’ve tested your home and had a high radon level or want a professional in radon mitigation to test and/or repair your radon problems, contact the experts at Ameriserv Radon Mitigation of Iowa.

Don’t put you and your family at an unnecessary risk for lung cancer!

Radon Levels & Testing in Iowa Counties

High Radon Levels in Many Iowa Counties

Are you in danger of having high radon levels in your home? Iowa is the state with the highest average radon level in the country. Why are radon levels in Iowa so high? Radon is a radioactive gas that is formed during the breakdown of radium in the ground. Radon levels are particularly high in Iowa due to glaciers that deposited finely-ground soil in the area. The large surface area of this soil allows it to emit a lot of radon gas.

The following map shows radon levels by county throughout the United States. Notice that Iowa contains several more counties with elevated radon levels (indicated by red) than most other states.high radon levels in iowa counties

You may be wondering why this is such a big deal. Exposure to radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer and kills around 400 Iowans every single year. In fact, radon is the second leading cause o lung cancer next to smoking – prolonged radon exposure causes up to 20,000 cases of lung cancer per year.

This means that radon can pose a serious threat to Iowa residents. The average concentration of radon indoors in Iowa is 8.5 pCi/L, which is over six times the national average. Because it is impossible to detect radon in your home, you should have your home professionally tested as soon as possible.

Reduce Radon Levels in Your Iowa Home

Ameriserv Radon Mitigation of Iowa can test your home for radon and provide mitigation services to reduce high radon levels. We offer both short-term and long-term radon testing to determine if you are in need of radon mitigation services to lower radon levels. We also offer DIY Radon testing kits. If you choose to perform a DIY test and the results show a high radon level, you should follow up with a professional test to get a more accurate idea of radon levels.

radon levels by county in iowaIf we find that the radon levels in your home are higher than the recommended 4.0 pCi/L in your home, we can install a radon mitigation system. These systems use fans and pipes to reroute radon from the basement (or ground level of the home) upwards, where it is then vented out of the home.

Radon often enters the home through the basement, or through cracks in the foundation. In addition to mitigation, it may be beneficial to ensure that foundation cracks in your home are repaired. This will further prevent radon from entering the home.

If you live in Iowa, you are in danger of high radon levels and should have your home tested as soon as possible. However, certain counties are even more at risk for high radon levels. Click here to find an interactive map that shows average radon levels in your county – and do not hesitate to contact Ameriserv for an appointment today. See the map on the right to find out if we serve your Iowa county.

How Does Groundwater Raise Radon Levels?

Groundwater and Radon Levels in Iowa

Normally, radon gas enters an Iowa home by seeping through foundation cracks in the basement. Radon enters in this manner because it originates in the soil. When uranium breaks down in the soil, radon forms and rises through the soil until it reaches the foundation of your home and seeps inside.

However, it is possible for groundwater to bring radon into the home. You may live in an area where there is a lot of dissolved radon in the groundwater. This is especially common if there is a high content of granite or granitic sand in the area.

If you have a well with water that contains dissolved radon, this may cause elevated radon levels in your home. Most commonly, this dissolved radon in the water is stirred up by activities like showering, washing dishes, and doing laundry. These activities cause the dissolved radon to be released into the air, raising the radon levels in your home.

Reduce Radon Levels in Your Iowa Well Water

If you have had your home tested and have installed a mitigation system but still have high radon levels, well water could be to blame. Take these steps if you are worried about radon in your household water:

  • Radon in Iowa Well WaterTest for Radon: Have your home tested for radon. If the test results come back higher than the recommended maximum of 4.0, your home has elevated radon levels.
  • Invest in Mitigation: Have the professionals at AmeriServ install a radon mitigation system. This should reduce the radon levels.
  • Test Again: After the mitigation system has been in place for a while, your radon levels should decrease. If not, the radon could be entering your home via the well water.
  • Test the Water: Have your well water tested if radon levels do not lower to determine whether radon is entering your home through the drinking water.
  • Treat the Water: Aeration treatment (spraying the water with air and venting before using it) or GAC treatment (filtering the water through carbon – radon attaches to the carbon) can be used to remove radon from the water.

If you need to have your water tested, contact your state certification officer. Be sure that water is treated at the source instead of merely having a filter installed below the faucet. This will prevent radon from entering your home through water in the first place.

To have your home tested for radon or to have a mitigation system installed to reduce radon levels in your home, contact AmeriServ Radon Mitigation of Iowa today.


Does Radon Risk Get Worse in Winter?

Radon Levels During Iowa Winters

During the wintertime, many people become more concerned about silent killers like carbon monoxide in their homes. However, there is another invisible gas you may not know about that can be just as dangerous to you and your family. This is radon, the odorless, tasteless, and colorless gas that is the second leading cause of lung cancer, killing about 400 Iowans every year. This danger is especially prominent in the wintertime in your Iowa home.

How does radon enter your home? Normally, this gas decays from uranium in the soil and seeps upwards into your home through foundation cracks. The gas can also enter your home through well-water or other sources. So why is radon a bigger deal in the winter months?

  • Iowa Radon Risk in WinterLess Ventilation: Because all of the windows and doors are kept closed during the wintertime, there is less opportunity for radon to escape. Instead, it builds up in the home.
  • Greater Stack-Effect: The stack-effect is what occurs when the warmer air in the home rises and escapes out of the top – through the attic, chimney, etc. As this warmer air exits the home, radon- heavy air from the soil below rises to replace it.
  • Warm Soil Under Home: Radon cannot easily rise through frozen ground. During the wintertime, the radon will instead rise through the warmer ground under your foundation and seep through cracks into your home.

These are a few reasons that it is good to be aware of the dangers of elevated radon levels during the winter months and to have your home tested.

How to Protect Your Home from Iowa Winter Radon Levels

Because those living in your home could suffer significant adverse health effects from prolonged radon exposure, it is important to have your home tested. If you are concerned about the Iowa radon risk during the wintertime in your home, have a short-term or long-term radon test done by the expert team at Ameriserv today.

Winter Iowa Radon Risk ReductionIf you do find that your home has higher than average levels of radon, it is important to have the problem taken care of as soon as possible. Ameriserv offers professional radon mitigation services that can help to significantly reduce the levels of radon gas in your Iowa home.

The radon mitigation system can consist of a hole in the foundation with a suction point on top and a PVC pipe system. The PVC is connected to the suction point, which pulls radon out of the ground and then carries the gas to a vent, where it can exit the home. A fan is then attached to make sure that the air moves in the right direction.

Contact us right away to learn about these and more radon solutions to reduce the Iowa radon risk in your home.

Can Weather Affect Radon Levels?

Effects of Weather on Radon Levels in Iowa

Most homeowners are not aware of the fact that weather patterns can influence the radon levels in their homes. Radon is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas that is a major contributing factor in lung cancer among people in Iowa. It is considered the number one cause of lung cancer among non-smokers, and radon levels in Iowa are particularly high. However, many people do not realize that severe weather situations can put them at an even higher risk of radon exposure. It is important to have your home tested for radon and to have any radon taken care of as soon as possible.

While radon levels vary greatly from home to home, even if the homes are close together, there are a couple of different weather situations that can cause higher radon levels in your home:

  • Effects of Weather on Radon LevelsDrought/Heat: When the ground is much drier than normal, it causes the water table to lower significantly. This exposes deeper layers of the ground, where more radon gas decays from uranium in the soil. This gas can seep into homes through cracks in the ground and in the foundation. Also, closed windows and air conditioning turned on generally provide less ventilation to remove radon.
  • Winter Weather: During the cold winters in Iowa, radon levels in your home can rise. This is due to the fact there is a greater stack effect in the wintertime (warm air rising and escaping the home to be replaced with new air often, from the soil below), and due to the fact that the radon cannot rise through the frozen ground in the yard and so is pushed up through the warmer soil directly beneath your home. Also, homes have poorer ventilation in the winter due to closed windows.
  • Wet Conditions: When the ground is wet, more radon is able to move quickly to the surface of the ground, where it can seep through foundation cracks into your home. In addition, windows are normally closed more during rainy or wet conditions, which cuts down on ventilation that helps radon leave the home.

Iowa Solutions to Effects of Weather on Radon Levels

Whether these conditions are occurring outside or not, it is important to have your home tested for radon. Testing your home and implementing a radon mitigation system will greatly reduce chances of health problems that are often caused by prolonged exposure to radon. Once you have the proper radon mitigation system in your home, you will not have to worry so much about weather conditions causing high levels of radon in your home and the negative effects of weather on radon levels.

While it is important to test for radon, the EPA recommends avoiding administering radon tests during storms, high winds, and other kinds of weather conditions that might affect radon levels. Severe winds and rainy conditions can temporarily affect radon levels in your home, leading to an inaccurate test result.

Contact Ameriserv Radon Mitigation for short-term and long-term radon testing as well as radon mitigation in your Iowa home.

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!

How to Protect Your Family from Radon in Iowa

Protecting Your Iowa Home from Radon

If you live in Iowa, you have probably heard a little bit about the dangers of radon gas. What exactly is radon? It is an odorless, colorless, tasteless, radioactive gas that forms naturally as a result of the decay of uranium in the soil. The reason that radon is so dangerous is that it is carcinogenic, meaning that it can cause cancer, and it is so hard to notice and control. This making radon one of the leading causes of lung cancer, second 0nly to smoking. Fortunately, there are a lot of things that you can do to keep radon out of your home and away from your family.

Radon Protection for Your Iowa Home from Ameriserv

The first step in radon protection is to examine various ways that radon could enter your home. Normally, radon enters homes through the soil below the foundation. It can seep through any foundation cracks that may be present in your home, through gaps near pipes and wires, through sum pits, or through construction joints. Although most radon enters through the foundations, some radon could enter through your water. If you have well water, there is a chance that radon could seep into the water and later re-evaporate in you home through the use of water.

This is why it is important to make sure that any foundation cracks in your home are taken care of and to consult a radon mitigation expert to check for radon in your water.

Testing and Mitigation to Protect Your Iowa Home from Radon

Here at Ameriserv Radon Mitigation of Iowa, we offer a couple of different options to test your home for radon. These options include:

  • DIY Radon Tests: These can be purchased for $15, and can be done in around 48-96 hours to get an idea of radon levels.
  • Short Term Radon Tests: This test takes around 2-7 days and can measure radon levels in your home over a short time.
  • Long Term Radon Tests: These tests normally take over 90 days, and give an accurate idea of average radon levels.

Radon Prevention and Protection Services in IowaOnce you have tested your home for radon, what do you do with the test results? If the tests show that the radon level is below 4.0 pCi/L, you can perform a long term test to be sure, or you can test again in a few years. Radon levels from 4.0 pCi/L are considered dangerous, and another test should be administered right away. If the average of these two tests is above 4.0 pCi/L, consider investing in radon mitigation. Any radon test results showing a level of 8.0 pCi/L or greater should be followed by a second test, and, if the second test is consistent with the first, radon mitigation should be performed immediately.

If you are concerned about the high level of radon from your test results, call Ameriserv Radon Mitigation today to install a professional radon mitigation system. Usually, the mitigation system will consist of a pipe connected to the basement floor to vent out radon, and a fan that helps the radon travel up the pipe and out of the home. This can greatly reduce the amount of radon that is allowed to enter your home through the foundation.

For more information on radon levels and what to do to prevent radon exposure in your home, contact Ameriserv Radon Mitigation of Iowa right away.

Radon: Environmental Carcinogen

Radon as an Environmental Carcinogen in Iowa

Carcinogens are defined as any substance that is directly related to causing cancer. There are a number of different types of carcinogens that work on the body in various ways to cause cancer. Many of these substances are radioactive, but a carcinogen does not have to be radioactive to cause cancer. Most people think of carcinogens as man-made materials and chemicals, but certain carcinogens exist naturally. In order to best protect yourself from the risk of developing cancer, it is important to be aware of the most common carcinogens in your area, and to take the necessary steps to avoid them. If you live in Iowa, one of the carcinogens that you need to be concerned about is radon.

Radon is a radioactive gas, a carcinogen, that occurs naturally as part of the decaying process of uranium. Most often, radon is produced by decaying uranium in the soil, where it seeps up into the air and enters your home. If you breathe too much of this gas over time, it can increase your chances of developing lung cancer.

Environmental Carcinogen Radon in Your Iowa HomeThe properties of radon make it very difficult to detect:

  • Colorless
  • Odorless
  • Tasteless
  • Very Dense
  • Chemically Unreactive

These characteristics make radon undetectable by the human senses. The best way to check for a radon problem in your home is to invest in radon testing and mitigation services from a professional mitigation company. The team at Ameriserv Radon Mitigation of Iowa can help you ensure that the radon levels in your home are not at an unsafe level.

Testing for Radon in Your Iowa Home

It is important to the health of you and your family that you test your home for radon and invest in mitigation services to reduce the radon levels if they are too high. In the United States, radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer behind only tobacco. In the state of Iowa alone, lung cancer caused by radon exposure kills over 400 people every year: five out of every seven homes in the state have elevated radon levels. So how do you protect yourself from this invisible, undetectable carcinogen?

Testing for the Carcinogen Radon in Iowa Homes from Ameriserv

The best way to ensure you and your family are not exposed to radon is to have your home tested for radon. Radon Testing in Iowa can determine the level of radon in your home and help you decide whether or not you need to investigate mitigation methods to get rid of the gas. Here at Ameriserv, we offer a couple of different testing options – short-term tests, long-term tests, and even DIY radon-testing kits. If your home has a radon level of higher than 4.0 pCi/L, it is time to get professional help.

Contact the radon mitigation and testing team at Ameriserv Radon Mitigation as soon as possible. We are committed to keeping Iowans safe from this harmful environmental carcinogen.