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.
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.
If 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.
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!
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:
Drought/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.