- Home Performance Audit
- Insulation For Existing Homes
- Indoor Air Quality
- Air Sealing
- New Construction & Remodeling
Radon is a health hazard with a simple solution. Radon is a colorless, odorless gas produced by uranium deposits in the ground. If present in high enough concentrations in the home, radon can lead to lung cancer if not properly mitigated.
The state of Wisconsin is located in an area of moderate-to-high radon concentrations, so it's important to conduct a radon inspection in each home. Radon can be hit or miss — one home may register high concentrations, while one right next door could register minimal amounts. Radon is measured in "picocuries per liter of air" amounts often written as pCi/L.
Radon seeps into enclosed areas through tiny gaps in the foundation, walls and floors of the home. As homes have become more tightly sealed and insulated, the radon has less opportunity to exit the home and can build up to dangerous levels.
Because radon is undetectable without specific radon testing, it's highly recommended each home be tested for their levels of radon. If your household occupants include a smoker, the effects of radon combined with the effects of tobacco can elevate the risk of lung cancer. Understanding this potential risk and taking steps to remove radon will ensure your family's health and safety.
The radon detector that Wisconsin Home Improvement uses is a simple kit that is opened and left in the lowest living area of the home, either the basement or first floor. The test monitor is left in the location with windows and doors closed for at least 72 hours (though it can be left for as long as a week if needed). While normal air conditioning and heating may be used during the test time, do not use fans or other ventilation that draw outside air into the home. After testing, the test kit is sealed up and sent off to the lab. Results are usually available in 7 to 10 days.
Your test results will indicate the level of radon detected by the kit. The test results will have a score of the amount of radon detected in picocuries per liter, or pCi/L. Test results of below 4 PCi/L are considered safer, and no remediation is required. For radon levels higher than 4pCi/L, mitigation is highly recommended.
Luckily, fixing a home with high radon measurements is relatively straightforward and mitigation solutions generally cost between $800 and $1,000.
A specialized radon contractor will seal any visible cracks in the foundation, then drill a hole into the foundation for a pipe vent to carry the radon gases from under the foundation and safely vent them outside the home. Other situations call for a venting fan to be installed to draw the radon gases up from the foundation and exhaust them outside above the roof line. After mitigation venting has been installed, it's a good idea to re-test for radon to ensure the system is working properly and safely.