What Is Radon?
What is Radon gas? Radon, referred to as Radon-222, is a radioactive gas released during the natural decay of thorium and uranium, which are common, naturally occurring elements found in varying amounts in rock and soil. Normal pressure differences between the foundation and the surrounding soil can create a “vacuum” which will draw radon gas from the soil into the foundation. Due to a variety of factors including lack of air, radon gas can’t be diluted and can accumulate to significant levels.
Is Radon Dangerous?
Yes, Radon is dangerous. Odorless, colorless, tasteless – and present in more than 6,000,000 (6 million) homes in the US – Radon can’t be detected with human senses. According to the EPA, no radon level is considered “safe”. The risk of developing lung cancer is directly proportional to the levels and duration of exposure to radon: the higher the radon concentration, the higher the lung cancer risk. If your Radon is between 2 pCi/L and 4 pCi/L you should consider fixing your home. If your radon is above 4 pCi/L, it is necessary you fix your home. If your home has under 2 pCi/L, there are still preventative steps you can take to protect your home.
Sources of Radon
How, and how much, radon enters a home depends on the design, construction, condition, and ventilation of the home. Radon levels are generally higher in basements and rooms that are in contact with soil, however radon can enter any home through concrete floors and walls, floor drains, sump pumps, construction joints, and tiny cracks or pores in hollow-block walls. Other sources include:
- Cracks in concrete slabs
- Spaces behind brick veneer walls that rest on uncapped hollow-brick foundation
- Pores and cracks in concrete blocks
- Floor-wall joints
- Exposed soil, as in a sump
- Weeping (drain) tile, if drained to open sump
- Mortar joints
- Loose fitting pipe penetrations
- Open tops of block walls
- Building materials such as some rocks
- Water (from some wells)
Radon Reduction – Sealers
Sealing your basement walls and floor, and repairing cracks, are basic parts of most approaches to radon reduction and prevention. Repairing the cracks and sealing the walls and floor, limit the flow of radon into your home, thereby making other radon reduction techniques more effective and cost-efficient. It also reduces the loss of conditioned air.
How The Radon Sealer Works
The Foundation Armor concrete sealer penetrates into the concrete and reacts with the free calcium and lime to form a crystalline barrier within the pores of the concrete. Once dry, the concrete is strengthened by up to 45% – preventing the instrusion of water, moisture, vapors, and radon. While radon sealers, like the Foundation Armor Concrete Sealer, can help with Radon reduction, they should never be used alone. In many cases, especially in homes with high levels of Radon, you may have to apply a sealer and install a Radon mitigation system.
The Foundation Armor concrete sealers stop hydrostatic pressure and water migration up to 100 PSI, and vapor migration up to 0.015 WVT. If you repair cracks and seal your basement with Foundation Armor products, you will see a Radon reduction. Additional coats can be applied to further reduce Radon levels.
Radon Reduction – Mitigation Systems
In many cases, especially in homes with high levels of radon, a radon mitigation system should be used in conjunction with a Radon Sealer.
In selecting a radon reduction method for your home, you and your contractor should consider several things, including: how high your initial radon level is, the costs of installation and system operation, your home size, and your foundation type.
Radon Mitigation Systems: Radon Mitigation Systems
Radon Reduction and Prevention Products
Concrete Crack Repair: