Radon Abatement In Bedford, Massachusetts
The Radon Problem in Bedford, Massachusetts
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, Middlesex County is in a Radon Zone One. That means that the average house in Bedford, Massachusetts has a radon level greater than 4.0 pCi/L. According to the EPA, houses that contain this much radon require radon abatement to reduce their levels; anyone who lives in the Bedford area, therefore, should take the precaution of having their home’s radon levels tested regularly.
Every home, no matter where it is located, should be tested for radon regularly. However, if you live in a Zone One area like Bedford, you should be particularly disciplined about doing so, and should be prepared for the strong possibility that it will require radon abatement. Nationwide, one out of fifteen houses requires radon abatement. In Bedford, that percentage is much higher than average. Even if your house has been tested for radon before, especially if it has been some time since the test was performed, it is a good idea to have the testing done again. Radon levels can build back up over time even if an attempt has been made to mitigate them in the past.
Why is Radon Abatement so Important?
Radon is a radioactive gas that is created when the small amounts of uranium found naturally in the soil degrade. The gas is colorless and has no odor, but a high radon level in your home constitutes a serious health risk to you and your family. Extended exposure to radon can cause lung cancer and other respiratory health issues.
What Issues are Addressed During Radon Abatement?
Radon rises from the soil under a house and around its foundations and can enter the house through the basement slab and foundation walls. If there is low air pressure in the house, then radon gas will be sucked in, diffusing through the basement or crawlspace walls and floor. Foundation walls and floor slabs are almost always made out of concrete, which is a naturally porous material. It is difficult to prevent a gas like radon from diffusing through it, especially if there is a pressure differential. Newer, more airtight and energy efficient houses are sometimes at an even higher risk for harmful levels of radon, since it can be even more difficult for the radon gas to get out of these houses once it is inside.
How is Radon Abatement Accomplished?
SWAT Environmental’s radon abatement experts are three main approaches to radon abatement: sealing, pressure relief and ventilation. Sealing can help slow the leakage or diffusion of radon gas into your home. However, sealing alone seldom brings radon levels down to a safe level, because it does not solve the pressure problem. To effectively lower radon levels, the area the gas is coming from — usually the area under the slab — needs to be vented to your home’s exterior. Mechanical ventilation of your home’s interior can also help to bring the concentration of radon to a safer level. These three radon abatement strategies put together can help ensure that your family is protected from radon poisoning.
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