A Homeowner’s Guide to Radon Testing and Mitigation in Fort Collins

Living in Fort Collins comes with the risk of potentially high indoor radon levels that can threaten your household’s health. This radioactive gas is the leading cause of lung cancer for non-smokers. Certain areas of Fort Collins have elevated radon concentrations due to natural uranium deposits underground. Protecting your family starts with understanding radon risks, properly testing your home, and installing a mitigation system if high levels are found. Follow this straightforward homeowner’s guide to manage radon effectively.

How Radon Enters Your Fort Collins Home

Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas formed from the decay of uranium in soil and rock. It enters homes through direct contact with the ground. Radon gas gets drawn in through cracks and gaps in foundation floors and walls in contact with the earth. It migrates through microscopic pores and openings in the concrete itself or around piping, sump pits, floor joints, block walls, and support posts.

As heated and conditioned air exits the home through chimneys, appliances, and ventilation, it pulls new air inward through foundation openings. This suction draws radon up from the soil and into the basement or ground floor. Any home can draw in radon regardless of foundation quality. Once inside, it spreads throughout living spaces and accumulates over time.

Health Risks of Radon Exposure

Radon decay releases radioactive particles that increase lung cancer risks when inhaled. The EPA estimates radon causes over 20,000 lung cancer deaths per year. Smokers face extremely high risks when radon exposure occurs. Children also have greater vulnerability. There is no known safe radon level, but the EPA recommends fixing any concentrations at or above 4 pCi/L.

Radon testing is the only way to understand your home’s risk. Exposure duration and levels determine lung cancer chances. With high radon, your lifetime odds can exceed 1 in 10. Protect your household by testing radon regularly and installing mitigation if above 4 pCi/L.

Testing Your Fort Collins Home for Radon

Affordable do-it-yourself radon test kits are available from local hardware stores and major retailers. Look for Health Canada approved devices. Carefully follow the kit instructions on ideal placement and duration. Testing in the lowest livable space of the home during fall or winter months will provide the most accurate results. Professional radon testers are also available for about $150.

Ideally, conduct both short-term (2-5 day) and long-term (3 month) radon tests. Average the results. If tests reveal radon concentrations at or above 4 pCi/L, move forward with mitigation system installation. For optimal protection, test radon levels regularly every 2 years minimum and after any major home renovations.

Radon Mitigation for Fort Collins Homes

The most effective way to reduce high indoor radon levels is installing an active sub-slab depressurization system. This uses PVC piping routed through the concrete foundation floor into the gravel and soil beneath. A powerful inline fan actively draws radon from underneath before it enters the home and vents it through the pipe to the outdoors where it quickly dilutes.

By maintaining lower air pressure below the slab, less radon is drawn into the house through cracks and openings. Fans run continuously with minimal electricity costs. Professional installation is strongly recommended to ensure proper materials, sealing, and placement suited to your home’s needs. Look for qualified radon mitigation contractors certified by the NRPP or NRSB.

A properly installed mitigation system can reduce a home’s radon levels by up to 99%. This provides effective protection for your family at a reasonable investment starting around $1200 to $2500. Contact certified professionals to assess your situation if radon tests reveal high levels in your Fort Collins home.

Maintaining Your Radon Mitigation System

Ongoing maintenance ensures your radon mitigation system remains effective long-term. Visually inspect the fan and piping annually for any needed repairs. Check that vent pipe openings remain clear of debris, vegetation, or other blockages. Replace mitigation system fans every 5-10 years per manufacturer recommendations.

Have radon levels retested periodically after the system is installed to confirm it is performing properly and adequately reducing concentrations below the EPA action level. Proper mitigation system maintenance and follow-up testing provides peace of mind your family breathes easier in a home protected from radon’s dangers.

Take Action Against the Invisible Radon Threat

Don’t play games with your household’s health and safety when it comes to radioactive radon. This colorless, odorless gas can sneak into any Fort Collins home unnoticed. Defend your family by testing radon levels regularly and installing professional mitigation if above 4 pCi/L. Taking proactive steps provides essential protection to breathe easier in your home for years to come.

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