The Radon concentration level at which the EPA recommends mitigating for is 4 pCi/L and above. Results from airchek.com estimate that around 24% of homes in Richmond have concentration levels that require mitigation.  24% of homes in Richmond have concentration levels that you should consider mitigating for. Call us at 804-269-4321 to get your home tested for Radon.

Radon in Richmond     Results under 2 pCi/L

   Results between 2 and 3.9 pCi/L

   = Results 4 pCi/L and above

Radon Risk in Richmond Virginia

Radon Risk in Richmond Virginia

What is radon?

According the EPA ,Radon is a cancer-causing, radioactive gas.  It is a gas that decays into radioactive particles that can get trapped in your lungs when you breathe. As they break down further, these particles release small  bursts of energy. This can damage lung tissue and lead to lung cancer over the course of your lifetime.

Radon Particle

How does radon enter your home?

Radon breaks down into a gas from Uranium which is found in almost all soils. The gas is able to travel through the soil and into your home through cracks in the foundation, expansion joints or gaps in the foundation, gaps or voids in the subfloor, contaminated water, and even granite counter tops.  The radon gets trapped in the house and many factors can determine its concentration levels.

Radon Entry Points

 

What is the risk in living with radon?

Radon causes 20,000 lung cancer deaths a year. It is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. It is second only to smoking.  If you smoke, or are exposed to second hand smoke, and you are exposed to radon, your chances to get lung cancer are significantly increased. The EPA as provided these charts to represent the risks associated with radon exposure.

Radon Risk If You Smoke

Radon Level

If 1,000 people who smoked were exposed to this level over a lifetime*…

The risk of cancer from radon exposure compares to**…

WHAT TO DO: Stop smoking and…

20 pCi/L About 260 people could get lung cancer 250 times the risk of drowning Fix your home
10 pCi/L About 150 people could get lung cancer 200 times the risk of dying in a home fire Fix your home
8 pCi/L About 120 people could get lung cancer 30 times the risk of dying in a fall Fix your home
4 pCi/L About 62 people could get lung cancer 5 times the risk of dying in a car crash Fix your home
2 pCi/L About 32 people could get lung cancer 6 times the risk of dying from poison Consider fixing between 2 and 4 pCi/L
1.3 pCi/L About 20 people could get lung cancer (Average indoor radon level) (Reducing radon levels below 2 pCi/L is difficult.)
0.4 pCi/L About 3 people could get lung cancer (Average outdoor radon level)
Note: If you are a former smoker, your risk may be lower. * Lifetime risk of lung cancer deaths from EPA Assessment of Risks from Radon in Homes (EPA 402-R-03-003). ** Comparison data calculated using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 1999-2001 National Center for Injury Prevention and Control Reports.

Radon Risk If You’ve Never Smoked

Radon Level

If 1,000 people who never smoked were exposed to this level over a lifetime*…

The risk of cancer from radon exposure compares to**…

WHAT TO DO:

20 pCi/L About 36 people could get lung cancer 35 times the risk of drowning Fix your home
10 pCi/L About 18 people could get lung cancer 20 times the risk of dying in a home fire Fix your home
8 pCi/L About 15 people could get lung cancer 4 times the risk of dying in a fall Fix your home
4 pCi/L About 7 people could get lung cancer The risk of dying in a car crash Fix your home
2 pCi/L About 4 person could get lung cancer The risk of dying from poison Consider fixing between 2 and 4 pCi/L
1.3 pCi/L About 2 people could get lung cancer (Average indoor radon level) (Reducing radon levels below 2 pCi/L is difficult.)
0.4 pCi/L (Average outdoor radon level)
Note: If you are a former smoker, your risk may be higher. * Lifetime risk of lung cancer deaths from EPA Assessment of Risks from Radon in Homes (EPA 402-R-03-003). ** Comparison data calculated using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 1999-2001 National Center for Injury Prevention and Control Reports.

What about radon in Richmond?

Here is a chart of average radon test results in and around Richmond.  The EPA considers Richmond, Henrico, New Kent, Charles and Prince George as low potential zones but they recommend radon testing regardless of zones. Goochland, Powhatan, Chesterfield, Hopewell and Petersburg are in Zone 3, which is the high potential zone. Average test results in this zone are above 4 pCi/L which should be mitigated for health reasons. We recommend testing your home regardless of location.

Radon in Richmond Virginia
Radon in Richmond Virginia

What now?

Radon does not have to be scary. Give us a call and let us test your home for radon. We test for radon in Richmond, Henrico, New Kent, Charles, Goochland, Powhatan, Chesterfield, Hopewell and Petersburg.  If the tests are above 4 pCi/L, we will perform another test.  Two tests above 4 pCi/L and the EPA recommends having a radon mitigation system installed in your home. Here is a standard radon mitigation system

Radon mitigation
Radon mitigation

What is Radon?

Is there Radon in Richmond?

Is there Radon in Chesterfield?

Is there Radon in Henrico?

Is there Radon in Dinwiddie?

Is there Radon in Goochland?

 

Ventless fireplaces, more accurately known as duct-free fireplaces and room-venting fireplaces, are a type of residential gas-heating device.Ventless fireplace vent into hte living space  Ventless fireplaces are preferred because they burn at nearly 100% efficiency, release far less harmful gasses than most other heating alternatives, and their installation is restricted little by architectural constraints.
They are controversial, however.  Despite their name, they vent unburned combustion byproducts directly into the living space. Traditional fireplaces, by contrast, are equipped with a flue that vents to the outdoors, saving humans and their pets from exposure to the bulk of the carbon monoxide (CO) and airborne particulates created by the fire. As a less serious yet still important side note, ventless fireplaces create high levels of water vapor, which can lead to mold growth and a variety of other moisture-related building problems. Mold can be a serious health hazard for at-risk individuals, and it can damage fabric, photographs, books and building materials.

To mitigate CO dangers, manufacturers instruct customers to keep a window open while ventless fireplaces are in operation –- advice that is easy to ignore, as an open window allows the entry of cold air, defeating the efforts of the fireplace to warm the living space. Many manufacturers also install an oxygen-detection sensor (ODS) in their ventless fireplaces that will automatically shut down the appliance if oxygen levels in the home become dangerously low. Critics point out that this sensor is typically located at the lower part of the unit near the floor, where it detects cool, fresh, oxygen-filled air and misses hot combustion gasses as they rise and pool toward the ceiling. And if the sensor fails, any CO-producing abnormality experienced by the fireplace will continue unnoticed and potentially harm building occupants.

Massachusetts, California, and a number of other states in the U.S., as well as Canada and other countries, have outlawed ventless gas fireplaces due to the aforementioned safety concerns. Many individual municipalities, too, have outlawed these appliances in states where they are otherwise legal. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development bans ventless fireplaces in their housing, and advisements against the use of these appliances have been issued by various watchdog groups, such as the American Lung Association, the Centers for Disease Control, the Environmental Protection Agency, and even the Mayo Clinic. In particular, these organizations warn against exposure of individuals who are particularly vulnerable to CO, namely, the elderly, pregnant women, small children, those with pre-existing cardiovascular difficulties, and small pets. To be fair, though, there have been no documented cases of fatalities caused by ODS-equipped ventless fireplaces, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Ventless fireplaces can be inspected for the following safety defects:

  • a gas leak. During production, installation or servicing, a leak can be created;
  • plugged burner ports. The contractor may accidentally plug the burner ports while spreading ceramic tile over the burners, or they may be painted over at the factory. The resulting unbalanced burn will create excessive carbon monoxide;
  • a clogged burner. Dust, carpet lint and pet hair can gradually choke off the fireplace’s air supply, leading to incomplete combustion and high amounts of CO that are vented into the living space;
  • high gas-input rate. Excessive CO ventilation or overheating of the unit will result from firing the gas higher than the input rate set by the manufacturer’s specifications. This can be caused by high gas-supply pressure, an incorrect orifice drill size done at the factory, or if the installer gives the customer’s unit a larger flame for aesthetic reasons;
  • the fireplace is oversized for the square footage of the area to be heated.
  • a cracked burner. The gas burner may develop a crack over time and function erratically, producing high levels of CO;
  • the fireplace contains items other than the artificial logs designed for the unit. Problems caused by the incineration of firewood or other flammable items will be immediate and extreme. A more likely and less obvious hazard is created by adding pebbles, lava rocks, and other non-combustible aesthetic touches to the fireplace, as their exposure to flames will cause an unsafe rise in levels of CO; and
  • a missing or defective ODS. As these components may fail, it is advisable to install a CO detector near a ventless fireplace and, ideally, in other rooms, as well.
In summary, ventless fireplaces, while attractive and portable, suffer from a design flaw that may allow dangerous gases to enter the living space.