Elevated levels of radon within a home can cause significant health and safety risks. Radon is decaying uranium that is found in the soil. This makes no level of radon gas inhalation safe. However, the EPA considers 4 pCi/L or higher to be hazardous. It’s worth noting that the levels of radon in a home can spike seasonally. In the winter months, radon levels are higher due to atmospheric pressure and the stack effect. Homes also tend to be more closed up in the winter months since doors and windows remain closed. Radon levels can also spike during thunderstorms because of dramatic pressure changes. This is why radon levels should be measured as a long-term average. The cost to mitigate radon can vary. Factors to consider include the size of the home, how high the levels are, how many suction points there are, and how many cracks must be filled in.
Many times, a sump pump has drain tile going to it. This makes a great conduit to grab the radon gas and flow it into a home’s basement. This can make an open sump pump basket an ideal entry point for radon to enter the home. For this reason, Safe Basements of Minnesota has manufactured a proprietary sump pump basket cover. Another place that radon can enter the home is through cracks or a porous floor. Special spray-on paint can be used on cement to fill in pores and cracks, warding off radon.
Many homeowners question the difference between foam jacking and mud jacking. Mud jacking is wet because of its water content. When the water dries up, shrinking and resettling can take place. With foam jacking, expansion takes place. This puts pressure on the cement and makes it hold where it needs to. Foam jacking is done by drilling a small hole and injecting foam in to fill the void. In periods of drought, foam jacking can be used to alleviate concrete settling on sidewalks and homes. When concrete settles, doors and windows may no longer open and close correctly.
Bowed walls can be a major cause for concern. When a home is first built, a hole is dug, and a basement is installed. When the hole around the basement wall is filled, settling eventually takes place. This creates a path of least resistance for water. During rain or snowmelt, the soil adjacent to a basement wall is saturated. The soil expands when it gets wet, which can push a wall in. Some of the best things a homeowner can do for exterior home maintenance is to maintain their grade and install clog-free gutters. Horizontal cracks can be a sign that a home’s walls are bowed.
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