Pennsylvania Logo

Back

When to Get a Radon Gas Inspection: An Interview with Rick Haag of Safe Shelter Environmental

By Rick Haag

Tell us a little bit about your company and the services you offer.

Safe Shelter Environmental was started in 1986 with the mission of making the indoor environment healthier and safer. We have provided services in homes, schools, churches, office buildings, etc. The majority of our work is in Radon testing and Radon mitigation. We also do mold testing, water testing and install water treatment equipment.

Can you briefly explain what radon gas is?

Radon gas is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that collects in homes and buildings. It is a product of the radioactive decay of radium in the soil. Radon gas is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking causing an estimated 20,000 deaths a year in the US. There are some scientists that feel that children are more at risk than adults. Many of the homes in PA have radon gas concentrations above the EPA and PA DEP action level of 4pCi/l (4 picoCuries per liter of air).

Why is it important for people to have their homes checked for radon gas?

Radon has no odor or color and is only detected by running a test for radon gas. Testing is not expensive and homeowners can buy do it yourself test kits for about $35.00 which includes the analysis. Most hardware stores sell the test kits and we sell them at our office in Exton, PA.

It is unfortunate that most people do not think about radon testing until buying or selling a home. Most of the testing we provide is done for real estate transactions and about 40% of the homes we test have elevated radon levels that the owners were completely unaware of.

What are the most common ways that radon enters a house?

Radon enters the home through cracks, holes, and pores in the basement walls and floor. That being said a visual inspection of the basement walls and floor are not useful in predicting radon gas concentrations in the home. We mitigate homes with concrete walls and floors that have no discernible holes of cracks. If radon is present in the soil it finds a way into the home. We also mitigate many homes that are built on slabs and do not have basements.

How does an inspector detect a radon leak and how should it be treated?

In most cases radon mitigation is not a complicated endeavor costing between $900.00 and $1200.00. We have performed on the order of 10,000 successful mitigations, the largest one being the Franklin Science Center at Shippenburg University. Most of the radon levels we deal with are below 20 pCi/l but it is not uncommon to find a house with over 100 pCi/l and we have mitigated homes with over 1000 pCi/l.

Is there anything homeowners can do to help prevent problems with radon gas?

Should you have a radon problem Safe Shelter provides free estimates. Most of the time we will guarantee radon levels below 4pCi/l at the conclusion of the mitigation. We are certified by the State of Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection to test for and mitigate radon problems.

What's the best way for people to reach you and your company?

The best way to get ahold of us is to call us @ 610 594-0350. We actually have people that answer the phone. You can visit our web site safeshelter.com or drop in at our office at 346 North Pottstown Pike in Exton, across from Target.

Share this:

Comments

Leave a comment:

* Login in order to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join for Free



About The Author

Phone: 610 594-0350

View Profile

Become an Expert Contributor

Have some knowledge to share, and want easy and effective exposure to our audience? Get your articles or guides featured on Pennsylvania Homes today! Learn more about being an expert contributor.

Learn More