Mass RADON

Massachusetts Radon Mitigation
West Springfield, MA 01089

Mass RADON
Radon Mitigation / System Design / Residential / Schools / Commercial

Serving all Western Massachusetts and Southern Vermont, Northern Conneticut
Hampden, Hampshire, Franklin, Berkshire and Worcester Counties

Mass RADON provides System Design and Radon Mitigation Services in homes, schools and commercial buildings.
We can also test for radon in the water of your home's well or water system.

Protect your family now!

Testing your home for Radon is a smart choice today and fixing Radon issues is simply the right thing to do for you and your family.
View the EPA's Radon Map for Massachusetts and the severity of the problem. If your considering purchasing a home, it is common sense to have it tested for Radon. With Mass RADON you can expect no less than full professionalism, education, competence, credentials, knowledge, and courtesy.

A Radon test is simple and fast, completed in 48 hours with results available within a few days. A radon system evaluation and price quote takes about 15 – 30 minutes and most system installations are completed in about 3-4 hours.


Please take the time to look through our web site. We've included a wealth of information which will help you better understand the dangers of Radon, Radon Facts and helpful free resources. We hope this information will be useful to you.

Mass RADON is your local Radon System Design and Mitigation Company. Dedicated to serving Western & Central Massachusetts with experienced Radon Mitigation Technology. Mass RADON uses only the latest in Radon Reduction techniques installed quickly and professionally to insure that the air you breathe and the water you drink is safe for you and your family.


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Who We Are

Serving Western and Central Massachusetts

Rick Galarneau is a Professional Radon Mitigator. Rick is a native of Western Massachusetts, and a U.S. Navy Viet Nam era veteran, and spent many years in the building trades in California in the 1970s.

Rick’s education includes a college degree in Radiographic Technology including Radiation Physics. Rick also trained at Rutgers University in Radon Gas mitigation, testing and mitigation system design.

Rick has owned his own Inspection / Radon mitigation business for over 13 years and is one the areas most sought after Radon professionals. Rick speaks regularly at Local Real Estate offices and first time home buyers seminars. He also teaches continuing education classes.

Rick is certified as a professional Radon Mitigator with the National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) and is listed with the Massachusetts Board of Health, Radon Control Program.

"I am committed to giving the residents of western Massachusetts the very best service available and delivering it with professionalism and courtesy".


MassRadon and Rick Galarneau are committed to helping ease the worry of your home buying experience by using of the latest in Radon testing and Mitigation Technology. MassRADON provides a full range of Radon Services including radon in well water testing, radon in air and water mitigation systems.

Radon in your homes air is usually found during a real estate transaction. The prospective buyers often test for radon gas at the time of their home inspection. The USEPA recommends that homes with levels above 4.0 pCi/l be mitigated. Elevated radon levels are not a reason not to purchase a home that you otherwise like. Radon mitigation is a 1 day repair and is reasonably priced. Many simple systems cost around $1300.00 and the radon levels are guaranteed to be below the EPA action limit of 4.0 pCi/l. The radon fan carries a 5 year guarantee.

Many times the post mitigation result are less than 1.0 pCi/l. If your home has already been tested or you are considering testing it, call MassRADON today at: 413-737-0272. We also provide a free system evaluation and cost proposal if your results are high.

A Mitigation Professional from MassRADON is available to speak with your group, first time homebuyers program, and Realtor's Office, to discuss Radon Gas, testing procedures and mitigation techniques. Contact us for more information.


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Radon Blog

About Radon
by John Dicken

WHAT IS RADON?
APR17

What is radon gas anyway? Radon gas is a decay product of uranium. Uranium is a naturally occurring element found on planet Earth. Typically it is found deep underground in the bedrock and can run in "veins". Uranium, like most radioactive elements, goes through a decay process where it breaks down over time and gives off, or becomes something else that is also radioactive. In the case of uranium it decays into another element called radium. Radium also decays and it breaks down into RADON GAS. Radon, because it is a gas, moves easily through cracks in the earth and can travel underground with other soil gases and it can also find its way into underground water, springs etc. That's how it gets in your well water. As it moves underground it works its way to the surface of the earth and naturally vents itself into the atmosphere.

When you build a house on top of the earth, a foundation is dug and a concrete floor is poured. The radon that was venting itself out of the earth in that particular spot, is still trying to do so, only now it gets caught under the foundation and builds up in pressure until it forces its way into the basement through cracks, gaps in the concrete floor/wall joint sumps, and any other opening in the concrete to the earth below. Once it's in the house, it attaches itself to dust particles and travels around your house where you breath it in. Once it is in your lungs, radon like the other radioactive elements, breaks down again and gives off what is known as radon daughters. These radon daughters give off a small burst of energy when they are born and that energy can damage cells in the lungs which can in turn, become a cancerous cell.

So we can see why it is something that you would want to reduce in your home and the lower the amount, the less of everything else that occurs. So there it is, a quick not too scientific explanation of radon, next installment, testing for it.

Radon in the well water creates the same problems as radon in the air. Waterborne radon is released into the air at its point of use which is usually on the living floor. Once its released into the air you breath it in and the results are the same as airborne radon.

There are some concerns about drinking well water with elevated radon levels causing stomach cancer, but the results seem to be inconclusive about the amount of water and radon is required, breathing it in is the major concern. Remember, radon gas causes over 22,000 deaths a year making it the leading cause of lung cancer in non smokers and the 2nd leading cause overall.


RADON TESTING
JUN17

Let's talk about airborne radon testing since it is the first step in determining if there is, in fact a radon problem. Lets preface this by stating that radon gas is EVERYWHERE, It is in the air we breathe even in our back yard and it is definitely in every house on the planet, even with a radon system. So anyone making a statement like "there is no radon here" or "this house does not have radon" or "there is no radon in this part of town", is fooling themselves and whoever they are telling that to. The fact is there is radon everywhere and the real question is, how much radon is here? Radon testing is the only way to know what your house has for radon levels. It does not matter what your neighbor has, or anyone else on your street for that matter, every house is different. Unsafe levels of radon can be found in only one house on a given street while all the other homes may test as safe, or they may all test as unsafe except for one house on the street.

Now testing comes in several forms. The EPA recommends what is known as long term testing. Long term testing should be done whenever possible because it will give the most accurate results regarding your average indoor radon levels. Long term testing can last 3 months to a year and it should be done covering two or more seasons. Nothing special needs to be done to the house and normal living conditions should be maintained, no need to close up the house or worry about the weather, it designed to determine levels of radon under normal everyday life. This is the type of test you would want to use in a house that is NOT for sale at the time of testing.

Short term testing is the one REALTORS want to be using or have done. Short term testing was designed for a quick idea on if a home might have an elevated radon level and there is not enough time for long term testing. Short term testing should be conducted for typically 48 to 72 hours. ANY method of testing should always be done for a minimum of 48 hours, and under "normal" weather conditions. Normal conditions are just what you would think it is, 2-3 inches of rain in a 24 hr. period and high wind conditions are NOT normal and this weather will severely impact your short term testing results and not in a good way. Severe weather will raise indoor radon levels substantially during the severe weather event and they will return to their more regular readings as that weather passes. Some home are mistakenly diagnosed as a high radon level home because of testing in the wrong weather conditions. Remember this is a test that averages the readings over a 48 hour period, so if you have a home that is normally say a 3.0 pCi/l and day 2 of the test has a heavy downpour of rain and high winds, the radon on that day may reach 9.0 or higher. That would end up with a test result of 6.0 indicating an elevated radon problem, however that 9.0 was only a temporary reading and quickly dropped to around the 3.0 mark as the weather passes. So weather can play an important part in test results.

Location, Location, Location, applies to radon testing also. In addition to the weather concerns, where the testing is done is also a big issue. Many home inspectors who conduct radon testing are not certified testers and there are not many certified testers around. Certified testers know the when's and where's about testing. Most non certified testers believe that testing in the basement is always the best place to test. In many cases it is the right place, but not always by a long shot.
The EPA states that radon testing should be conducted in the lowest level of a home that is suitable to be used as a living space without major renovations.
That means that most basements that have intact concrete or block walls and a concrete floor and are mostly dry and could be used as an exercise space, family room, workshop etc, would be the right place to test. A basement in an old house with crumbling stone walls or a dirt floor, missing concrete floor sections, or low ceilings and very damp conditions would not be the preferred location for testing because it is not suitable to be used for just about anything because of its condition. In this case the 1st floor living space would be the preferred place to test since nobody will spending any time in this basement without major renovations to make it habitable, like pouring a concrete floor, sealing the floor to the walls etc. I once heard of a home inspector who thought testing in a crawl space would be a good place to test, who lives in a crawl space? I like to think of it as "test where you breath". Now just because the seller does not use his clean, dry, concrete basement does not mean that the buyers won't use it. The reasoning behind this "rule" of testing is because the cost of mitigation for this home with the undesirable basement can be very costly, so now your typical $1300.00 radon system may need several thousand dollars of work before it can be mitigated. It may need the basement dug out, stone installed and a new floor poured, or perhaps it will need a costly HRV (Heat Recovery Ventilator) system to reduce the levels. Next installment: Testing Radon in the well water.


RADON IN WELL WATER TESTING
AUG17

Radon in the well water? Yes it can be a source of radon in your home. Some good news is that there is no direct correlation between airborne radon levels and well water levels, so that means that just because you have elevated airborne readings, you won't necessarily have elevated waterborne levels. The USEPA recommends that well water be tested whenever a airborne radon test exceeds the limits, currently 4.0 as set by the USEPA.

Testing for waterborne radon is a very specific test and is not included in your typical water quality analysis. The sample must be drawn in a specific way or you risk losing radon and thus a lower then true reading and the sample gets sent to a completely different lab that the one where your water quality test is being sent. Even if the lab that you are using claims they do radon in water testing, they also send that sample to a certified radon testing lab. Beware of the instructions that water testing labs give, I have heard them tell clients to simply "fill a jar with water and bring it in". That couldn't be any more incorrect. I will be glad to email you the proper instructions on how to draw a radon in water test sample if you contact me. The following is the proper procedure for drawing a radon in water test sample.


Step 1: Prepare to collect your sample

Radon in water testing is performed by collecting a sample of your water. The goal is to collect fresh, cold water straight from your water source or well.

If you have any faucet aerators, or filters, please bypass or remove these devices from the faucet you are going to use as they will remove radon from the water and skew your test result.

Allow the cold water to run for a minimum of 10 -15 min. until any holding tanks and pipes are cleared and fresh water straight from your source is running through.

Step 2: Collect your sample

You need to collect a sample of water in the vial with no air bubbles or headspace. The vial should be 100% filled with water.

To do this, remove any faucet aerator that may be installed and slowly fill a bowl or deep pan, insuring that no bubbles are created while filling the bowl, disturbing the water as little as possible.

Submerge the vial open side up until it has filled. The vial should not contain any preservatives or hazardous chemicals.


Step 3: Ship your sample to the lab

Complete all information on the enclosed test information sheet.

On a separate piece of paper that you will keep for your records, please record the test serial number, collection date, and date you shipped the sample to the lab.



While still holding the vial underwater, submerge the cap and remove air from it by turning the cap upside down. Screw the cap on the vial while both are still submerged. This should eliminate any air bubbles.

Remove the vial from the water and check for air bubbles by flipping it upside down, if any air bubbles are seen, empty the vial and fill it again.

Immediately ship your sample

in the provided packaging to the lab. A delay in shipment could invalidate your test.

As you can see, it is a specific method of sampling and care must be used in order to insure that you are not throwing away your money and that you are getting the most accurate results that you can. Unfortunately finding a radon pro who does radon testing is getting more difficult to find so radon in water testing my end up falling on you or possibly the realtor.

The results. Well there is no cut and dry number for radon in water levels as there is with airborne radon. These "safe" levels vary depending on which State you are in. Massachusetts, which does not regulate radon testing has a limit for waterborne radon that is in place for municipal water supplies such as reservoirs, lakes, town wells etc. They do not regulate private water supplies like your homes own well. We use the same limit in Mass. as is used for municipal water supplies and that is currently 10,000 pCi/l since there are no set limits for private wells. Now if you live in some other States, like Maine, Connecticut and others the limits for waterborne radon can be between 2,000 and 5,000 pCi/l.

There is a ratio between airborne and waterborne radon and that is, for every 10,000 pCi/l that is present in your well water, it will add 1.0 pCi/l to you airborne reading and it will add it to the air on the floor of the house where the most water is used. Washing machines, dishwashers, showers etc or anything that agitates or aerates the water will cause it to release from the water and become airborne which you will then breath in.

Next installment will begin to cover mitigation, or the methods for removing radon from your home.

more to come...

What is Radon?

Radon comes from the natural breakdown of uranium in soil, rock and water.

The release of this radioactive gas enters the air you breathe, causing a potential health risk to you and your family.

Radon gas can be found in just about anywhere. It can get into any type of building -- homes, offices, and schools -- and build up to high levels.


What you should know about Radon

Radon is a cancer causing radioactive gas.
You cannot see radon and you cannot smell it or taste it, but it may be a problem in your home. This is because when you breathe air-containing radon, you increase your risk of getting lung cancer. In fact, the Surgeon General has warned that radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer.

You should test for radon.
Testing is the only way to find out about your home's radon level. The EPA and the Surgeon General recommend testing of all homes below the third floor for radon.

You can fix a radon problem.
If you find that you have high radon levels, there are ways to fix a radon problem. Even very high levels can be reduced to acceptable levels.

If you are buying a home.
The EPA recommends that you obtain the radon level in the home you are considering buying. An EPA publication "The Home Buyer's and Seller's Guide" is available through most State Health Departments or Regional EPA offices listed in your local phone book. EPA also recommends that you use a certified or state licensed radon tester to perform the test. If elevated levels are found it is recommended that these levels be reduced. In most cases, a professional can accomplish this at reasonable cost or homeowner installed mitigation system that adheres to the EPA's approved methods for reduction of radon in a residential structure.


What are the Risk Factors?

The EPA, Surgeon General and The Center for Disease Control, have all agreed that continued exposure to Radon gas can cause lung cancer.

In fact, there position on the matter is that all homes should be tested for radon gas exposure, and all homes testing over 4 pCi/L should be fixed.


How Does Radon Enter the Home?

Typically the air pressure inside your home is lower than the pressure in the soil around your home's foundation.

Due to this difference, your house acts like a vacuum, drawing radon gas in through foundation cracks and other openings of your home.

Radon may also be present in well water and can be released into the air in your home when water is used for showering and other household uses.


Potential Entry Points:

1. Cavities inside walls
2. Cracks in solid floors
3. Construction joints
4. Cracks in walls
5. The water supply
6. Gaps in suspended floors
7. Gaps around service pipes

RADON SOLUTIONS

Spotlight: All About Radon
Home Buyers/Sellers/Owners

It seems as if there are constant alerts warning us of yet another health hazard. Is radon really a risk to your family's health? Should elevated radon levels be reduced to protect your family and your investment? According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) and a number of scientific studies, the answer to both questions is yes. For more details on radon, see Radon Information.


Why test for radon?

Protect your potential sale. By obtaining advance knowledge of your home's radon levels, you avoid surprises. You can rest easy if radon is below the USEPA's recommended action level (below 4.0 picocuries per liter). You can choose to take action if the radon is above the USEPA action level, thereby eliminating radon as an issue during the sale of your home.

Protect your family. Elevated levels of radon in a home have been determined to be a major health hazard. However, radon can easily be treated by a qualified radon professional with proper radon insurance coverage and transferable guarantees.

Protect your investment. For most of us, our homes are our biggest investments. Just as maintenance and improvements protect the value of our home, so does the elimination of radon. Replacing an old, leaky roof adds value to your home. Putting in a radon reduction system, installed and guaranteed by Aaron Associates also adds value. In fact, many builders have found that it makes sense to have a radon system installed during construction.

If you have already tested for radon and the level is above 4.0 picocuries per liter and/or your waterborne radon level is above 4,000 pCi/L, contact us to schedule a free evaluation and cost proposal of a Radon Mitigation System.


Mitigation Techniques

Mass Radon Technologies installs Active Soil Depressurization systems, which are the only systems approved by the USEPA for radon reduction.

System locations used to reduce radon vary depending on the construction of the home.

This technique prevents radon from entering your home.

For example, soil suction prevents radon from entering your home by drawing radon from below the house and venting it through a pipe to the air above the house where it is quickly diluted.

Mitigation to an existing home usually costs between between $900 and $1400, with an average of about $1,200.

For more information on mitigation techniques used, consult EPA's Consumer's Guide to Radon Reduction

Most radon systems are installed in under 4 hours with a minimum of disruption and are operational the same day.


What is the Average Level of Radon Found in a Home?

Based on a national residential radon survey completed in 1991, the average indoor radon level is 1.3 picocuries per liter (pCi/L) in the United States. The average outdoor level is about 0.4 pCi/L.

In Western Massachusetts radon levels have been found to be in the 80s pCi/L in some homes, most of the homes that we are called on run between 5 and 15 pCi/L before mitigation.


What's the Debate on Radon?

There is no debate about radon being a lung carcinogen in humans. All major national and international organizations that have examined the health risks of radon agree that it is a lung carcinogen. The scientific community continues to conduct research to refine our understanding of the precise number of deaths attributable to radon. The National Academy of Sciences BEIR VI Report has estimated that radon causes about 15,000 to 22,000 lung cancer deaths annually based on their two-preferred models.

A few scientists have questioned whether low radon levels, such as those found in residences, increase the risk of lung cancer because some small studies of radon and lung cancer in residences have produced varied results. Some have shown a relationship between radon and lung cancer, some have not. However, the national and international scientific communities are in agreement that all of these residential studies have been too small to provide conclusive information about radon health risks. Major scientific organizations continue to believe that approximately 12% of lung cancers annually in the United States are attributable to radon.


How do we know radon is a carcinogen?

The World Health Organization (WHO), the National Academy of Sciences, the US Department of Health and Human Services, as well as EPA, have classified radon as a known human carcinogen, because of the wealth of biological and epidemiological evidence and data showing the connection between exposure to radon and lung cancer in humans.
There have been many studies conducted by many different organizations in many nations around the world to examine the relationship of radon exposure and human lung cancer. The largest and most recent of these was an international study, led by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), which examined the data on 68,000 underground miners who were exposed to a wide range of radon levels. The studies of miners are very useful because the subjects are humans, not rats, as in many cancer research studies. These miners are dying of lung cancer at 5 times the rate expected for the general population. Over many years scientists around the world have conducted exhaustive research to verify the cause-effect relationship between radon exposure and the observed increased lung cancer deaths in these miners and to eliminate other possible causes.

In addition, there is an overlap between radon exposures received by miners who got lung cancer and the exposures people would receive over their lifetime in a home at EPA's action level of 4 pCi/L, i.e., there are no large extrapolations involved in estimating radon risks in homes.


Important Radon Links
NEHA check my certification Consumers Guide to Radon Reduction National Radon Safety Board Mass. DPH Radon Fact Sheet A Citizens Guide to Radon



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Typical Radon Mitigation Install

Serving Western and Central Massachusetts

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Why do I need a home inspection?

A. A home inspection is an important step in the home buying process.
Professionally trained home inspectors assist in maintaining the health of your home and a property inspection makes home maintenance easy by catching minor problems before they become big projects.

In just a few hours you'll have a detailed report of the condition of your home so that you can plan for needed repairs and upgrades when it's time to make them. When purchasing a home, many homebuyers have saved literally thousands of dollars through information provided by the home inspector. Homeowners who have owned their homes for several years can even benefit from a home inspector's knowledge of maintenance and repairs, and experience to avert potential problems. Many independent and nonprofit organizations exist to promote ethical practice and professional standards throughout the home inspection industry.

We don't print our reports on site, so the inspector has a chance to think about the words used to document the defects observed.

Q. Who exactly would require a home inspection?

A. When buying a new home, new construction home or a pre-owned home, you need an inspection for your peace of mind. Sellers also benefit from home inspections by knowing the condition of their home before listing. They are spared the embarrassment of the buyer's home inspector finding major defects with their home that they were not aware of and possibly will hold up the real estate transaction. If your new home still has a home warranty through a builder it is smart to have a home inspection before it expires.

Q. I've checked this house out thoroughly myself, why do I need an inspection?

A. Home Inspectors have the training, experience and competence that comes with being in the industry and inspecting hundreds of homes. We know what to look for and what to look at. Considering the average home, there are literally hundreds items that should be inspected.

While you or someone you may know can examine the home and roughly determine the overall condition of it, inspectors inspect homes daily, each and every week throughout the year and know exactly what to look for in a home. We detect minor/major flaws, defects in workmanship, improper installation and construction parameters and unsafe conditions that the general public would miss.

Q. What makes you different from the local competition?

A. The industry is full of inspectors who neither have the training, experience or qualifications to qualify as a home inspector. A professional knows what to look for and reports the condition to their clients in a detailed report outlining the condition of the home and provides insight to the buyer regarding the actual condition of all the items in the home, so the buyer can make an informed buying decision.

Q. What is the cost of a home inspection?

A. The cost of your inspection depends on the number of bedrooms, age, and number of fixed AC units that serve the home. Testing for radon and termite inspections are additional.

Q. How long does your inspection take?

A. Every home is different depending on the number of defects observed, but the average time is 2 to 3 hours to inspect the entire property.

Q. How large is the inspection report?

A. A completed inspection report is about 15-20 pages including graphics and based upon the state of the home inspected, the more things found in the home that are deficient, the more the report contains.

Q. Should I be at the home inspection?

A. Yes, if it is possible, you should be there at the home inspection. We recommend that you be present at your home inspection so that you can ask your inspector any questions and see first hand any areas needing maintenance or repair.

Q. Can I call you for advice after the inspection?

A. Yes, feel free to call anytime.

Get In Touch

Let us know what your needs are and how we can help you.
We are always available to assist with your Radon Mitigation needs.

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If you would like to request a FREE quote for a Radon Test, please call us anytime at 814-838-4998, or fill out the form below. To Schedule a Radon Test, just fill out the form below. We will then contact you to set up an appointment at your convenience.

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