Radon Mitigation in Salt Lake and Park City, UT

Custom Comfort Plumbing, Heating & Cooling LLC has been a mitigation contractor for radon gas for the past 19 years. Radon is a potentially lethal gas that is known to cause lung cancer in specific instances. Radon usually enters your home through the basement, crawl space, or slab-on-grade areas. It can also enter through a home water system, though this is usually an unlikely source. If you are having a radon problem or have questions concerning radon, please contact us for further information. Custom Comfort is one of only a few certified NRPP Radon Mitigators in Utah. Make sure that your radon work is done by a certified professional. Your health is too important!

Utah Radon Information

Radon is a Cancer-Causing Radioactive Gas
People cannot see, taste, or smell radon. But it may be a problem in your home. Radon is estimated to cause many thousands of deaths each year. That’s because when you breathe air containing radon, you can get lung cancer. In fact, the Surgeon General has warned that radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States today. Only smoking causes more lung cancer deaths. If you smoke and your home has high radon levels, your risk of lung cancer is especially high.
Radon Can be Found All Over the U.S.
Radon comes from the natural (radioactive) breakdown of uranium in soil, rock, and water and gets into the air you breathe. Radon can be found all over the U.S. It can get into any type of building—homes, offices, and schools—and result in a high indoor radon level. But you and your family are most likely to get your greatest exposure at home, where you spend most of your time.
You Should Test for Radon
Testing is the only way to know if you and your family are at risk from radon. EPA and the Surgeon General recommend testing all homes below the third floor for radon. EPA also recommends testing in schools. Testing is inexpensive and easy – it should only take a few minutes of your time. Millions of Americans have already tested their homes for radon (see How to Test Your Home).
You Can Fix a Radon Problem
Radon reduction systems work and they are not too costly. Some radon reduction systems can reduce radon levels in your home by up to 99%. Even very high levels can be reduced to acceptable levels.
New Homes Can Be Built with Radon-Resistant Features
Radon-resistant construction techniques can be effective in preventing radon entry. When installed properly and completely, these simple and inexpensive techniques can help reduce indoor radon levels in homes. In addition, installing them at the time of construction makes it easier and less expensive to reduce radon levels further if these passive techniques don’t reduce radon levels to below 4 pCi/L. Every new home should be tested after occupancy, even if it was built radon-resistant. If radon levels are still in excess of 4 pCi/L, the passive system should be activated by having a qualified mitigator install a vent fan. For more explanation of radon resistant construction techniques, refer to EPA publication, Building Radon Out: A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Build Radon-Resistant Homes.
How Does Radon Get Into Your Home?
Radon is a radioactive gas. It comes from the natural decay of uranium that is found in nearly all soils. It typically moves up through the ground to the air above and into your home through cracks and other holes in the foundation. Your home traps radon inside, where it can build up. Any home may have a radon problem. This means new and old homes, well-sealed and drafty homes, and homes with or without basements. Radon from soil gas is the main cause of radon problems. Sometimes radon enters the home through well water. In a small number of homes, the building materials can give off radon, too. However, building materials rarely cause radon problems by themselves.

Radon gets in through:

  • Cracks in Solid Floors
  • Construction Joints
  • Cracks in Walls
  • Gaps in Suspended Floors
  • Gaps Around Service Pipes
  • Cavities Inside Walls
  • The Water Supply

Source: Utah Department of Environmental Quality Division of Radiation Control

Questions About Radon in Utah

Is radon a problem in Utah?

Excessive radon levels have been found in all of the 50 states. In Utah, 30% of the homes in Utah have radon levels in excess of the EPA recommended action level of 4 picoCuries of radon per liter of air (pCi/L).

How can radon damage my health?

Thousands of preventable lung cancer deaths annually in the United States are attributable to indoor residential exposure to radon. Either smoking or radon exposure can independently increase the risk of lung cancer. However, exposure to both greatly enhances that risk. (At exposures to 4 pCi of radon per liter of air, the lifetime lung cancer risk attributable to radon rises from 2 cases per thousand in non-smokers to 29 cases per thousand in smokers.)

How much reliance can I put on these risk factors?

The risk factors were developed from epidemiological studies of underground miners exposed to radon. Because the studies collected data from human adult males rather than from animal subjects, they have a higher confidence level than is applied to toxicological studies. The Surgeon General, the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Academy of Sciences, the American Medical Association, the American Lung Association, and the World Health Organization have all identified indoor radon pollution as a national health problem.

How does radon get into my home?

Radon moves from uranium-bearing granite deposits in the soil to the atmosphere because there is a lower concentration of radon in the atmosphere than in the soil. Your home is sited in its path and because the house is usually warmer than the surrounding soil, the air pressure is less and soil gases including radon move into the home. The most common routes are: spaces between basement walls, cracks in foundations, or wall openings around sump pumps and drains, construction joints, crawl spaces showers, and well water with high radon concentrations.

My house is new (old) so it shouldn't have a problem, right?

The age of a home is not a factor when it comes to whether excessive levels of radon are present in the dwelling.

My neighbor tested and did not find a radon problem so my home should be OK, right?

Unfortunately, that is a false assumption. Usually neither the location of the radon source or its strength (radioactivity) is known. In addition, the air spaces found in different soil types allow movement at different rates and we seldom know what those types are 20 to 30 feet below the surface where they act as channels or dams. Predicting a radon level in one home on the basis of a tested level in a home 75 to 200 or so feet away becomes radon guessing. The location of ancient stream beds (channel) and of granite out cropping (the source) also compound prediction reliability.

How do I know if my home has a radon problem?

The only way of knowing is to test for radon. There are many kinds of low cost "do-it-yourself" radon test kits which may be ordered online or purchased from hardware stores and other retail outlets. Be sure the test is marked "Meets EPA Requirements." To order a test kit online or to hire an EPA qualified radon tester, go to www.radon.utah.gov. You may also contact the Division of Radiation Control at 801-536-4250 or 1-800-458-0145.

Does the State do radon testing?

No, the State does not compete with private industry; we provide information and advice only.

I am renting a house (apartment) and am concerned about radon. Does my landlord have to test for radon if I ask him?

No, you will have to do it yourself unless you can persuade him/her to test.

I tested my rental home (apartment) and the radon reading was high, is my landlord required to "fix" this problem?

No, there is no legal requirement for him/her to mitigate the radon level.

Where can we get a radon test kit?

You may purchase a short-term radon test kit on the Division's web site. Test kits may also be purchased from some home improvement centers, radon laboratories, or from the Utah Safety Council. (Be sure the kit is marked "Meets EPA Requirements.")

How much do the radon test kits cost?

The State of Utah has contracted with Alpha Energy in Texas to provide test kits to all Utahans for $6.00 per kit. It's the real deal! This price includes the laboratory analysis which is a $30 to $40 savings. Long term kits are available for $24.95.

Are the 'Do-It-Yourself' test kits as accurate as those used by professionals hired to do the testing for me?

Yes, if you use a kit that meets EPA requirements, follow the instructions on the label exactly, and return it to the lab promptly.

What is the difference between long and short term tests?

Short-term tests take 60 hours to complete. The house is closed for 12 hours, then the test instrument is activated or opened and left in place for 48 hours or more. Charcoal canisters are the device of choice although electronic instruments may be used. Long-term tests take more than 91 days to complete and are conducted with the house in a normal living mode. Alpha track detectors or electronic detection instruments are used. Long-term test results give a more representative picture of the true radon levels in the home over time as fluctuations due to changes in ambient temperature and barometric pressure are detected and factored into the final valuation.

Which area is best for testing radon levels?

Are you wanting to test your home for a real estate transaction or are you are testing for your own purposes? The recommendations are different for the two cases. If you are testing to determine if your home has radon levels warranting mitigation, the EPA recommends testing in the lowest living area of your home. For a real estate transaction, EPA recommends testing in the lowest area which could be modified to become a living area.

I'm closing on a house and need a radon measurement test result quickly. How do I accomplish this?

Just give us a call and we'll be happy to assist!

My family has been ill since we moved into this house and we think radon is the cause, what can we do?

The only proven health effect caused by breathing radon is the development of lung cancer. You may have radon problems and the only way you can know this is to test the air in your home. However, radon is not known to cause acute symptoms.

I have a high radon reading in my home. How do I get it fixed?

The method of choice is usually sub-slab or, if you have a crawl space, sub-membrane depressurization. Contact an EPA Radon Proficiency Certified Contractor to bid on the job. A professional will advise you on the best method for your home.

How much does it cost to have a home remediated (fixed)?

The average cost of a sub-slab system in Utah is generally around $1200 unless aggregate or difficult foundation design problems are encountered.

Is sub-slab depressurization (the most effective technological solution) something I can do myself?

Perhaps, if you have good handy-man skills, including electrical wiring skills. If you are unsure, it would be advisable to get an evaluation from one of the EPA-listed contractors before you make up your mind. Also, check your library for Doug Kladder's reference book "PROTECTING YOUR HOME FROM RADON: A Step-by-Step Manual for Radon Reduction." If you decide to tackle the job, call back to get a copy of the EPA instruction manual which contains all the specifications for fans, master panels, etc. We will enclose the phone numbers and addresses of several supply houses that specialize in mitigation hardware.

Could I seal and caulk only, and hope it would be enough to correct the problem?

While caulking and sealing is done as part of the mitigation process, the purpose is not to keep radon out but to hold conditioned air in the dwelling. Because it is impossible to seal all cracks and the task is not only time-consuming but expensive, it is not recommended as a stand-alone procedure. However, if you have an unfinished basement, and your radon levels are below EPA's action level of 4 pCi/L, sealing entry routes may suffice as a radon reduction option.

Should I have my water tested for radon?

If you have tested the air in your home and found a radon problem and your water comes from a private well you should test the water. (Call a lab certified to measure radiation in water.)

Is radon a problem in drinking water supplies?

Generally, radon is not a problem with public drinking water systems because during the water treatment process aeration releases dissolved radon to the atmosphere. However, if the water supply is from a private well, radon levels could be unacceptably high. The recommendation is to test the well water if the air radon concentrations in the occupied dwelling are over 4pCi/L.

I am performing an Environmental Site Assessment and need to know the radon level/risk for the property at (identification). Do you have information that can help me?

Most of Utah is classed as EPA Zone 2, an area of high radon potential (probable indoor radon average between 2 and 4 pCi/L). The EPA has published a map characterizing all Utah counties. A map may be obtained off the Division of Radiation Control website.

Source: Utah Department of Environmental Quality Division of Radiation Control

Radon Statistics in Utah

There are many areas of the U.S.—and the rest of the world—with potentially high levels of radon. A buyer may be moving to Utah from an area of high radon without even realizing it! Buyers are increasingly concerned about exposing their families to health dangers and assuming additional financial burdens. The map of Utah shown below was based on zip codes. It has become a tool for focusing public awareness. Utah-Radon-Map The specified classifications are based upon the likelihood of finding certain ranges of radon concentrations. Significant variations can and do occur within any county. Surveys conducted by the Utah Department of Environmental Quality/Division of Radiation Control indicate that 30% of the homes tested in Utah are at concentrations above the U.S. Surgeon General’s guidance of 4.0 pCi/L, when tested under methods typically employed during the sale of real property. A zip-code matrix of the reported short-term and long-term radon test results is available. Regardless of what sellers say about their neighbors’ homes, an agent should always suggest that radon is a concern in any area. A discussion with a qualified home inspector is highly recommended.

ZIP Codes with over 30% occurrence of radon levels over 4 p/Ci/L

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Company Info

Custom Comfort Plumbing, Heating & Cooling LLC
1101 West 850 North
Centerville, UT 84014
Lic 7672126-5501
Lic 4930445-5501
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 1.801.294.5300
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