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A locally owned radon mitigation services company serving Maryland.
Work performed by professionals not helpers working off someone’s license.
Making sure the client understands why radon is so dangerous and what a properly installed mitigation system can do for the clients home is extremely important to us. We hope this web site answers your questions and we encourage you to contact us if you would have any further questions. Your satisfaction is our reputation and we thank you for your business.
Avanty is proud to be an Angie’s List 2016 Super Service Award Winner!
Each year, Angie’s List awards this honor to companies that have provided outstanding service based on member feedback from the previous year. The most recent award given was for the 2014 calendar year. Less than 5% of the companies on the prestigious list earned this distinction.
Mitigating homes since 1991, Avanty has helped thousands of people live healthier lives in their own homes. Whether you’re selling your home and need a system installed prior to settlement, or you’re just concerned about your family’s health, Avanty can help you with your issues concerning this odorless gas. Avanty also has a fully-trained staff to help you. We hope you find the information listed in this web site informative and complete. Should you have any questions not covered in this site or would like to comment on the information found here, please feel free to call Avanty at (410)-848-9476.
This section is designed to give our Maryland consumers the basic concepts of an average mitigation system. All systems must be designed specifically to each structure. Though the basic concepts are the same, what may work for your neighbor’s home might not work for yours.
Originally, there were over 13 different types of radon mitigation systems. Over time and field tests, these choices have been narrowed down to about 4 different types of systems that are routinely installed. They are:
This is by far the most commonly installed system. It has a very high rate of success in dramatically reducing radon levels. The basic principle is to remove the air beneath the concrete slab. Since the radon gas gets into the home from the lowest level, by sucking out the underside of the slab you catch the problem prior to the levels of gas building up and entering the home. The best part is by removing the air from under the slab you do not effect the air in the basement that you either heated or cooled. Note: If you have a home that is a slab on grade this system applies to your home as well.
This is a system that is used should your home be built over a crawlspace. This can be either the entire home or just a portion of the home. ( If you are one of the lucky people who has concrete covering the floor in the crawlspace, this system does not apply to you .) The area of the crawlspace is either dirt or stone. Sometimes the builder will have spread out plastic to act as a vapor barrier. The problem is there is nothing to stop the flow of radon gas into your home. The plastic that is in the crawlspace is usually full of holes and does not reach the perimeter walls.
The way to mitigate the crawlspace is to first put a series of pipes down in the crawlspace that are perforated. Then we cover the area with 6 millimeter plastic, and finally, seal the plastic to the perimeter walls air tight. The concept is to create a membrane that traps the gas then the pipes can suck out the gas.
The system is installed only in very specific situations. It usually involves a very old home that has a root cellar. Usually the cellar has just dirt walls and a dirt floor. Since trying to seal the dirt is not practical, a special device called a Heat Recovery Ventilation box is installed.
The concept is to pull out fresh air from outside, blow it in the cellar and suck out the radon-laden air and blow it outside. The heat recovery comes from the act of blowing the cold fresh air over a section of pipes sucking out the radon-laden air. Since the air in the cellar is warmer then the outside air; as the cold air blows across the heated air it helps to warm up the fresh air coming in. Note: This is an expensive mitigation process. Usually extra insulation is needed to keep pipes from freezing. This system does increase heating bills.
This procedure removes radon from water. People who have wells have the potential to have a problem with radon in their water. This is not a large problem in the state, but can be a serious health risk if levels are too high. The systems installed are either aeration or granular activated carbon (GAC).
Aeration is the act of forcing air bubbles through the water to release the radon gas from the water molecule. The GAC system makes the water run through a special tank with activated charcoal that absorbs the radon. These systems are very expensive and need regular maintenance to keep them working properly.
WHAT IS RADON
Radon is an inert gas found all over the world. It originates in the rocks found under your house. Every rock in the world has traces of uranium in it. It is the break down of the uranium in these rocks where radon gas gets it start. The gas is under a positive pressure. The gas works its way through the soil and gets into your home through cracks and breeches in your concrete slab. Radon can enter your home through sump pits, plumbing rough-ins, crawlspaces, well heads located in basements, French drains, and cracks. It does not matter whether your home is one month old or one hundred years old, your house has the potential to have a problem. Testing your home for radon is the only way to know the level in your residence.
The radon issue started in 1984 when an electrician was hired by a nuclear plant to do some work. When he walked into the nuclear plant he set off the sensors that indicated nuclear contamination. After the plant was thoroughly inspected and found safe, the EPA (Enviromental Protection Agency) checked his house and found very high radon levels. The EPA wondered just how many homes in America have this problem and, consequently, the issue started. The EPA estimates that one out of every fifteen homes has a problem with radon.
RADON AND THE HEALTH PROBLEMS THAT IT CAUSES
The gas in itself is not what causes health problems. The gas decays like the uranium did in the rocks. When the gas decays, an energy particle is released. This is the alpha particle. When this particle is inhaled, it attaches itself to the cells in the lung. The alpha particle then also decays and when that happens Gamma radiation now damages the cell that surround the alpha particle. If the cell is only damaged, the DNA sequence is changed and the cell repairs itself. Now, you have growing mutated cells in the lungs that cause cancer.
The following articles were published in the Washington Post regarding radon :
We cannot stress the importance of the following information! Radon testing is the only way to know whether or not your Maryland home has a problem. Do not listen to people who tell you otherwise.
Many times neighbors or real-estate agents make claims such as, “I know this neighborhood and there’s no radon.”, or “My neighbor down the street didn’t have it, so I don’t either.”, or even “I have a new home. that gas is only in older structures.”. The list goes on and on.
In 1997, I encountered a classic example of the dangers of not testing. I was called to test a home Carroll County, Maryland. The homeowner had been there for five years. The family was quite large (five children) and the lack of bedroom space required that three of the children sleep in the basement.
After inspecting the house, I was told by the homeowner that when he purchased the home his realtor had assured him that the house was gas-free. Fortunately for the homeowner, he had taken it upon himself to have his home tested. He was quite confident that the house would have no problem. You can imagine his shock when he found out that the radon level in the basement was 300 pCi/L!
The point I’m trying to make is, whether you believe in the radon issue or not, EVERY HOME HAS THE POTENTIAL OF HAVING A PROBLEM! If you do not test, you will never know!
Finally, consider the possibility you’ve decided to sell your Maryland home. Having it tested will allow you to more accurately adjust your asking price. Radon testing will also save you the time and expense of correcting a radon problem should a potential buyer decide to do his or her own test just prior to settlement. Finally, a house that is advertised as tested and mitigated for radon will be more attractive to buyers and will probably sell faster.
There are two types of testing. Short Term Testing and Long Term Testing.
SHORT TERM TESTING:
This is the most common type of testing done in the industry today. This type of testing is usually 2-7days of exposure to a testing device. It is primarily used in real-estate transactions. Since most radon addendums that are attached to real-estate contracts put time limits on buyers to find out if a problem exists, this type of testing is the only way to meet the time line.
The testing devices used in this type of testing are Charcoal Canisters, E-perms, or Continuous Monitor Devices. There are pros and cons to each type of short term test which are covered later.
LONG TERM TESTING:
Homeowners that are concerned with the overall annual radon level usually use this type of testing. In some cases short term testing may show levels of 3.9 pCi/L or 4.6pCi/L. In this situation the homeowner may do a long term test which might show annual levels of only 2.6 pCi/L which would not require a radon mitigation system. This type of testing is ideal for radon levels that are close to the E.P.A. action level of 4 pCi/L. This type of testing device is called an Alpha-track.
NOTE: If you are involved in a real estate transaction this test is not an option for you because of the time constraints.
QUESTIONS TO ASK WHEN SELECTING A RADON CONTRACTOR:
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