Frequently Asked Radon Questions

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. Radon is not visible, you cannot see it, smell it, or even taste it, but it may be a problem in your home. You can increase your risk of getting cancer by breathing in air containing radon. In fact, even the Surgeon General has warned that radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer.

Should you test for radon?

Even new home construction are finding high levels of radon, the only way to find out about your home’s radon level. The EPA and the Surgeon General strongly recommend testing of all homes below the third floor for radon.
Radon Estimate Graph

Radon problems can be fixed.

High radon levels can be properly mitigated to acceptable levels. The EPA 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.

Considering buying a home.

Prior to the purchase of your home, the EPA recommends that you obtain a radon test to identify the level of radon 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.

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:

Through the inside of exterior wall.
Cracks in the basement floor or monolithic slab.
Construction joints.
Small penetrations in the walls.
Well supplied water.
Gaps in suspended floors.
Unsealed penetrations around service pipes.
Radon Entry points

How Do You Fix Your Home If There Is Elevated Levels of Radon?

The Good news is, "Almost every home can be fixed with the proper installation of a certified Mitigation System" by a Qualified Licensed Contractor in the State of Georgia. Families are living comfortable and safely with a properly installed mitigation system.

Frequently Asked Mold Questions

Molds are fungi. Molds grow throughout the natural and built environment. Tiny particles of mold are present in indoor and outdoor air. In nature, molds help break down dead materials and can be found growing on soil, foods, plant matter, and other items. Molds produce microscopic cells called “spores” which are very tiny and spread easily through the air. Live spores act like seeds, forming new mold growths (colonies) when they find the right conditions.

What does mold need to grow?

Mold only needs a few simple things to grow and multiply:
Nutrients like paper products
Suitable place to grow
Controlling excess moisture is key to preventing and stopping indoor mold growth.
Mold Spores

Should I be concerned about mold in my home?

Mold should not be permitted to grow and multiply indoors. When this happens, health problems can occur and building materials, goods and furnishings may be damaged.
Inside Wall Mold Inspection

Can mold make me and my family sick?

Mold can affect the health of people who are exposed to it. People are mainly exposed to mold by breathing spores or other tiny fragments. People can also be exposed through skin contact with mold contaminants (for example, by touching moldy surfaces) and by swallowing it. The type and severity of health effects that mold may produce are usually difficult to predict. The risks can vary greatly from one location to another, over time, and from person to person.

What symptoms might I see?

The most common health problems caused by indoor mold are allergy symptoms. Although other and more serious problems can occur, people exposed to mold commonly report problems such as:
Sore throat
Skin and eye irritation
Nasal and sinus congestion
Wheeze/breathing difficulties
Upper respiratory infections (including sinus)

Are the risks greater for some people?

There is wide variability in how different people are affected by indoor mold. However, the long term presence of indoor mold growth may eventually become unhealthy for anyone. The following types of people may be affected more severely and sooner than others:
Infants and children
Elderly people
Individuals with respiratory conditions or sensitivities such as allergies and asthma
Persons having weakened immune systems (HIV, chemotherapy, organ transplant)
People with these special health concerns should consult a medical professional if they feel their health is affected by indoor mold.

Are some molds more hazardous than others?

Some types of mold can produce chemical compounds (called mycotoxins) although they do not always do so. Molds that are able to produce toxins are common. In some circumstances, the toxins produced by indoor mold may cause health problems. However, all indoor mold growth is potentially harmful and should be removed promptly, no matter what types of mold is present or whether it can produce toxins.

How do I tell if I have a mold problem?

Investigate, don’t test. The most practical way to find a mold problem is by using your eyes to look for mold growth and by using your nose to locate the source of a suspicious odor. If you see mold or if there is an earthy or musty smell, you should assume a mold problem exists. Other clues are signs of excess moisture or the worsening of allergy-like symptoms.
Search areas with noticeable mold odors.
Look for visible mold growth. May appear cottony, velvety, granular, or leathery and have varied colors of white, gray, brown, black, yellow, green. Mold often appears as discoloration, staining, or fuzzy growth on the surface of building materials or furnishings.When mold is visible, testing is not recommended.
Look for signs of excess moisture or water damage. Look for water leaks, standing water, water stains, condensation problems. For example, do you see any watermarks or discoloration on walls, ceilings, carpet, woodwork or other building materials?
Search behind and underneath materials (carpet and pad, wallpaper, vinyl flooring, sink cabinets), furniture, or stored items (especially things placed near outside walls or on cold floors). Sometimes destructive techniques may be needed to inspect and clean enclosed spaces where mold and moisture are hidden; for example, opening up a wall cavity.

Should I test for mold?

We do not recommend testing for mold yourself. We recommend you contact a certified mold remediation specialist to test for mold. Sometimes, mold growth is hidden and difficult to locate. In such cases, a combination of air (outdoor and indoor air samples) and bulk (material) samples may help determine the extent of contamination and where cleaning is needed.

What you can expect from a mold remediation project:

Below are steps that a Certified Mold Remediation Company will perform in removing mold from inside your home.
Identify and fix the moisture problem.
The most important step in solving any mold problem is to properly identify and correct the moisture at the source. Below are common indoor moisture sources:
Begin Drying All Wet Materials
As soon as possible, they will begin drying any materials that are wet. For severe moisture problems, they will use fans and dehumidifiers and move wet items away from walls and off floors.
Remove and Dispose of Mold Contaminated Materials
Any items that has absorbed moisture (porous materials) and which have mold growing on them, need to be removed, bagged and thrown out. Such materials may include sheet rock, insulation, plaster, carpet/carpet pad, ceiling tiles, wood products (other than solid wood), and paper products. Likewise, any such porous materials that have contacted sewage should also be bagged and thrown away. Non-porous materials with surface mold growth may be saved if they are properly cleaned and kept dry.
Cleaning affected Surfaces
Any surface mold growing on non-porous materials such as hard plastic, concrete, glass, metal, and solid wood can usually be cleaned. Cleaning must remove and capture the mold contamination, because dead spores and mold particles still cause health problems if they are left in place.

Stay vigilant to any future mold issues

Continue looking for signs of moisture problems or return of mold growth. Be particularly alert to moisture in areas of past growth. If mold returns, contact the mold remediation company ASAP, if they are a reputably company, they will warranty their work. Regrowth may signal that the material should be removed or that moisture is not yet controlled.

Take Steps to Protect Yourself

Do not attempt to rub or wipe any visible mold, you could increase mold particles in the air when you disturb the area with mold. Consider using protective equipment when near mold contaminated materials. The following equipment can help minimize exposure to mold:
Rubber gloves
Eye goggles
Outer clothing (long sleeves and long pants) that can be easily removed in the work area and laundered or discarded
Medium-efficiency or high-efficiency filter dust mask (these can be found at safety equipment suppliers, hardware stores, or some other large stores that sell home repair supplies) — at a minimum, use an N-95 or equivalent dust mask

Take Steps to Protect Others

Secure the ventilation and access to the affected area. The following actions can help minimize the spread of mold spores:
Do not touch or come in contact with visual mold.
Secure all ventilation in the area.
Secure access to the affected area.

How long will it take?

Rebuilding and refurnishing must wait until all affected materials have been cleaned, disinfected and dried completely. The Mold Remediation Company should communicate when it is safe to operate the ventilation system or to enter the affected area.