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What is radon and how does it affect us?

30th April 2017

Categories  Basement Conversion/Radon

Radon is a colourless, odourless gas that is formed when there is a breakdown of Uranium. Now, many of you might be wondering what on earth this has to do with the services we provide here at ProTen, but, Uranium is present in the ground we walk on, rocks and soil, this means that whenever earth is moved or work is undertaken underground, for instance in a basement conversion, levels of Radon must be measured.

What are the implications of exposure to Radon?

Radon gas is potentially very harmful to humans, when a person is exposed to high levels of Radon radioactive decay products are inhaled and deposited in the lungs. With the continuous emission of radiation in the body cancer cells can form giving the individual an increased risk of lung cancer.

Public knowledge of Radon.

Unlike other harmful gasses such as Carbon Monoxide very little is reported about Radon in the UK. The research and knowledge is growing thanks to the Radon Council who lobby for changes in current legislation to ensure greater protection and awareness of this ever present, harmful gas.

There has been some change in the British Standards as recently as 2009 it was deemed important to test for Radon when designing any below ground waterproofing system.

What does this have to do with ProTen?

ProTen Services are one of the founding members of the Radon Council and take Radon detection and monitoring very seriously. We have worked on several below ground works, such as basement and cellar waterproofing where Radon monitoring is vital.

It is important that anyone tasked with monitoring Radon levels is properly trained as the potential danger of getting it wrong could be catastrophic. Installing the wrong systems, or a system that has not been properly calibrated can lead to an increase in Radon levels in a property and have severe consequences to its occupants.

Our Surveyors, Technicians and Engineers are specially trained in Radon detection and as such can help and advise on a range of solutions for both domestic and commercial projects.

How is Radon detected?

Radon gas can only be detected using specialist equipment with results having to be processed in a HPA (Health Protection Agency) approved laboratory. We offer a three-month testing service and a 10-day screening service (although a three-month period is best as this will produce far more accurate results).

When the results have been processed, and returned, a member of our Radon Team will be able to advise you on the best solution to control your Radon levels. If deemed necessary, a Surveyor may need to visit the property to design a remedial system to keep the Radon levels at a safe level.

Do I need to have a Radon test at my property?

If you are undertaking any below ground works like a basement conversion or installation of a cellar for example then yes, we would strongly advise that Radon testing is undertaken as part of this process.

Our Radon ADD Waterproofing System is specifically designed to combine the basement waterproofing with controlling Radon levels. We are also able to undertake post-work Radon testing to make sure the correct measures have been taken and the Radon levels are reducing.

If no below ground works are planned or being undertaken it is unlikely you will need to worry about Radon gas exposure, however if you are concerned and would like some more information then please do contact one of our team who will be happy to help and arrange a Surveyor to visit the property and undertake the appropriate tests if necessary.

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