Radon Is Real And It Causes Cancer – by Kurt Saloman – The ASHI Reporter 1/14

Radon Is Real and Causes Cancer—Part 1


This article is the first of two addressing the number-one environmental hazard in the home, radon gas. The first part addresses radon gas, the scientific evidence of radon as a known carcinogen and general background information. The second part discusses radon testing, radon mitigation and the business case for radon testing as an ancillary home inspection service.

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Radon Myths By Kristin Hull

Myths of Radon
The start of 2013 brings us to National Radon Month. The EPA has made January National Radon Month in order to bring awareness to this silent danger.
Radon is a tastless odorless gas caused by the decay of Uranium in the soil. It moves into homes from the property’s foundation. Once inside the home, it can build up causing high levels which are hazardous to our health. Every home has a potential of having a radon problem, the only way to find out is by testing.
Although it is not required, the EPA suggests that every home in the United States be tested for radon, has yours been tested?

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Tips for Winterizing Your Home: By Vince Busnardo

Tips for preparing your home for the winter season 

Living in Colorado, residents experience a full range of weather conditions and all four seasons.  With winter coming on it is a good idea take a few easy steps inside and outside your home to help reduce energy costs and protect vital systems from winter’s wrath.  Different eras and type of construction will affect what steps you should take to protect your investment.  These steps should be taken before the first freeze of the season, usually mid-October.

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Cedar Shingle Roofs and Insurance Companies – Bryan Jones

Most homes constructed from the 1890’s through the mid 1950’s originally had roofs that were cedar shingles, not to be confused with cedar shake roofs. These shingles are about 3/8’s” thick at the end, smooth and usually installed over skip decking to allow them to dry evenly. Over the years Denver and other counties have allowed new composition roofs to be installed over these cedar shingles. Recently, because of the cost to remove all the layers of roofing and install new decking, underwriters for insurance carriers have issued a directive that new policies will not be written on these homes unless the roofs are replaced. If you are listing or buying an older home be aware of this new directive, as it has caused some serious transaction problems. Contact a qualified roofing contractor or Home Systems Data Inc. for more details and an inspection.

Bryan Jones – ASHI #2166


Home Systems Data, Inc.



Infrared Technology: By Aaron Rath

We all know that a picture is worth a thousand words and this certainly applies to infrared technology. An Infrared inspection can instantly visualize and verify for thermal performance and moisture intrusion. This makes infrared technology key for maintaining residential and commercial properties.

An infrared inspection can identify hidden moisture intrusions around doors, windows, roofs and plumbing. Infrared can be used for examining heat loss and energy performance as well as a useful tool for maintenance of electrical and mechanical equipment. Infrared technology is not part of a standard ASHI inspection however nothing beats it for finding hidden defects.

All About Stucco: By David Graves

There are two basic types of stucco cladding applied to the exterior of homes. There is Hardcoat which is typically 3/8” to ½” thick and does not have the EPS (Extruded Polystyrene) foam boards behind the stucco. The other type is EIFS (Exterior Insulated Finish System) which consists of the 2” foam board with a thin coat of stucco material on the exterior. Both systems, if properly installed and maintained, are good exterior cladding system to protect your home.

It is important to maintain all stucco system to ensure that all sealants and caulking around doors, windows and penetrations such as light fixtures, pipes and wires have not cracked or separated. Failing sealants are one of the major causes for moisture intrusion and damage to the home. Monitoring and repairing cracks is also important to keep the system dry. Hardcoat systems are prone to hairline cracks and they should be repaired if the cracks are wider than 1/16 of an inch. Also look for moisture stains or discoloration which may be an indication of moisture intrusion.

If any of these situations are noted on the home a full stucco inspection by an EDI certified stucco inspector is advised. During the course of the stucco inspection moisture probes are used to detect hidden moisture and possible damage to the substrate or frame material behind the stucco. A moisture probe consist of two small, 1/8” holes made in the stucco to insert the probe into then the holes are sealed with a Silicone type of caulking. One probe on each side or elevation of the home is minimum; more may be required where moisture penetration is suspected. The probes are located in the most inconspicuous place possible so they are less noticeable to the home owner.

David Graves, ASHI Certified, EDI Certified

Home Sytems Data Inc.

Where does radon come from?

Radon-222 is the decay product of radium-226. Radon-222 and its parent, radium-226, are part of the long decay chain for uranium-238. Since uranium is essentially ubiquitous (being or seeming to be everywhere at the same time) in the earth’s crust, radium-226 and radon-222 are present in almost all rock and all soil and water.

The amount of radon in the soil depends on soil chemistry, which varies from one house to the next. Radon levels in the soil range from a few hundred to several thousands of pCi/L (picocuries per liter) in air. The amount of radon that escapes from the soil to enter the house depends on the weather, soil porosity, soil moisture, and the suction within the house.

see www.epa.gov/radon

Home Inspection for Radon

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