Radon and its health risks

by malley@solagroup.com

We are more in tune with consumers asking for energy efficient and green built homes, but how many of us know how to build radon-resistant Homes? It’s not that we want consumers to spend more on their new home construction. And while those costs add up with new technology, building products and constant code changes, isn’t it a good idea to provide good indoor air quality as well?

Radon is nothing new. It’s just more prevalent today because new homes are constructed using better building practices, making homes tighter than in the past.

Radon is a cancer-causing radioactive gas that is naturally found in ground soils. It rises out of the ground and dissipates in the air. Research has found indoor radon is a health threat in homes. Reports concluded that radon causes 15,000 to 22,000 deaths per year and is the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the United States — that’s more than second hand smoke. These gases can come through cracks and openings in the foundation. Sealing all openings in the basement floor, and installing a sealed sump crock reduces the escape of the gases into the home.

Building radon out during new construction is an easy process and creates a piece of mind that you are doing your part. Installing a system under the foundation is nothing more than having PVC pipe go from under the slab through a stud wall and having it aborted through the roof. It’s not too much of an additional upfront expense, but makes a big difference in return as home buyers are increasingly looking for those environmentally conscious builders.

It should be good practice for us to learn more about radon so we can then educate consumers about it and the benefits of building this active system into their home. In today’s market and economy, our focus needs to be on the consumer. You need an edge over the competition. The more you know, the more you can pass along to your client.

Bring awareness to the table. When in discussions with potential buyers, wouldn’t you feel better telling them the advantages of an abatement system. Owners are less likely to run a dehumidifier as much or even at all, saving money.

Make the difference. Do you have the integrity to earn their trust?

Are you building radon-resistant homes now or plan to in the future based on what you have read here?

Until next time~


Stevie Mistele-Wildt is vice president and co-owner of Cobblestone Builders and Developers in Menomonee Falls, Wis. Mistele-Wildt and her husband, Dirk, work together every day providing real quality and value. She is in her 21st year of building residential new homes – from expediting, sales, pricing, marketing to interior decorating. Cobblestone Builders and Developers focuses on energy efficient and green building practices, and providing customers with as many American-made products as possible in the construction of their new homes. Mistele-Wildt also enjoys sewing, creating, golfing, exercising and riding her Harley Davidson.

Contact Stevie by email at stevie@cobblestone-bldrs.com, and follow her on Facebook and Twitter at @CladyBuilder. She can also be reached by phone at 262-502-9344.

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