Blog :: 01-2019

Radon Testing - Why Wait?

Radon is a colorless, odorless, radioactive gas found in the earth that causes an estimated 20,000 lung cancer deaths every year in the United States according to the American Cancer Society—only smoking causes more. 

Much of the Northeast is in a radon “hot zone.” It is estimated that 28% of tested homes in Berkshire and Litchfield County, 37% in Columbia County, and 39% in Dutchess County, have over the recommended maximum level of 4.0pCi/L that is considered dangerous to health. 

Radon can affect one house and not the one next door, and there are no warning symptoms of radon poisoning. The American Cancer Society suggests that ALL homes be tested for radon levels. If the reading is over 4.0pCi/L, contact a contractor who can fix the problem; the EPA website lists some. 

When you decide to sell your house, you’ll find out from the buyer’s inspection the amount of radon in your house and whether or not your family has been exposed over the years, so why wait?

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    Winter Roof Tips

    The key to preventing ice dams is simply to keep your attic and roof cold.  While frozen, they’re no more trouble than the icicles that hang down. But during the warmer parts of a winter day, water melting off the roof pools behind the ice then seeps back up under the shingles.

    To keep your roof cold, follow these steps:

    1. Close up attic bypasses. In the average home, about 1/3 of heat loss is through the ceiling into the attic, mostly from air leaks caused by unblocked walls, gaps in drywall, and cracks around light fixtures, pipes, and chimneys. A professional will pull back insulation and plug the leaks using foam, caulk and other methods.

    2. Measure your attic insulation level. Check the depth of your attic insulation. Building codes require about 12-14”. Add more if you have less than 8”. Blown-in cellulose and fiberglass are best because they fill more tightly leaving fewer gaps. It’s usually worth hiring a professional for this job.

    By stopping air leakage to mitigate ice dams, you’ll save energy and reduce both your heating and your air conditioning bills.

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