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M&Fs Raymond Brown certified to perform radon measurement and mitigation
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Since Raymond Brown knows there is no way to tell if radon gas is a problem without a proper test, he suggests all home and business owners have their properties checked.
Brown, estimator and troubleshooter at M&F Heating, Plumbing and Air Conditioning, 1020 Frey, is now state-certified to conduct that test. He also is certified to mitigate the problem if radon is detected.
“There is nothing like peace of mind,” Brown said. “Radon is a naturally occurring gas that you cannot see, smell or taste. It is everywhere but the problem occurs if there is too much of it.”
The specific problem is an increased risk of lung cancer. In fact, Brown said, radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States.
When a customer asks for a radon test, Brown inspects the property and sets it up for testing.
The property remains closed for at least 12 hours. Brown returns the next day to set up the meter that will measure the amount of radon over a two-day period.
“Then, when I go back after 48 hours, the machine will tell me the measurement,” Brown said. “If there is too much radon, I can suggest one of a number of remedies.”
Those remedies include ventilating the property’s slab foundation or crawl space, or installation of an Energy Recovery Ventilator.
“There are quite a few ways to affect the transference of air and we will find the best way for each customer,” Brown commented, noting the problem can be worse in the winter because windows remain closed.
Brown noted that radon-testing kits are available for purchase at the Barton County Extension Office. “They certainly can do the testing themselves or they can call a professional,” he said. “The important thing is to have it checked.”
Radon comes from the natural radioactive decay of radium and uranium found in soil beneath structures. The amount depends on soil chemistry, which varies from one house to the next.
In some cases, well water may also be a source of radon exposure. The gas can accumulate inside structures by seeping through crawls-pace soil, sump pits, or through seams and cracks in concrete basement walls.
Brown’s state-certification training in Wichita, which was sponsored by Kansas State University, entailed a week’s worth of classes. He also successfully completed two tests – one for measurement and one for removal, or mitigation, of the problem.