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Radon is a toxic and radioactive gas that is a product of the natural breakdown of uranium in soil, rock, and water. It is found all over the United States but has higher concentrations in our area due to being in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. It comes up through the soil and enters buildings through gaps and cracks in the foundation and service entrances. Radon is an odorless, colorless, and tasteless gas that is heavier than air, so it settles in lower areas such as basements and crawlspaces, which we have a lot of in Colorado Springs.
Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer and causes thousands of deaths per year. Radon gas decays into radioactive particles that get trapped in your lungs when you breathe. As they break down further, these particles release small bursts of energy that damage lung tissue. The onset of lung cancer from elevated radon levels can take years to develop, but the more time that you spend in your home with this gas increases your risk.
It is estimated that one in every fifteen homes has elevated radon levels and testing for this deadly gas is simple and inexpensive. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends testing your home on the lowest level. If radon levels are higher than 3.9 pCi/L a radon mitigation system installation is recommended. This system exhausts the toxic gas to the exterior of the home and reduces the risk in the living areas of the home. The only way to know if your home contains high level of radon gas is to test it. Order your radon testing today.
Approximately 15% of Colorado residents get their drinking water from a private well. In a public drinking water system, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) enforces regulations that mandate regular testing. In a private system, testing to ensure that the water is safe from contaminates is the responsibility of the owner.
Private wells are fed through groundwater or aquifers that reside deep in the ground above a dense rock barrier. These areas are refilled by rainfall that is absorbed into the soil and travels through pores leading to the aquifer. When water travels through these spaces, it can pick up contaminants along the way as well as from the rock layer that it sits atop. Pollutants can be caused by seepage through landfills, failing septic tanks, underground fuel tanks, fertilizers, pesticides, and runoff from urban areas. Polluted or contaminated water consumption can cause gastrointestinal illness, kidney disease, skin rashes, lung irritation, cardiovascular effects, neurological disorders, development disorders in children, and some cancers.
Owners of private wells are encouraged to have their water tested annually, or if any change in color, taste or odor is present. Rock Solid Inspections uses the El Paso County water lab to analyze samples and test for common contaminants and pollutants. Water samples are taken on Sunday through Thursday. We serve the farming and rural areas surrounding Colorado Springs and Pueblo.
Colorado Springs and Pueblo are home to a lot of older homes. Lead-based paint was used in homes until 1978 when it was banned. Older homes can still contain traces of lead that could make your home or the home that you intend to purchase unsafe for your family. Children and pets are especially vulnerable to lead poisoning. Lead absorption can affect the brain and nervous system causing learning disabilities, hyperactivity, stunted growth, lower IQ, hearing problems, and anemia. In rare cases seizures, comas, or even death can happen from ingesting lead. If you suspect that your home had lead-based paint, call us at Rock Solid Inspections and we will be happy to test it for you.
There are many types of molds. They come in many colors and are a natural part of the environment. Outdoor molds break down organic material such as fallen leaves and dead trees, but indoor mold growth should be avoided due to the health risks that they pose. Molds produce allergens (substances that can cause allergic reactions), irritants, and potentially toxic substances (mycotoxins). Inhaling or touching mold spores may cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. Allergic reactions from molds are common and can cause Asthma attacks. Allergic responses can include hay-fever like symptoms, such as sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, and skin rashes (dermatitis).
Molds slowly destroy the things that they grow on and begin growing indoors when spores that are invisible to our sight land on a wet surface. All molds will not grow without moisture, so ensuring that your home does not have moisture intrusion is important. Although Colorado Springs and Pueblo experience less humidity than other areas of the country, mold can still become a problem. Rock Solid Inspections can assess the moisture level in your home and test potential mold growths.