Radon in homes is rapidly becoming an issue where Veterans Administration loans are involved. Lincoln Trail Home Builders Association President Charlie Corbett explains how radon accumulation occurs and how it affects you as a home builder.
LTHBA President Charlie Corbett on Radon Accummulation & Mitigation
In the past few weeks, I have been engaged in conversations with lenders, underwriters, builders and real estate agents and the VA Regional Center in Atlanta regarding radon mitigation where Veterans Administration loans are involved. As of June of this year, VA now requires new homes to be constructed with radon mitigation construction techniques. While our Lincoln Trail Area is not yet a Zone 1 Radon Area as determined by the EPA, VA is nonetheless requiring radon mitigation systems. For homes built prior to June of this year, a waiver can be obtained. I encourage all of you to get educated on radon and how to mitigate it in new home construction.
“As of June of this year, VA now requires new homes to be constructed with radon mitigation construction techniques..”
How Energy-Efficient Homes Cause Radon Build Up
In 2009 International Energy Efficiency Code started pushing for more energy-efficient homes. To become more energy-efficient, builders have begun building homes that are more air tight through heavy insulation, air-sealing techniques and reduced leakage on windows and doors. The more air tight a home is, the more air stays inside; trapping air in the home causes possible accumulation of indoor air contaminants including radon. Increased radon levels in a home are a result of air tight homes. "Every cat has kittens."
What Is Radon?
Radon is a radioactive decay product of uranium, thorium, and a few other radioactive elements. It migrates primarily through soil, porous rock and water wells into the home environment via cracks/openings in concrete floor slabs, crawlspaces, etc. With our new homes being more airtight than in years past, the radon builds up over time and can create an indoor air problem. While our state and local building codes have guidance for radon mitigation, an ordinance must be enacted to put that part of the code into effect (See Appendix F of the Code Book). More to come on this.
In the meantime, we are in the final preparations for the annual Parade of Homes which will be featured on our new website! Take a moment to browse through the new site at www.lincolntrailhba.com if you have not had the opportunity. Stay tuned for more.
Lincoln Trail Home Builders Association