RE/MAX 440
John F. O'Hara

John F. O'Hara
731 W Skippack Pike  Blue Bell  PA 19422
Phone:  610-277-4060
Office:  215-643-3200
Cell:  267-481-1786
Fax:  267-354-6973

My Blog

What to Do If Your Home Has Radon

August 9, 2016 1:54 am


Do you know radon is the leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S.?

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), most homes with high levels of radon gas can be remedied. If you have tested your home for radon and have confirmed elevated radon levels (4 picocuries per liter in air [pCi/L] or higher), consult your local health agency or radon authority for help to:

Select a qualified radon mitigation contractor. The EPA recommends working with a state-certified and/or qualified radon mitigation contractor trained to remedy radon issues.

Determine an appropriate radon reduction method.

Maintain your radon reduction system. Some radon reduction systems mitigate radon levels by up to 99 percent.

The cost to reduce radon generally ranges from $800 to $2,500, according to the EPA. Most types of radon reduction systems cause some loss of heated or air conditioned air, which could also increase utility bills. How much of an increase will depend on the climate you live in, what kind of reduction system you select, and how your house is built.

For most cases, the EPA recommends methods that prevent the entry of radon. Soil suction, for example, prevents radon from entering your home by drawing radon from below the house and venting it through a pipe above the house, where it is diluted. In houses that have a basement or a slab-on-grade foundation, radon can be reduced by one of four types of soil suction: subslab suction, drain tile suction, sump hole suction, or block wall suction. In houses that have a crawlspace, radon can be redocued through sub-membrane suction, a process in which radon is drawn from underneath a high-density plastic sheet covering the ground below the house.

Other radon reduction techniques, according to the EPA, include sealing, pressurization, heat recovery ventilation, and natural ventilation.

For assistance with radon reduction, call 1-800-SOS-RADON, or visit EPA.gov/radon/.
 

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Hardwood vs. Laminate: What's Best for Your Floor?

August 8, 2016 1:54 am


Wood or wood-like flooring can give your home a brand new look—warm, updated, and inviting. There are several factors to consider before making the choice.

Natural hardwood flooring is more visually appealing, but is twice as expensive and far less durable than laminate lookalikes. On the other hand, laminates, like Pergo, which cost half as much as hardwood, will not increase your home’s resale value.

The experts at GeeksonHome.com tick off items to consider:

Cost – Laminate flooring, which is made of pressed wood, costs $2 to $3 per square foot, while natural hardwood flooring costs between $3 and $6 per square foot.

Durability – Hardwood flooring is sensitive to dents and scratches—a point to consider if you have young children or pets, or if your home sees high traffic. It can, however, be refinished several times over its lifetime, though that will incur additional expense.

Laminate, conversely, is impervious to stains and dents, but, because the wood veneer is very thin, it cannot be refinished.

Overall, the lifespan of laminate flooring is said to be 15 to 20 years, while hardwood flooring can last well over 50 years if refinished as needed.

Installation – Installing laminate flooring is faster and easier than installing hardwood flooring, because laminate comes in sheets rather than individual boards, and is usually glued down, rather than nailed into place.

Moisture – Hardwood flooring is susceptible to moisture and high humidity. It should not be laid directly on a concrete floor or in basements, where moisture can cause the wood to contract, expand and warp.

Laminate, to compare, is stable. Moisture will not affect or damage laminate flooring, so it can be laid on concrete.

Bottom line: laminate flooring is less expensive, more durable and easier to maintain—and today’s laminate products do a better job of looking like natural wood than ever before. The quality of hardwood, however, is easy to recognize, will last a lifetime, and, if properly maintained, can add significant value to your home. 
 

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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