Every concrete basement is a source of moisture and radon gas penetration. Here are some important facts to consider when finishing a concrete basement and why it is important to seal.
Approximately 15 to 18 gallons of water evaporates from the basement concrete into the home every single day.
Concrete is actually 12% to 18% air, by volume. Yes, air.
So what is radon gas?
Radon is a tasteless, odorless, invisible gas that occurs naturally throughout the earth's crust. It is a by-product of the breakdown of uranium in the soil, rock, and water. Over time, uranium will decay into lead. This process has fourteen steps, and radon is formed at the sixth step. This is especially unique, in that it it the first of the decay products which is a gas, not a solid.
Radon is found in every state in America. Radon gas typically moves up through the ground to the air above, and can enter your home through cracks and other openings in your foundation. Radon, which escapes into the air is not a problem, since it is quickly diluted. However, radon gas that enters your house can remain trapped there, especially during the winter months when windows and doors are kept closed. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) have estimated that as many as 20,000 lung cancer deaths are caused each year by radon. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer. Radon-induced lung cancer costs the United States over $2 billion dollars per year in both direct and indirect health care costs.
How Does Radon Enter Your House?
As radon gas moves up through the soil, it can be drawn into your home through air pressure differences. The air pressure inside your home is usually lower than the pressure in the soil around the foundations and basement floor slab.
Even if your basement looks dry, moisture is pouring in as an invisible vapor and by evaporation of water seeping through, this moisture promotes mold, mildew, dust mites, and other biological air contaminants which cause allergies, asthma, and other health problems. This is why dehumidifiers are commonly used in basements to control the moisture and humidity, and this is only temporay.
These are real issues that must be taken into consideration when finishing a basement. This is preventable.
Mark Goodson Homes uses an exclusive concrete/mositure sealer which penetrates deep into concrete (up to 6" depending on porosity), reacts, expands inside the pores, and cures as a silicate mineral. Once cured, it will seal your concrete permanently against water seepage, efflorescence, water vapor, and even radon gas. Unlike common sealers (coatings) and waterproofing paints sold in big box stores, our product will never peel or wear away. It can not be pushed out from the pores regardless of hydrostatic pressure! The internal seal becomes integral to the concrete itself - there is never a need to re-apply the sealer again! This will make your concrete denser and stronger. It is like injecting more cement into the concrete. We would highly recommed you sealing your basement before any work is done. Mark can seal your basement for $1.00 per square foot, this is money well spent.