Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas in ambient air. The gas can vary in amounts in enclosed structures. Radon has been linked to lung cancer and, in fact, has been singled out by the Surgeon General as a leading cause of the disease. The importance of radon mitigation and protection is critical for your health and the health of the building inhabitants.

 

Radon is a colorless, odorless, radioactive gas produced by the radioactive decay of radium-226, an element found in varying concentrations in many soils and bedrock. Since radon is a gas, it can easily move through small spaces between particles of soil and therefore enter a building. Radon entering a building as a component of the soil can reach levels many times higher than outdoor levels.

 

Radon levels are usually measured in picocuries per liter of air. Current recommendations for indoor radon levels call for less than four picocuries per liter. Note, of course, the lower the levels, the lower the health risk.
 In purchasing a home or building, the site inspection will include a radon test with canister test specimens taken and measured. Considering this concern of radon and its ability to migrate through pipes, drains, electric conduits and cracks/joints in walls and floors, Sika has been able to take an active role in radon mitigation and prevention.

 

Over the years, Sikaflex sealants have notably been used for the sealing of joints, cracks, drains, electric conduits, around pipes and an assortment of protrusions from walls and floors. In particular, Sikaflex 1a has taken a lead role for such applications. Note that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognized urethane-based sealants for radon mitigation. Reasons they state include polyurethane’s ability to adhere well to concrete, provide good elasticity and its extended service life.

 

Typically, a minimum 30-day cure time is recommended for newly
placed concrete prior to sealing of joints in floors and walls. Other 
application guidelines and Sika recommendations, to be followed, are contained in the current Radon Mitigation Product Data Sheets available on the website. This would include a minimum thickness for the sealant of quarter-inch and a maximum of half-inch.

 

The past use and success of Sikaflex 1a and other Sikaflex sealants allows Sika to be able to provide the recommended EPA choice of chemical make-up when dealing with protection from radon mitigation.

 

Also, another product has shown the ability to provide radon mitigation and protection: Sikagard 62, an epoxy coating. Sikagard 62, once fully cured, acts as a vapor barrier, and with a pin-hole-free application, can serve to provide sealing capabilities to floor slabs and walls.

 

This is a very prominent and serious situation. To ensure your building is protected, contact Sika for more information and recommendations.