Radon and Renovations

If you are planning any major renovations, such as converting an unfinished basement area into living space, it is especially important to test the area for radon before you begin. If your test results indicate an elevated radon level, radon-resistant techniques can be inexpensively included as part of the renovation. Major renovations can change the level of radon in any home. Test again after the work is completed.
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Ridge Vents

The use of ridge vent has increased greatly during the past ten years and when used with a soffit vent or vented drip edge, it is a very effective means of venting rafter bays, especially in cathedral ceiling areas. An air space in the rafter bay must be provided for full airflow. There are various styrofoam vent channels that, installed in the rafter bay, keep the insulation from fully filling the bay, to allow for air space. This can help keep condensation from forming on exposed roof nail ends and dripping onto the ceiling materials below during winter months.
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Welding Fumes

Welding inside of a shop or garage can create fumes. But they can easily be removed from the area by using industrial-type fans, or you can make your own from a recycled forced-air furnace fan. Check with the installers in your area for used fans; the cost may not be more than about $25, or they might even give you one. Cover the intake and all moving parts with heavy metal mesh, and run the power cord through a switch for easy on-off control.
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Workshop Ventilation

Make sure that you have an adequate way to remove dust and fumes from your workshop. If your workshop has two windows that face each other, open one and put a fan that blows outward in the other. If not, an exhaust fan should be installed.
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Generator CO

Never use a generator in enclosed or partially-enclosed spaces. Generators can produce high levels of CO very quickly. When you use a portable generator, remember that you cannot smell or see CO. Even if you can’t smell exhaust fumes, you may still be exposed to CO. If you start to feel sick, dizzy, or weak while using a generator, get to fresh air right away. Do not delay. The CO from generators can rapidly lead to full incapacitation and death. If you experience serious symptoms, get medical attention immediately. Inform medical staff that CO poisoning is suspected. If you experienced symptoms while indoors, have someone call the fire department to determine when it is safe to reenter the building.
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