Q: Can you discuss off gassing in a home?

A: As many are aware, safety never takes a vacation. The hidden enemies in a home are carbon monoxide, asbestos and radon.

Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless and toxic gas produced as a by-product of combustion. Carbon monoxide detectors are absolutely necessary. Recently, all landlords and new home construction were mandated to have them installed. If you don’t have one in your home, it is wise to do so. It is important to have one in each sleeping floor and in areas where major gas burning appliances are located.

Asbestos is a silent giant that we encounter during remodeling projects. Asbestos was commonly used in residential and commercial construction, now it is banned. Prior to any remodeling project it is mandatory to have certified experts test for the existence of asbestos. If asbestos exits, one must hire licensed experts to carefully extract asbestos materials from the building. It is really important to have qualified personnel that follow all the safety procedures and file the necessary paperwork that will keep you from violating laws that govern its removal.

Recently, Clark County was determined a high risk area for Radon. Why? It dates back to the Missoula Flood thousands of years ago. Rocks with uranium were carried with the flood waters. The toxic gas from decaying rocks cause higher levels of radon. As a matter of building code we must carefully mitigate radon in every home that is built or remodeled. Often in remodeled homes we will hire a radon testing company that will determine if radon vapors exist. Not a bad idea for every home owner to consider.

Odorless, colorless, toxic gases are important to think about for everybody. Do your research and then develop a strategy that makes sense.

Thank you for reading Ask The Builder and making The Columbian of Vancouver, WA a part of your day.

Please submit questions to jon@quailhomes.com. Jon can be reached direct at 360.907.5800. Tune into Green Building with Jon Girod on 1550 a.m. on Saturdays at 9 am and 860 am Saturdays at 1 pm.